Buzzing on Yahoo Sports:

Blackhawks match NHL's best start despite Hossa's head injury

The SportsXchange

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Blackhawks were pleased, but hardly overjoyed, to have matched the Anaheim Ducks' record of collecting at least a point in the first 16 games of a season.

Their enthusiasm was tempered Tuesday, even in a 4-3 shootout victory, by a head injury to star forward Marian Hossa early in the third period.

Hossa, who scored the Hawks' second and third goals, was hit from behind on the right side of the head by the left forearm of Vancouver's Jannik Hansen, and he crashed to the ice.

The puck was above Hossa's head at the time, and both were reaching for it. After Hossa was on the ice for more than a minute, the referees decided to give Hansen a two-minute roughing penalty.

Andrew Shaw, who scored the shootout goal that brought the Hawks their 13th win of the season, said he was glad Hossa was all right. However, there was hardly a definitive diagnosis for the forward who was knocked out of the playoffs by a similar, albeit more violent, hit by Phoenix's Raffi Torres last season. Hossa wasn't cleared to play until mid-December, about a month before the league's lockout ended. Torres served a 21-game suspension.

"We both kind of jumped for a loose puck, and he gets it first, and as we're coming down, I think I kinda grazed him on the back of the shoulders," Hansen said. "I looked back, he was down, and there was no question I was going off.

"The game is happening very fast out there. The ref (told) me I hit him in the back of the head."

Said Chicago coach Joel Quenneville, "I saw (Hossa) after the game, and he seemed OK. It's a major concern. Everybody will have their own opinion (on the hit)."

Hawks captain Jonathan Toews said, "I hope it's just a minor scare for him and he'll be back soon. It's pretty evident (Hansen) wasn't reaching for the puck."

Canucks coach Alain Vigneault's opinion was, essentially, no foul.

"He was trying to grab a puck in the air," Vigneault said. "It's unfortunate that (Hossa) is hurt, but he was trying to jump to get the puck. Stuff happens."

Until then, Hossa was the star of the show. His first goal, a 35-foot slap shot on a power play with 6:12 left in the second period, gave the Hawks a 2-1 lead. His second goal was a highlight-reel monent. He danced away from Vancouver defenseman Kevin Bieksa, then found room in the slot while teammate Brandon Saad tied up defenseman Jason Garrison. Hossa caromed the puck off goaltender Cory Schneider into the net.

Patrick Sharp scored Chicago's first goal 6:36 into the second period on a slap shot from the left circle. That equaled the first-period score by Vancouver's Daniel Sedin.

Chicago held the 3-1 lead until the final minutes of regulation.

Alexander Edler and Bieksa scored on Ray Emery within 101 seconds of each other, Bieksa's tying goal coming with 1:01 left in the third period.

The game went to a shootout, and after Chicago's Patrick Kane and Vancouver's Chris Higgins traded goals, Shaw beat Schneider between the legs with a backhand.

"I guess I can get a pretty one once in a while," said Shaw, whose goals usually come from grinding it out. "It feels great to get that."

That gave the Hawks (13-0-3) their 29th point of the season. They will try to break the tie with Anaheim when they host the San Jose Sharks on Friday night.

"It's a remarkable start," Quenneville said. "We're happy and pleased to do it, especially in a 48-game season."

Getting to overtime in a wide-open game that went again each team's defensive-minded grain gave the Hawks a share of the record established in 2006-07, when the Ducks began 12-0-4. Anaheim went on to win the Stanley Cup that season.

Vancouver, which entered the game third in the Western Conference, dropped its fourth straight game after winning six straight.

Emery stopped 29 shots. Schneider made 40 saves.

NOTES: The return of top-six forward David Booth to the Vancouver lineup meant sending center Andrew Ebbett to the AHL Chicago Wolves after he cleared waivers. Booth, who suffered a pulled groin in fitness testing on the opening day of training camp, skated with Dale Weise and Max Lapierre on the fourth line. ... The Canucks started Schneider in goal even though Roberto Luongo beat the Hawks in a shootout on Feb. 1 in Vancouver. ... Emery played his third straight game subbing for Chicago's No. 1 goalie, Corey Crawford, who is out due to a probable concussion. Crawford skated in the morning and is expected to do so again Wednesday. ... Chicago defenseman Brent Seabrook, out of the lineup for the first time since November 2011, is listed as day-to-day. He was hit in the groin by a shot in the first period of Sunday's game against Los Angeles, but he took a regular shift thereafter. Duncan Keith, Seabrook's regular partner, was first paired with Sheldon Brookbank, then Michal Roszival. ... The attendance was 21,423, the Hawks' 196th consecutive sellout.
Sign up for Yahoo Fantasy Football
View Comments (27)