Highlights: Hawks 4, Canucks 3
As Marian Hossa lay prone on the ice early in the third period on Tuesday night, the bad memories came back for the Chicago Blackhawks -- and probably for Hossa, too.
On this night, he got up and walked to the locker room under his own power. But much like 10 months ago, the concern of a possible concussion, and its repercussions, looms again.
Hossa scored his seventh and eighth goals of the season, and left the game after taking a Jannik Hansen forearm to the back of his head, in the Chicago Blackhawks’ 4-3 shootout victory over the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday. Andrew Shaw, an impromptu third-shooter selection, notched the winner as the Blackhawks tied the 2006-07 Anaheim Ducks’ start of 16 straight games with at least a point (13-0-3).
But the main concern was for Hossa, who missed the remainder of the 2011-12 playoffs after suffering a concussion from Phoenix forward Raffi Torres. Coach Joel Quenneville said Hossa “seemed OK” when he saw the right wing after the game, but that the team would know more on Wednesday.
[WATCH: Quenneville on Hossa hit, Hawks' win]
Obviously, given Hossa’s recent history – he was just cleared from the Torres-inflicted concussion in November -- the Blackhawks want to be careful.
“There’s a major concern, so hopefully he’s OK,” said Quenneville. When asked about the Hansen hit, he said, “I think everybody saw it, everybody can have their own opinion. I’ll let the people who do that stuff do their job.”
Each side, of course had their opinion on the hit. Patrick Sharp, who scored his second goal in as many games, wasn’t too happy with it.
“I thought it was a questionable hit,” he said. “I’d have to see the replay a few more times but I didn’t like the hit when I saw it. You like it even less when you see a guy like Hoss on the ice who’s been through something like that before. Hopefully he’s doing OK.”
Canucks coach Alain Vigneault, meanwhile, said, “it wasn't even a penalty. Both referees looked at the play and until (Jonathan) Toews went out to talk to them it wasn't even a penalty.”
Asked if he was concerned that Hansen could face supplemental discipline, Vigneault said, “not a chance.”
Hansen said he was just going for the puck.
"We both kind of jumped for a loose puck and he gets it first, when we were coming down I think I grazed him on the back of his shoulders. I don't see what happens afterwards because the play continued a little bit. But then I look back and I see that he's down… wasn't quite sure what was going on,” Hansen said. “Apparently I hit him in the back of the head, is what the ref is telling me. I was coming down, but it’s hard for me to tell what really happened.”
[WATCH: Hansen's hit on Hossa]
Meanwhile, the Blackhawks had a game to win, and they nearly lost their chance at that. The Blackhawks took a 3-1 lead after the second period but the Canucks scored twice in the final three minutes of regulation to send the game to overtime. Then it was the shootout, and the Blackhawks looking for that pivotal third shooter, who up until he got hurt was going to be Hossa. Shaw was selected, and lifted a backhand shot past Cory Schneider. Ray Emery stopped Ryan Kesler at the other end, preserving the victory.
“I was nervous. Scared, actually,” Shaw said of being picked. “It’s a big part of the game and I’ve done that move a few times in practice. They liked what they saw and they gave me a chance.”
The Blackhawks’ winning ways continue. They would’ve liked to win this one in regulation. They also would’ve liked Hossa end the game as healthy as he began it.
“You never want to see that,” Toews said. “I don't know the situation yet, but we hope that it's just a minor scare for now and that he'll be back soon. I saw it when the puck was up. I saw the replay on the board and it’s pretty evident that he wasn't reaching for the puck or anything. I'm not too sure exactly what's going to happen there. I'd have to see it a few more times before I comment any further. I don't think there was any doubt that there was contact to the head there and we just hope that Hoss is going to be OK.”