The Chicago Blackhawks avoided their first regulation loss of the 2013 season but still suffered a 3-2 shootout loss to the Anaheim Ducks at the United Center on Tuesday night.
Despite getting a game tying power play tally from Nick Leddy and the go-ahead goal from Brandon Saad to make it 2-1 as a result of a very strong second period, the Hawks couldn't keep the Ducks from forcing overtime late in the third period, where they struggled to match Anaheim's intensity.
There was a lot of talk at the top of this season about the tough schedule the Chicago Blackhawks had ahead of them with 10 of their first 12 games on the road. Recalling the hard luck the Hawks faced away from home last season still...
The past two seasons were a struggle for the Blackhawks. Although they qualified for the playoffs both years, neither route was ideal.
In 2011, gutted post-Cup victory, they backed into the playoffs based on the Wild's win over the Stars in game 82. The battle leading up to the playoffs left the team battered and tired - yet they still pushed the Canucks to Game 7 OT in the first round.
In 2012, they had a bit more of a cushion, but 101 points in the ultra-competitive West was only good enough for 6th place. Although the Blackhawks pushed the Coyotes to five OT games, and then lost to Phoenix 0-4 in Game 6 on home ice.
When considering the game in Nashville tonight, it might have seemed a coin toss who would win. The Blackhawks were on the final game of a six-game road trip that covered 5,300 miles since January 29th. The team would be headed home to Chicago after the game, and you have to think that weighed on their minds.
In the meantime, Nashville shut out the defending Stanley Cup champs 3-0 on Thursday night and then played a tough game in Minnesota on Saturday night, where the Wild beat them 2-1 in overtime.
The team that looked more fatigued on the ice on Sunday night? The Predators.
By the end of the first period, the game remained scoreless, although the Blackha...
In what was an unusually calm Blackhawks/Canucks tilt, the Blackhawks despite not playing their best still collected a point on the road. Even the Rogers arena crowd seemed pretty subdued except for when Duncan Keith had the puck and a chorus of boos echoed the building.
There were not any incidents, fights or really even any confrontations. Both teams seemed really focused on just picking up points and collecting a win.
For as much as we would like to send Roberto Luongo into stages of self doubt and lost confidence he played brilliantly against the Hawks big guns particularly in the shoot out.
The Hawks never really were able to sustain much pressure on hi...
The Minnesota Wild took to the ice on fire against the Chicago Blackhawks Wednesday night, scoring within 90 seconds of the puck drop. The relentless physical demand brought out the best of both teams, ending in a shootout and a Wild victory 3-2.
Wednesday night in St. Paul, the undefeated Chicago Blackhawks will look to continue their winning ways against the "new look" Minnesota Wild.
Although the Wild is tops in the Northwest division, the team has at times struggled to find their footing.
Minnesota is 3-1-0 at home so far this season, and look to hand the Blackhawks their first loss of the year. The Wild won last night 3-2 against an aggressive, physical Columbus team at home, breaking a 3-game losing streak.
Only 5 of the Wild's 16 goals for the season have not been scored by MN's top line of team captain Mikko Koivu, Zach Parise, and Dany Heatley. While the Wild may not have much scor...