CHICAGO – The struggling defending Stanley Cup-champion Chicago Blackhawks showed some long-awaited resilience.
Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane scored on Chicago’s first two attempts in the shootout, and the Blackhawks recovered after losing a late lead to beat the Ottawa Senators 3-2 on Friday night.
Toews and Kane had goals against Brian Elliott in the tiebreaker. Chicago rookie Corey Crawford stopped Alex Kovalev and Daniel Alfredsson to win it.
Ottawa’s Milan Michalek backhanded in a rebound with 1:25 left in regulation, while Elliott was off for a sixth skater, to tie the game at 2-2 and force overtime. Crawford stopped Chris Campoli’s drive from the left point, but Michalek shovelled in the loose puck from the crease.
Chicago, 1-4 in five games before Friday, appeared headed toward another disappointing finish.
“We know we’ve got a real talented team in here,” Kane said. “If we stick to the game plan, play defence first and get our chances, then things will go pretty good for us.
“As long as we don’t get frustrated, that’s the biggest thing with our team.”
Kane also scored in regulation, and Patrick Sharp added his team-leading 24th goal for Chicago.
Kane, who is still finding his stride after injuring an ankle injury in December, had put the Blackhawks ahead 2-1 at 7:50 of the third with an unassisted goal. He stole the puck from Ottawa defenceman Erik Karlsson and broke in alone.
“I thought he made a great play there and I thought he got better as the game progressed,” Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said. “It was nice to see the timeliness of that goal and come out of the game with two points.”
Kane, who led Chicago last season with 88 points, hadn’t scored since Nov. 30. He missed seven games in December because of an ankle injury and didn’t score in seven in which he played.
The Blackhawks improved to 4-8-1 in games that are tied after two periods. Their inability to take charge in the third has hurt them all season.
“These are the games we’ve talked about, being tied going into the third period. We needed to find a way to get points,” Quenneville said.
Alfredsson had a power-play goal in regulation for Ottawa, 0-2-2 in its last four.
The Senators managed to earn a point when it looked like as though they were headed for a regulation loss.
“We played well. We did a lot of good things out there against a team that played with some desperation,” Ottawa coach Cory Clouston said. “We didn’t throw in the towel. It was a good job coming back, but obviously we’re disappointed that we didn’t get that extra point.”
Crawford made 24 saves in his fourth consecutive start. Elliott, in his eighth straight outing, also stopped 24.
“We made some big strides,” Elliott said. “It’s not the result we want, it could have gone either way.”
Alfredsson opened the scoring 49 seconds into the second period with a power-play goal when his high screened shot from the right circle sailed past Crawford’s blocker.
The goal was the fourth allowed by the Blackhawks in four straight short-handed situations. Dallas was 3 for 3 on the power play in a 4-2 win at Chicago on Wednesday.
Sharp tied it at 1-1 on a deflection at 4:08. Chicago defenceman Brian Campbell fired from the right point, after controlling an Ottawa clearing attempt, and Sharp redirected the puck over Elliott’s glove.
The Blackhawks started to dominate as the second period progressed. Elliott made several sharp saves, including ones on Fernando Pisani and Duncan Keith, to preserve the tie.
Kane put Chicago ahead 2-1 at 7:50 of the third.
Kane knocked the puck off Karlsson’s stick just outside the Senators’ blue line, skated in and beat Elliott with a high shot on the glove side.
NOTES: Chicago recalled 19-year-old D Nick Leddy from Rockford of the AHL. D Jassen Cullimore, 38, was sent to Rockford on Thursday. Leddy played for the U.S. in the World Junior Championship and got into six games with the Blackhawks at the start of the season. … Ottawa recalled G Robin Lehner from Binghamton of the AHL to back up Elliott. …G Pascal Leclaire remained sidelined because of a lower body injury. … Lehner was Sweden’s No. 1 goalie at the world juniors. … Ottawa C Jason Spezza missed his fourth game with a shoulder injury. … Sharp’s goal was his 150th in the NHL.