CHICAGO – The Chicago Blackhawks needed three periods, an overtime and then 11 rounds of a shootout Tuesday night to secure coach Joel Quenneville’s 500th career victory.
Brent Seabrook scored the game-winner in the 11th round of the shootout, sending the Blackhawks to a 4-3 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets and putting Quenneville in an exclusive club. He is the 14th NHL coach to reach 500 wins.
“I’ve been in a lot of great places. I’ve been fortunate, worked with good teams and great players,” said Quenneville, who has a career record of 500-311-132 with the Blues, Avalanche and Blackhawks over parts of 13 seasons.
Marian Hossa, playing his first game with the Blackhawks at the United Center, scored in the second round of the shootout. Columbus’ Jakub Voracek tied it in the next round, setting the stage for a goaltending battle between Steve Mason and Chicago’s Cristobal Huet before Seabrook skated in for the winner.
“You’re just hoping your guys score. Then you just try to do your job in order to make the next save,” said Mason, who is 0-5 in shootouts this season. “After that, you’re just hoping that the next one goes in, but obviously give Huet some credit. He made that one last stop that he needed.”
The 11 rounds marked the longest shootout in Blackhawks history.
“For a defenceman, you get out at centre ice and it’s definitely a different feeling,” said Seabrook, who also has two game-winning goals in overtime this season. “Huet kept us in and made some big saves. … Tonight was pretty cool.”
Huet made nine saves during the shootout and Chicago earned the victory in its first home game after an 11-day, six-game road trip.
“I tried to stay with it and focus on the next shot. Hit me, miss the net. Whatever. Just give the team a chance,” Huet said.
In regulation, Chicago got power-play goals from Jonathan Toews and Patrick Sharp and a short-handed score from Kris Versteeg. Hossa added two assists.
Kris Russell, Antoine Vermette and Samuel Pahlsson scored for the Blue Jackets.
Mason finished with 23 saves, including five in overtime. Huet had 20 and stopped a shot by Rick Nash with about 14 seconds left in the extra period, sending it to a shootout.
“When you get past six shooters as a coach you’re really not paying attention to their records because you don’t expect to go past six rounds,” Columbus coach Ken Hitchcock said. “After six or seven guys, guys on the bench are looking at you saying, ‘I can do this.”‘
And Seabrook finally did.
Russell’s hard slap shot from the top of the left circle 40 seconds into the final period went sailing past Huet and gave the Blue Jackets a 3-2 lead.
But on the power play, Duncan Keith’s shot from high between the circles hit Toews in front of the net and eluded Mason, tying it 3-3 less than five minutes in.
Versteeg took a pass from John Madden near the blue line and faked two defenders on his way down the ice before beating Mason on the glove side for a 1-0 lead with six minutes left in the opening period. It was Chicago’s sixth short-handed goal this season.
The Blue Jackets tied it in the second when Vermette jammed in a rebound from a scrum in front.
Columbus took the lead with a little less than six minutes to go in the second when Pahlsson – who played part of last season with the Blackhawks – shot the puck from the left circle and it zipped past Huet.
Sharp then scored on a power play to make it 2-2. Patrick Kane fired the puck across the crease, Sharp stopped it with his stick on the other side of the net and then flicked it in.
NOTES: The Blue Jackets put D Rostislav Klesla on injured reserve and brought up Mathieu Roy from the AHL. Klesla was injured in a mid-ice collision with St. Louis’ Barret Jackman on Monday. … Attendance was 20,363 in Chicago’s first home game since Nov. 15 following a 4-1-1 road trip.