Blackhawks fall to Ducks in shootout but remain unbeaten in regulation

Jerry Bonkowski, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Blackhawks fell short in the shootout for the third time this season, falling 3-2 to the visiting Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday night in front of 21,188 at the United Center.
The good news for Blackhawks fans, though, is Western Conference-leading Chicago remains the only undefeated team in the NHL in regulation play at 10-0-3. Anaheim, meanwhile, remains right behind the Blackhawks in the conference at 9-2-1.
Jonathan Toews opened the shootout for Chicago by beating Ducks goalie Viktor Fasth, but teammates Patrick Kane and Brandon Saad failed in their efforts.
Nick Bonino scored the Ducks' first shootout goal and Corey Perry followed up by beating Chicago goalie Corey Crawford to ice the win (when Saad failed to score, the Ducks didn't need a third attempt).
"We were in a position to win that game," Crawford said. "We played well. It's tough to lose another one in a shootout like that. We have to forget about it and keep going, take all the good stuff that we did tonight and bring it for the next game."
Ducks forward Bobby Ryan concurred with Crawford's assessment.
"There were some glorious opportunities for both teams to run away with it and it never happened," Ryan said. "Goaltending and defense played a big part."
Chicago has come up short in the shootout against Minnesota, Vancouver and now Anaheim.
"We always go into games optimistic," Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said afterward. "Not every night, you're going to be your best.
"Tonight was a push and scratch and get the lead and trying to find a way to get to the finish line was what we were doing."
After a scoreless first period, a shot through the crease by Anaheim center Ryan Getzlaf bounced off the stick of Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook and trickled into the Chicago net, giving the Ducks a 1-0 lead early in the second period. It was Getzlaf's fourth goal of the season.
Chicago scored twice within 28 seconds midway through the second period to take a 2-1 lead on goals Nick Leddy and Saad, both notching their second goals of the season respectively.
Saad's goal came with a semblance of uncertainty whether the puck had gotten past the goal line after a mad scramble in front of the Ducks' net knocked it off its supports. A review by officials ultimately confirmed the score.
"I don't think anyone on the ice, them (Chicago) included, thought that there was a chance it was a goal," Ryan said. "We had guys discussing plays to make off the next faceoff. It felt like it was so blatantly obvious that it didn't go in.
"But I guess some of the guys here said that there was an angle, and then it came down to whether or not the net was off, not whether the puck crossed the line. ... It didn't end up costing us, but it could have."
Shortly after Chicago took the lead, Johnny Oduya was penalized for high sticking, and then joined in the penalty box by teammate Michael Frolik for interference. Yet even with a two-man disadvantage, the Blackhawks' penalty killing unit shined, holding the Ducks at bay even with such a marked edge.
The Ducks tied the game at 17:20 of the third period on a wrist shot by Andrew Cogliano, his second of the season.
"When you're only one shot down, anything can happen," Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said of Cogliano's tally that forced overtime. "Even though the first 15 minutes of the third period they (Chicago) played such a solid defensive game, and we weren't getting any opportunities, but sometimes when you believe it only takes one chance. And we got the one chance and we put it in."
Anaheim's Toni Lydman went to the penalty box for interference with 10 seconds left in regulation, but Chicago could not capitalize, sending the game into overtime.
At 2:08 of overtime, Lydman again went back to the penalty box, this time for high sticking, yet Chicago's previously stalwart power-play failed yet again, sending the game into the deciding shootout.
Chicago hosts San Jose on Friday while Anaheim continues its six-game road trip at Detroit, also on Friday.
NOTES: Coming off a season-long six-game road trip, the Blackhawks began a seven-game home stand Tuesday, tying a team record for longest stay at home. ... Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane came into Tuesday's game riding a season-high streak of seven multi-point games. The Blackhawks are 77-8-13 all-time when the 24-year-old Kane has a multi-point game. ... Even with the shootout ending, Chicago has recorded at least one point in its first 13 games, a team record. ... Anaheim has now won six of its last seven games, and is now 3-1 on its current six-game road trip. ... Anaheim came into Tuesday at 8-2-1, its second-best start ever in team history. The best start was 8-0-3 in 2006-07. ... Anaheim leads the all-time series between both teams at 40-26-9, including an 18-16-5 road mark at Chicago. ... Anaheim's Teemu Selanne came into Tuesday with 249 career power-play goals, tying him with Phil Esposito for third on the league's all-time list. At 42, Selanne is the oldest active player in the NHL and the oldest player to wear a Ducks uniform.

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