TAMPA, Fla. – The Chicago Blackhawks’ offense was struggling to produce more goals, especially in the third period. They found a way to break through both, partly from their own work, and also from an own goal.
The Lightning had a forgettable moment late in the third period of their 6-5 overtime victory over the Blackhawks, an own goal that has to go down as one of the strangest in history. Tampa Bay defenseman Matt Carle was passing back toward his own goal when the puck deflected off teammate Radko Gudas’ stick and through goaltender Ben Bishop to pull the Blackhawks to a 5-5 tie with 1:49 remaining in regulation.
Jonathan Toews, the last of the Blackhawks to touch it before the odd series of events, was credited with his fourth goal of the season.
The Blackhawks were stunned, bemused -- and even a bit amused -- by the goal.
“There have been some crazy goals the last year and a half. That’s one of them,” said coach Joel Quenneville, who couldn’t help but smile. “I guess it was one of those nights where pucks were going in.”
Patrick Kane didn’t realize what was going on until he heard the reaction of the crowd, which included a good amount of Blackhawks fans.
“I just saw them throw it back in their end and heard fans celebrating. It was a good bounce for us,” he said. “Maybe the hockey gods were giving us that last one.”
The gods weren’t giving the Blackhawks any more than that, though. Martin St. Louis jumped on a loose puck in overtime to win it for the Lightning.