'Terrible call' sends Hawks to heartbreaking OT loss

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'Terrible call' sends Hawks to heartbreaking OT loss

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.

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Comfortable Kero: Quick hits from Blackhawks-Penguins

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USA TODAY

Comfortable Kero: Quick hits from Blackhawks-Penguins

PITTSBURGH – Well, that looked more familiar, didn’t it?

The Blackhawks put talk into action on Wednesday night, storming out to an early lead and never letting up in a 5-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins. They’re sitting in a good spot right now, sporting a nine-point lead over the Minnesota Wild – yes the Wild still has that game in hand – and, with five games remaining, they once again played the complete game they’d been missing.

The schedule doesn’t let up, so let’s get to the notables.

What Worked: The Blackhawks’ first period. If there’s such thing as a statement 20 minutes, the Blackhawks made it in Pittsburgh. If the Penguins made a bad pass, the Blackhawks turned it into an opportunity and, a few times, a goal. The Blackhawks had a similarly sharp first period against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Monday. On Wednesday, however, they didn’t lose any steam later.

What Didn’t Work: The power play. Yeah, you really have to reach to find something that didn’t work for the Blackhawks in this one. Their power play, however, didn’t do much. Their best chance on it was a Jonathan Toews shot on their second power play; that shot was blocked before it got to Marc-Andre Fleury. Their third power play, which came on a phantom tripping call on Conor Sheary, was their quietest of the night.

Star of the game: Tanner Kero. The kid’s been alright at second-line center, and he did a little bit of everything on Wednesday night. Kero had five shots on goal, the secondary assist on Artemi Panarin’s early goal and added a breakaway goal of his own early in the third period. He also won five of 11 faceoffs. Centering Patrick Kane and Panarin could be daunting but in his short time there, Kero’s handling it very well.

He Said It: “It’s a nice opportunity that he’s taken advantage of in a short amount of time. You get a little more defensive responsibility. The upside with him is we wanted him to get better offensively as well, so it’s been a good couple of games.” Coach Joel Quenneville on Kero.

By the Numbers: 

850 – Career coaching victories for Quenneville.

524 – Career goals for Marian Hossa, who scored his 25th of the season late in the first period.

39 – Time, in seconds, in which the Blackhawks scored two goals late in the first period (Marcus Kruger at 19:05 and Marian Hossa at 19:44).

6 – Consecutive victories for the Blackhawks over the Penguins. They’ve outscored the Penguins 20-8 over that span.