'Terrible call' sends Hawks to heartbreaking OT loss

'Terrible call' sends Hawks to heartbreaking OT loss
February 1, 2012, 5:44 am
Share This Post

Updated: Wednesday, Feb. 1 at 12:50 a.m.

VANCOUVER The Blackhawks were frustrated at an overtime scoring opportunity, one they thought deserved a call and a penalty shot for Viktor Stalberg.

The Blackhawks, however, had plenty of other chances against the Vancouver Canucks. But be it a power play that couldnt connect or Cory Schneiders great game, they just couldnt get one more.

Stalberg scored early in the third period but Daniel Sedin had the winner with 1:23 remaining in overtime as the Blackhawks dropped a 3-2 decision to Vancouver. The Blackhawks remain in sixth place in the Western Conference and third in the Central Division.

On a night when Jonathan Toews (left arm) and Patrick Sharp (broken wrist) returned, it was another round of great Chicago-Vancouver hockey. Goaltending was strong for both teams. Corey Crawford stopped 30 of 33 shots but Schneider got the better of this one, stopping 37 of 39, some in spectacular fashion.

But in the end, Stalberg was incensed. He broke away in overtime and was slashed by Dan Hamhuis, but no call was made.

Thats a terrible call, Stalberg said. They look at that theyre going to see thats a penalty. He slashed my hand so I cant make the move I want to. Its a pretty clear definition of a penalty shot. Terrible call.

Coach Joel Quenneville said I thought it shouldve been a penalty shot. But we still have to win the game.

Yep, they do. And the Blackhawks had their chances to do that. They outplayed the Canucks in the second period, outshooting them, 15-6. But Schneider was stalwart. His best save came against former Canuck Brendan Morrison. The newest Blackhawks center got the puck while Schneider was out of the net, but when he took his shot Schneider got back to deflect it off his glove.

Yeah, hats off to him, Morrison said of Schneider. I took my time with it, shot it hard where I wanted to, but I didnt get it high enough. Desperation save.

Stalbergs goal gave the Blackhawks the 2-1 lead early in the third period. But Stalbergs turnover led to Cody Hodgsons tying goal a few minutes later. The Blackhawks got a late power play they had two, the Canucks had zero but couldnt capitalize.

We made a couple little mistakes, said Toews, who added he felt good in his first game back. We had a chance to finish that game. We didnt distance ourselves on the power play or on 5 on 5. We had a ton of odd-man rushes in the second period. Give the goaltender credit. He played well.

The Blackhawks played well enough to win. They had their opportunities. Schneider just stopped most of them.

Its one of those games where we liked the way we played, Quenneville said. It was a tough ending, but we did some good things to start the trip.