Hawks move to 16-0-3 with Hossa's OT winner

Hawks move to 16-0-3 with Hossa's OT winner

Highlights: Blackhawks beat Oilers 3-2 in overtime

February 25, 2013, 11:00 pm
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The Chicago Blackhawks weren’t too thrilled with their second period against Edmonton on Monday night.

They didn’t play all that bad. But they committed a few penalties and the Oilers scored on a power play, putting the Blackhawks in the unusual situation of trailing – gasp – to start the third period. But one internal pep talk and about 23 minutes later, the Blackhawks once again found a way to add to that ridiculous season-opening success run.

Viktor Stalberg tied the game early in the third period, and Marian Hossa scored the game-winner in overtime as the Blackhawks beat the Edmonton Oilers 3-2 at the United Center. The Blackhawks improved to 16-0-3, extending their NHL-record season-starting run of games without a regulation loss to 19.

The Blackhawks sounded calm and collected in the locker room afterward. It’s not a brashness; it’s just a confidence that they can find a way to get points some way, some how.

 “The second period wasn’t great for us, but we talked about making sure we had a better third,” said Patrick Kane, whose power-play goal in the first came just 1:02 after the Oilers took the 1-0 lead. “A quick goal by Stalberg changed momentum and it was great work by (Patrick Sharp) to set up the winning goal. Another win; it feels good. Let’s keep this going.”

Sharp said the Blackhawks are just taking every opponent as they come.

“Without sounding arrogant, it’s just kind of like business as usual,” he said. “We have the attitude we can win every night. We’re healthy, we’re confident and we want to keep getting better. That’s the idea.”

[Related: Hossa marvels at crowd response, discusses Hawks' win over Edmonton]

Coach Joel Quenneville said the Blackhawks were determined in the third.

“I don't think we were happy trailing and it’s a dangerous team. Certain teams have success against you and they get confidence against you as well,” he said. “I still thought these three games we have found ways, in some tight situations, to persevere and tonight was kind of comparable to those games.”

Oilers coach Ralph Krueger, whose team is just starting a lengthy road trip, had high praise for the Blackhawks.

“Big picture, it’s an excellent point against the strongest team in the (NHL) right now,” he said. “Of course you feel pain, having the lead going into the third period. It’s definitely something you dream and believe you can close it, but they really are an amazingly powerful team. They’re very, very strong on the puck. They never let up at all. We had that long stretch in the third period without any whistles. That's the most pressure we felt from anybody this year.”

Monday marked just the third time this season the Blackhawks trailed entering the third period, and they weren’t happy about it. Some bad penalties, one of which the Oilers turned into a power-play goal (via Nail Yakupov) left the Blackhawks trailing 2-1. But things would turn around quickly.

Stalberg’s goal was originally ruled no goal, as officials couldn’t see where the puck settled around Oilers goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin. But official review found it crossed the line, and the Blackhawks tied it just 2:24 into the third. In overtime, Sharp skated right up to Khabibulin and shot, then whacked at the puck another time or two. Khabibulin got those, but couldn’t stop Hossa’s final charge.

[Related: Quenneville on homestand: "That's a tough thing to get points out of every game"]

It was a night of responding to what the Oilers did. Kane’s power-play goal was the first, as it came just 62 seconds after the Oilers got a short-handed goal. A goal like that, last season, would’ve had a bad affect on the Blackhawks. This year, it’s just another call to answer.

“When the answer comes right away, it’s momentum for our team,” Hossa said. “That was important. And it was a huge goal for us.”

The Blackhawks just keep responding, be it to opponents or to their own internal call to do something. Another day, another way.

“If you told us (we would do) this at the start of the season, it’d blow our socks off, for sure,” Sharp said. “As the season’s gone on, we’ve just come to the rink and play. There’s not a whole lot of practice time. It feels like hockey 24 hours a day, and that’s how we like it.”