Bruised and battered: Blackhawks blow big lead

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Bruised and battered: Blackhawks blow big lead

Friday, Feb. 11, 2011
Posted 10:23 p.m. Updated 11:26 p.m.

By Tracey Myers
CSNChicago.com

DALLAS - Jonathan Toews anger and frustration was palpable. And at this juncture, its hard to blame him.

WATCH: Toews reacts after loss

The Chicago Blackhawks were setting themselves up for a big victory against the Dallas Stars in Marty Turcos return to where it all began. They got out to a 3-0 lead by doing everything right.

And then it started to turn. Again.

The momentum, the lead and eventually the game went the other way. And while the Blackhawks held on to get one point, it seems a tough pill to swallow considering early they looked destined for two.

Patrick Kane, Patrick Sharp and Brent Seabrook scored in regulation, but the Stars started coming back in the second period and the Blackhawks couldnt wrestle control away again in a 4-3 shootout loss on Friday night. It was a bitter end to a great start, and Toews was frustrated at another squandered chance.

I dont have anything new to say to you guys, said Toews, who had two assists. Every time we lose its the same thing that happens. We dont change it. We have a good first period. Whether we come out with a lead or not in the first, we had good effort, getting pucks in there and skating.

"For some reason it goes away in the second period. Thats what you see there is us giving the other team a chance to come back and they make no mistakes. I dont understand whats going on.

Making things worse, the Blackhawks lost three forwards in the second period. Viktor Stalberg, Fernando Pisani and Ryan Johnson are all day-to-day with upper body injuries. Coach Joel Quenneville said theyll be re-evaluated on Saturday.

Pisani was hit by Stars defenseman Mark Fistric along the boards. Pisani fell back, the back of his head hitting the Stars bench railing. He got up after being down a few moments and skated off with some assistance.

The Blackhawks got a power play out of that hit, but yielded nothing from it.

We can go back and work our balls off on that power play, really show them up for hurting one of our players and we dont, Toews said. We were satisfied. It was a terrible power play and one thing led to another and they find a way to come back.

Instead, the Blackhawks, down three forwards, at least found a way to force overtime and earn a point.

Its one of those things where have a great first again and in the second we let them back in, said Seabrook, who had another potential goal ruled no goal on the ice and a review didnt reverse it. We dont finish them. Thats been the trouble weve had all year and it hurt us tonight.

READ: Hawks not trading Seabrook

Turco stopped 32 of 35 in regulation before all three of the Stars shootout attempts got past him.

You get beat, you get beat, and its tougher to swallow this time, Turco said. But not to get two points and the win was pretty disappointing.
Marty Turco heads off the ice in Dallas after the giving up goals to all three Stars shooters - all former teammates- in the shootout. (AP)
We have a big hill to climb, period, Turco said. The more often we play 60 minutes and play our game well be better off. If we can just get on a roll but itll take successive games and workmanlike effort to accomplish that.

The Blackhawks will have to regroup fast. Quenneville was looking at the positive out of this one: the Blackhawks getting a point when so many third-period slides have resulted in none. But time is running out, and the Blackhawks need more 60-minute outings and more two-point decisions.

We have to play the same way we do in the first throughout the game, Seabrook said. We feel we have a good game plan going into it, and its working. We just dont continue to play the rest of the game.

No goal

Seabrook was robbed on his 5-on-3 goal attempt by Kari Lehtonens glove save in the first period. The play went under review, and some replays showed that the glove, with the puck somewhere in it, crossed the goal line. But officials let the no-goal ruling stand.

In or out of the net, thats a judgment call, Seabrook said. If Im a ref on the ice Im probably calling it no goal as I see it.

Briefly

Marian Hossa did not play on Friday night. Quenneville said hes hopeful that the right wing can play Saturday night in Phoenix.

Tracey Myers is CSNChicago.com's Blackhawks Insider. Follow Tracey on Twitter @TramyersCSN for up-to-the-minute Hawks information.

Blackhawks prospects Alex DeBrincat, Chad Krys named to USA's preliminary World Juniors roster

Blackhawks prospects Alex DeBrincat, Chad Krys named to USA's preliminary World Juniors roster

Blackhawks prospects Alex DeBrincat and Chad Krys were selected to Team USA's preliminary roster for the World Junior Championships, USA Hockey announced Monday.

They're two of five players that have been brought back after helping USA take home the bronze medal at last year's tournament.

DeBrincat, the Blackhawks' 2016 second-round pick (No. 36 overall), leads the Ontario Hockey League this season with 28 goals and ranks second with 56 points in 26 games with the Erie Otters. The 5-foot-7 winger, who turns 19 on Dec. 18, had one goal in five tournament games last year.

[SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]

Krys, the Blackhawks' 2016 second-round pick (No. 45 overall), has one goal and one assist in 14 games so far during his freshman year at Boston University.

He's no stranger to international hockey.

Krys, 18, most recently sported the red, white and blue sweater last year with the U.S National under-18 team in the United States Hockey League, where he scored three goals and added 26 assists in 53 games.

The players will attend training camp from Dec. 16-20 in Buffalo followed by an additional camp from Dec. 20-24, which will include pre-tournament games on Dec. 21 against Switzerland and Dec. 23 against the Czech Republic, both of which will take place in Ontario.

The 23-man roster is expected to be finalized by Dec. 24.

Scott Darling takes the reins for Blackhawks in Corey Crawford’s absence

Scott Darling takes the reins for Blackhawks in Corey Crawford’s absence

It’s an interesting working life, really, this backup goaltending gig.

Most of the time, you’re in hurry-up-and-wait mode. But now and then something bizarre happens – like the starting goaltender needing an appendectomy on the road – that thrusts you into the No. 1 spot for a time.

Scott Darling has been here, done this before, though, and he did it well. And considering how goaltending has been the backbone of this team’s performance this season, the Blackhawks are confident he can handle the job.

Darling gave the Blackhawks a chance again on Sunday night, his 30-stop performance keeping them within one goal in what was ultimately a 2-1 loss to the Winnipeg Jets. Darling started his second consecutive game – Crawford was diagnosed with appendicitis prior to the team’s game in Philadelphia, where he had his operation. An interesting turn of events, for sure, but Darling will do what’s necessary in Crawford’s absence.

“Obviously you don’t want it to happen this way. But there’s not too many other ways it can happen so it’s an exciting opportunity for me,” Darling said following Sunday’s game. “I mean I don’t know what’s going to happen. I don’t know how long Corey will be gone or what the game plan is. But I’m excited to get a few more starts than usual.”

Darling had a whole three games of NHL experience in December of 2014 when he subbed for Crawford, out with a lower-body injury at that time. That worked out just fine – he won three of his first four starts and came up even bigger in the Blackhawks’ first-round series against the Nashville Predators that postseason.

[SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]

Coach Joel Quenneville said Darling has handled the extremes well.

“I think that’s what it’s all about in that role: you’re ready to play once every four or five games and then all of a sudden you’re playing every night and it’s a different job description, workload, pressure. But the expectations when you do get it can be different,” Quenneville said. “Some guys handle it the same way, going every fourth or fifth game and don’t change a beat. I think Darls did exactly that. He had a good demeanor, had a good approach, was patient as he always was. I think that helped a lot. He played some critical games for us in the playoffs, handled it the same way and that’s how you’re hoping they handle it.”

Darling is expected to get most, if not all, of the workload while Crawford’s out. Lars Johansson was recalled on Sunday and will serve as backup, but he has no NHL experience – then again, Darling didn’t have much a few years ago, either.

But Darling isn’t taking anything for granted during this stretch.

“I’ve gotta win some games to have the right to get those minutes,” he said.

Maybe, but the Blackhawks also have to give him some help. The goaltending hasn’t gotten a ton of that from the Blackhawks, who have sputtered offensively most of the season. No matter who’s in net, the Blackhawks need to start producing more.

For now, Darling is the man. He’s rolled with the backup-gig demands before and should be fine again. And if the Blackhawks can help him out some, they shouldn’t miss much of a beat without Crawford.

“He’s played great. I thought he played great again [Sunday],” Duncan Keith said. “He gave us a chance, and you know, more than a chance to win. He stopped breakaways and made big plays all night. We’re lucky to have him as a goalie we can look to when we’ve got a guy like Crow out.”