Another third period lead evaporated, but the Blackhawks were able to score twice in the shootout to take two points from the Panthers in Florida on Tuesday night.
Jonathan Toews and Bryan Bickell scored in the second period to give the Hawks a 2-0 lead and the Blackhawks appeared to have control of the game at the end of 40 minutes.
But two Florida goals in less than three minutes in the middle of the third tied the game, and 65 minutes of hockey weren’t enough for a decision.
Tim Thomas started the game and actually played fairly well, stopping 25 of 27 shots. But he appeared to tweak his groin while blocking a shot from Andrew Shaw with three minutes left in regulation and he left the ice. Young Jacob Markstrom came in and faced more shots in the shootout (three) than he did in 7:41 of game time (two).
Markstrom stopped one shot in regulation and one in the overtime period, but allowed goals to Toews and Patrick Sharp in the shootout.
Toews won 15 of 21 faceoffs and had two hits in the game to lead the Blackhawks. Andrew Shaw won five of 13 faceoffs and led the Hawks with five hits.
Sheldon Brookbank played one of his best games in a Chicago sweater, earning almost 20 minutes of ice time in the victory. He was credited with only one blocked shot and two hits, but broke up a 2-on-1 and played the puck well. Because Brookbank and Nick Leddy played well on the Hawks’ third pair, the highest ice time total on the blue line was 23:27 for Duncan Keith.
Keith had one assist in the game, but was minus-two with two giveaways. One of Keith’s turnovers led to the game-tying goal, an unassisted tally from Dmitry Kulikov.
On special teams, the Hawks killed the only Panthers power play of the night and were successful in converting one of their two advantages.
Corey Crawford stopped 20 of 22 in the victory, and improved his season record to 5-1-2. Nikolai Khabibulin is expected to start in Tampa Bay on Thursday night.