A wild, back-and-forth game in Tampa ended with Martin St. Louis burying a rebound as the Lightning overcame an epic mistake to beat the Blackhawks 6-5 in overtime on Thursday night.
The box score reads like an all-star game. When the dust settled, Steven Stamkos had a four-point night (two goals, two assists) and St. Louis had a two-point night (one of each) for Tampa while Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews had a goal and an assist each in a high-scoring affair that included one of the most ridiculous goals you’ll ever see.
Chicago was searching for scoring, and worked hard enough in the offensive zone to produce four goals (if we’re honest about number five). The Hawks put 43 shots on net and Tampa blocked another 16 in the game. Unfortunately, the other end of the ice and special teams were problems all night.
After Tampa re-captured the lead with a power play goal late in the third period, “Toews scored a game-tying goal.” And by Toews scored, we mean Matt Carle made a simple pass from the middle of the ice back to Radko Gudas… who redirected the puck squarely on net from between the faceoff circles and between Ben Bishop’s legs for a score.
Here’s the video:
Nikolai Khabibulin wasn’t very good in the game. He struggled with rebound control, and a skilled Tampa team abused him in scoring six times on only 25 shots. While Khabibulin wasn’t very good, he didn’t get a lot of help from the skaters in front of him.
Special teams for the Hawks were atrocious. They scored once in six power plays, allowed two power play goals in four short-handed situations and also allowed a short-handed goal in the second period.
Michal Rozsival spent 12:23 on the ice and four minutes in the penalty box and had a less-than-stellar evening. Michal Handzus spent 13:56 on the ice, but was sent to the box for a terrible delay of game penalty with less than three minutes remaining in regulation; the Bolts took the lead during that penalty.
Not every aspect of the game was terrible, though. Bryan Bickell scored for the third straight game. Marian Hossa scored his fourth of the year only 96 seconds after Bickell’s goal to tie the game at two. And Andrew Shaw was credited with the Hawks’ lone power play goal, tipping in a Kane shot.
Toews and Kane were each credited with seven shots on goal, and Toews won 16 of 30 faceoffs while skating 24:17 in the game. Meanwhile, Brent Seabrook made fantasy hockey players happy with two hits, one assist and was somehow plus-four on the night.
By going to overtime, the Hawks have a point in nine of 10 games to start the 2013-14 season. Unfortunately, four of their last five games have gone to overtime (three ended in the shootout) and five of their first 10 contests have been decided in extra hockey.