Blackhawks Drown in the Duck Pond

 

CHI @ ANA 
Game Recap
1/20/13
 
Blackhawks Drown in the Duck Pond 
 
In a game that lived up to its hype the league leading Chicago Blackhawks fell 4-2 to the second place Anaheim Ducks who now trail the Windy City team by only 3 points in the Western Conference. 
 
The Ducks drew first blood with a quick goal by center Peter Holland less than 2 minutes into play.  The Hawks were almost immediately sent to the penalty kill against the most successful power play unit in the league, but a fantastic short-handed goal via Jonathan Toews brought those first five minutes of heart attack to an end all tied up 1-1. 
 
After a very forgettable Blackhawks power play at the top of he second period that the Ducks dominated, birthday boy Nick Leddy gave the Hawks the edge 2-1 on another power play opportunity.  
 
Chicago's Brandon Bollig almost gave the Hawks the 3-1 lead and almost notched his first goal and first point of the season, but after review and decided distinctive kicking motion call, it was taken away. 
 
While the Blackhawks maintained great pressure against the speedy Ducks through a majority of the 3rd, Bobby Ryan capitalized on a rare Crawford rebound to tie things up 2-2.  Only 64 seconds later, Teemu Selanne slammed another puck through the Blackhawks life raft to give Anaheim the lead for the first time since the opening minute of the game 3-2. 
 
Corey Crawford was pulled in the final minutes, but turnover after turnover eventually Sheldon Souray the opportunity to put away the empty net goal to sink the Blackhawks 4-2 in regulation.
 
The sting of this loss comes mostly from the idea that this is arguably the first loss that "mattered" in terms of standings for the Blackhawks.  For the first time this season, another team is within a measly 2 wins from topping the Chicago franchise.  It's not as though Anaheim came out of no where either, all season long they have been that good.  The Ducks have been power housing their way through the season in the same fashion as the Blackhawks, but lucky for them, set aside under the media shadow of the streaking Hawks.  
 
Anaheim was on their game tonight, and they made the Blackhawks work the full 60. 
 
Speaking of playing the full game, Patrick Kane led TOI 25:21 above even work horse Duncan Keith.  He skated double shifts for the top two lines and barely blinked.  His efforts cannot be out shadowed by anyone other than goaltender Corey Crawford who had some fantastic saves on the night key to the Hawks holding their lead as long as they did. 
 
The Blackhawks will return home for their next three games to face off against the Kings and Flames, and of course their final redemption round against the Ducks. 
 
You can follow our Blackhawks writers on Twitter @TCLBlackhawks and me @madeleinestroth for updates all season long!