CHICAGO – This time, Patrick Kane and the Chicago Blackhawks did just fine in the shootout.
Kane scored the winning goal in the tiebreaker and had two assists in regulation, lifting the Blackhawks to a 3-2 victory over the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday night.
Chicago dropped its first two shootout games this season, both at home, and failed to convert a single chance. Coach Joel Quenneville made a few changes before this one, altering how the Blackhawks prepare for the tiebreaker and deciding to go second in each round.
The subtle tweaks paid off.
“We changed our format,” Quenneville said. “We practiced it in the middle of a practice. And we obviously went second, which was an easy decision. It was definitely a point of emphasis yesterday and going into today’s game. We had to do something different if it does occur.”
Marian Hossa and Patrick Sharp scored in regulation for the Blackhawks, who have won three of four and recorded at least one point in seven of their eight games. Hossa has a goal in each of his last five games.
Teemu Selanne had a goal and an assist for the Ducks in Randy Carlyle’s 500th game as Anaheim’s head coach. Ryan Getzlaf also scored in the opener of a seven-game road trip, but the Ducks still dropped their third consecutive game.
“I think we played way better, obviously,” said Selanne, who tied Dave Andreychuk for 13th with 640 career goals. “I still think we had too many turnovers in the middle zone. I think we can play better, but we gave ourselves a chance to win tonight and that’s a good sign.”
Jonathan Toews put the Blackhawks in front in the first round of the shootout, but Selanne tied it at 1-1 in the second round. Corey Crawford then denied Getzlaf to set up Kane’s winning backhander.
“Jon’s goal was beautiful, the way he put it upstairs,” Kane said. “I tried to do something different. He’s an opposite-hand goalie, so his stick wouldn’t be there when I came across. It worked out, I guess.”
The Ducks led 2-1 before Sharp’s blistering slap shot from the high slot tied it at 5:57 in the third. Sharp sent a pass from Kane into the left side of the net from about 35 feet away.
Hossa shot off the right post as the horn sounded in overtime, sending the chippy game to the tiebreaker.
Anaheim went in front just 58 seconds into the second period, beating Chicago’s stingy penalty-killing unit. Perry skated up the left side of the ice and sent a perfect pass across the middle to Getzlaf, who beat Crawford with a shot into the upper right corner. Perry’s pass slid just past defenceman Sean O’Donnell and right to Getzlaf’s stick, setting up his third goal.
It was the first power-play goal against the Blackhawks since the third period of their 5-2 victory over Dallas in their second game of the season on October 8. But that was Anaheim’s only score in six power-play chances on the night.
“The first thing is we’re not executing,” Carlyle said. “We have some design things we like to do against some penalty-killing units as every team does and we didn’t execute with the power play. We were slapping the puck around and had chances to get ourselves the extra point and we didn’t deliver in a critical situation on the road.”
The Blackhawks responded with their own highlight-reel score at 10:16 in the second. Kane made a strong spin move to wrap around defenceman Toni Lydman, then sent the puck across the ice to Hossa, who just had to guide it into the open left side of the net. It was Hossa’s fifth goal of the season and his team-high 15th in 24 career games against the Ducks.
“He saw me all the way, and Danny Carcillo did an excellent job taking two guys with him,” Hossa said. “It opened up for the easiest goal I could get. It was a beautiful pass by Patrick. That’s his kind of game when he can do stuff like that.”
The glow from Kane’s assist of the season didn’t last very long.
Kane had the puck near the Blackhawks’ net with about four minutes left in the second when he tried to pass to Duncan Keith and Selanne picked it off. The 41-year-old Selanne, still a dangerous scorer, then skated in on Crawford and converted a stick-side backhander to give Anaheim a 2-1 lead.
Hiller finished with 33 saves, and Crawford had 29.
NOTES: Ducks F Devante Smith-Pelly was sidelined with the flu. … Chicago killed 16 of its opponents’ 17 power-play opportunities in the first seven games of the season. … Anaheim’s seven-game trip is tied for the third-longest in club history.