TAMPA, Fla. – There are some hockey games you remember because they were well-played, tremendous contests. Then there are others that end so bizarrely you have to rub your eyes a few times to make sure you saw what you just saw.
Throw the Chicago Blackhawks’ game vs. the Tampa Bay Lightning in the latter category.
Bryan Bickell scored his third goal in as many games, but Martin St. Louis scored the game-winner in overtime in the Lightning’s 6-5 victory over the Blackhawks. It was a strange ending to a game that had plenty of offense, questionable defense and an own goal that would leave any onlooker slack-jawed.
For the Blackhawks they’ll take some of what they did, take that own goal they didn’t do a thing on, and take the point. But they’ll forget about the ending ASAP.
“We’ll take a point, especially the way it evolved in the third period,” coach Joel Quenneville said. “Crazy third period; (saw) some things you’ve never seen before. We were victimized by what we did a couple of times, but fortunate to get that one as well. I didn’t like the ending though.”
Patrick Kane had a goal and an assist. Andrew Shaw scored his first goal of the season, deflecting a Kane shot on the power play. Marian Hossa also scored.
The Blackhawks will take the positives, so here are some of them. Bickell’s being Bickell again. The team scored two third-period goals, their first in the third since the season opener. They also got that own goal, a Matt Carle pass that hit off teammate Radko Gudas’ stick and through Ben Bishop to help the Blackhawks “tie” the Lightning 5-5 late in regulation. Jonathan Toews, the last Blackhawks player to touch it, got credit for the goal.
“Obviously a lucky one for us,” Duncan Keith said. “But we had some other chances that could’ve gone in that didn’t. You’re always happy to get points in this league but that’s not the type of game we want to play, to allow that many goals.”
Yes, the Blackhawks allowed way too much on the other end. Some were unlucky – Steven Stamkos’ second goal, a power-play score, went off Johnny Oduya’s stick. Too many came on special teams – the Lightning had two power-play goals and one short-handed. And some came when pucks weren’t secured, like St. Louis’ overtime winner.
“I thought we pretty much controlled the game. We had a lot of shots on net, more chances we probably left on the table. Just a strange game overall,” Kane said. “Any time you’re down with a couple minutes left and tie it up, you’re satisfied to get a point. But it would’ve been nice to get another one.”
Nikolai Khabibulin had a tough night in his old stomping grounds, giving up six goals on 25 shots.
“He’ll be better going forward,” Quenneville said.
The Blackhawks look to be better overall next game. Thursday was just a bizarre night – the end of it was, anyway. The Blackhawks liked getting more goals in the opposing net. They’d just rather not see as many in their own.
“It’s just a lot of weird bounces here and there, weird penalties, different things like that,” Kane said. “That’s not a normal game we’re used to playing. It’s just one of those that you try to learn from it, take what you can from it, and move on as quickly as possible.”