OTTAWA – Jonathan Toews certainly doesn’t play his age.
The 19-year old Chicago Blackhawks rookie scored 2:08 into overtime Saturday night as the Chicago Blackhawks defeated the Ottawa Senators 4-3 at Scotiabank Place. The goal, along with two assists gives Toews 29 points on the season, three back of another rookie, 19-year old Patrick Kane, for the team lead.
“There’s pressure everywhere you go and for Patrick and I maybe there’s a little more pressure considering the attention we’ve gotten so far,” said Toews. “I think we put most of that pressure on ourselves.”
The game was Chicago’s first in Ottawa since 2003 and also marked the return of Martin Havlat and Patrick Lalime to Ottawa for the first time since being traded. Lalime was traded to St. Louis in 2003 and Havlat was dealt away in July 2006 to the Blackhawks via San Jose.
Neither player had a memorable evening. Lalime was the backup goaltender to Nikolai Khabibulin and Havlat left in the second period with a groin injury.
“It was a great win for us and a great two points. I was disappointed that I didn’t finish the game because I was really looking forward to it but at the end everyone was happy because we won the game,” Havlat said.
The Blackhawks (17-15-2) also got goals from Martin Lapointe, Brent Seabrook and Patrick Sharp. Dany Heatley scored twice for the Senators (22-8-4) who have now lost two in a row. Dean McAmmond had the other goal while Ray Emery made his first start since Dec. 12 when he lasted just over five minutes before leaving with a hip injury.
The Senators led 3-2 going into the third period but Sharp scored the Blackhawks’ second power-play goal of the game just 38 seconds into the period to tie it. Sharp then setup Toews for the game winner after a turnover at the Ottawa blue-line.
“It was a quick turnover and I tried to just go hard to the net and give Sharpie some room to shoot, but he said he was looking for me the whole way,” Toews said.
McAmmond opened the scoring as he beat Khabibulin with a backhander six minutes into the game while shorthanded.
Lapointe tied the game less than two minutes later when he blasted a shot from the top of the faceoff circle past Emery.
Three minutes after that Heatley capped off a flurry of action with his first goal of the game as he redirected a point shot by Wade Redden past Khabibulin. Heatley put the Senators up 3-1 three minutes into the second period before the Blackhawks got rolling.
Seabrook’s point shot hit both posts before settling in the net behind Emery at 7:21 cutting the lead to 3-2. Seconds later Duncan Keith hit another post behind Emery but this time the puck stayed out.
Four minutes later Sharp was unsuccessful on a penalty shot attempt.
At 3-1 though, the Senators had multiple chances to build a bigger lead but Khabibulin was there time and again to make a big save, especially on Heatley who had half a dozen opportunities at the hat trick.
“I had a few chances and he made a few saves. At 3-1 though, we had no business letting them back in the game,” Heatley said.
“They’re a team that if you give power play chances to they’re going to capitalize.”
Notes: In 15 road games this season the Blackhawks have allowed just five goals in 68 short-handed situations and have seven short-handed goals during those same situations. They have 11 short-handed goals overall which leads the NHL. … Jason Spezza has points in six straight games while Heatley has recorded at least one point in his past seven games. Daniel Alfredsson had a 10-game point streak stopped. … The attendance of 20,171 was the largest of the season at Scotiabank Place.