CALGARY, Alberta – Overtime: five minutes of 4-on-4 hockey, something that should be right in the Chicago Blackhawks’ wheelhouse. It suits their game, suits their style. But in too many games this season, they’ve come up empty in it.
Add one more to the overtime futility pile.
Marian Hossa scored twice, including a short-handed effort that tied the game at 4-4 in the second period, but the Blackhawks managed nothing in overtime again in a 5-4 loss to the Calgary Flames on Tuesday night. The Blackhawks (32-10-13), now winless in their last four games, dropped to third in the Western Conference standings. The St. Louis Blues (36-11-5) move to second place.
The Blackhawks have gone to overtime 18 times this season but they have yet to score a goal in that five-minute frame. On Tuesday, they didn’t even get a shot on goal in the two minutes, 26 seconds of extra time. But TJ Brodie did, his wraparound giving Calgary their first victory over the Blackhawks here since Feb. 3, 2012.
Patrick Kane scored his 25th of the season. Lee Stempniak had two assists for Calgary.
Asked if the Blackhawks’ recent swoon was a confidence issue or just a lull, Patrick Kane went with the latter.
“We have confidence,” he said. “We were excited to play tonight and for whatever reason we got behind the 8-ball. I don’t know if it’s good to go through this now so we learn from it and maybe have something to look back on later in the season, but we know we have to play better. Sometimes a good effort isn’t good enough. It’s tough to win in this league when you’re going through stretches like this. Sometimes the best thing is not to think about it and just go out and play.”
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True, but the Blackhawks didn’t play the way they needed to in overtime.
“It’s just not happening,” coach Joel Quenneville said of OTs this season. “We won a shootout against Boston and we felt pretty good. Then two (games) in a row we don’t get (anything). We have enough assets in there when, in overtime, we have to find a way to make it happen.”
Antti Raanta gave up four goals on 15 shots and was pulled halfway through the game after Mikael Backlund’s short-handed goal on a 3-on-1 breakaway gave Calgary a 4-2 advantage.
“I have no idea what happened,” Raanta said. “I can make a lot of excuses and think why there were four goals in 30 minutes. It was a bad start to the game, first shot in (from Backlund), and lots of bad moves. That’s about it.”
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Still, the Blackhawks made a game of it. Ben Smith’s wrist shot bounced off the top of Calgary goaltender Reto Berra’s glove and in to cut the Flames’ lead to 4-3. Just over four minutes later, Hossa scored his short-handed goal off Niklas Hjalmarsson’s rebound to tie it, 4-4.
After a pretty even third period it was on to that overtime. Calgary dominated it, however, as the Blackhawks once again left another point on the table.
The Blackhawks aren’t happy with their finishes, or lack thereof, lately. It’s not them, and it’s starting to show in the standings.
“We made a good push, didn’t give up much in the third, but in overtime weren’t very good,” Quenneville said. “It’s been our (modus operandi) this year where overtime’s been a sore spot. It would’ve been nice to come back from down two and get two.”