By Kelsie Plesac
The Chicago Blackhawks ended their 4-game road trip with a 4-2 loss to the Anaheim Ducks. The two top teams in the NHL faced off on Wednesday night with only five combined regulation losses. In their last meeting in February, the Ducks handed the Blackhawks a shootout loss in Chicago.
Chicago got off to a difficult start in the first period with Anaheim’s Peter Holland tallying his 3rd goal of the season after 1:24. Less than two minutes later, the Blackhawks found themselves shorthanded against the Ducks, who boast the best power play percentage in the league. It was the Blackhawks, however, that would tally a goal during the Anaheim power play with the captain, Jonathan Toews, scoring his 15th of the season at 3:52.
In the second period, Blackhawk’s defenseman Nick Leddy scored a power play goal on his 22nd birthday, making it his 4th of the season (goal, that is…not birthday). This came after another penalty on Anaheim, interference by Toni Lydman at 2:21, in which the Blackhawks did not register a shot on goal.
At 5:57 Chicago’s Brandon Bollig registered what would have been his first NHL goal and put his team up 3-1. However, after reviewing the play, officials determined that Bollig kicked the puck into the net, and the call was reversed. From that point, it was all Anaheim with Bobby Ryan tallying his 9th goal of the season after 14:33. Sixty-four seconds later, Teemu Selanne scored the go-ahead goal (7th of the season) for the Ducks, assisted by the captain, Ryan Getzlaf. Anaheim would solidify their lead with an empty net goal by Sheldon Souray (6th of the season) with 20.7 seconds left in the game.
The loss puts the Blackhawks at 24-3-3, and the win places the Ducks (22-3-4) only 3 points behind the Blackhawks in the Western Conference standings and gives them a franchise-record 12-game point streak. The Blackhawks played without Patrick Sharp and the veteran, Marian Hossa, who is out with an upper body injury suffered in Monday night’s game against the Denver Avalanche. The Ducks played without Corey Perry who was serving his fourth game in his 4-game suspension for his hit on Minnesota’s Jason Zucker. The Hawks will have four days to rest until they take on the defending Stanley Cup champions, the Los Angeles Kings, Monday, March 25 back home at the United Center.