The Blackhawks left goalie Corey Crawford with little action for the first period against the Tampa Bay Lightning Saturday.
In a period with a mere seven shots on goal, the Lightning tallied none. In fact, both teams entered the first intermission scoreless. Defenseman Mike Kotska debuted with the team Saturday. The last time the Blackhawks held a team that long without so much as a shot was in 1946 against Detroit.
Patrick Kane broke the scoreless game about a minute into the second period. Brandon Saad capitalized on an inadvertent empty net at the end of a Power Play halfway through the second period when Tampa Bay Goalie Ben Bishop left the goal open.
More more than halfway through the game, the Lightning had only three SOG.
“That means we’re playing well defensively, but at the same time we’re not playing to win periods … we’re playing to win games,” Chicago forward Ben Smith told media.
Veteran star Marty St. Louis scored a backhand goal in the third shortly followed by right winger Teddy Purcell’s power play goal to tie the game with about nine minutes left.
Exposing weakness on both the Power Play and the Penalty Kill, this second game of the season, the Blackhawks weren’t able to get back ahead during regulation or in the first overtime.
Tampa Bay’s Valtteri Filppula performer where Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, and Marian Hossa could not, beating a goalie in the shootout, giving the lightning an overtime win.
Despite being outshot 39-16 overall, the Lightning took home a win.
Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper told media his team stole one in Chicago.
“Let’s call a spade a spade: there’s a reason they’re the Stanley Cup champs and they showed us for most of the game why they’re the best team in the league,” he said. “We needed Ben Bishop to stand tall if we had any chance of coming back, and he did. We just hung around. You get one, and then we were opportunistic on our power play, and snuck out with a win. I was looking for the police when we left the locker room because I thought we’d get arrested for stealing.”
Chicago fans can only hope this encourages the Blackhawks to work harder on policing their own Power Play and get back the Penalty Kill performance they’ve shown historically.