The longest game in the history of the Chicago Blackhawks franchise ended with the team coming back to Chicago with the series tied.
It started about as well as the Blackhawks could have hoped.
Patrick Maroon went to the box for boarding Niklas Hjalmarsson at 1:46 and Chicago cashed in only 28 seconds later as Andrew Shaw redirected a Duncan Keith shot past Frederik Andersen to give the Hawks an early 1-0 lead.
Clayton Stoner then went to the box, but only for two minutes after boarding Marcus Kruger. The boarding penalty could have been worth five minutes, and Stoner punching Shaw in the face after the whistle
could should have been worth another two. While Stoner sat, Marian Hossa deposited a second Blackhawks power play goal 1:04 into the advantage to extend the lead to 2-0 in the game’s opening 6:19 of play.
Unfortunately, the Hawks wouldn’t score again for… more than four periods.
Andrew Cogliano had a shot bounce off his knee and past Corey Crawford to cut the lead in half at 9:14 into the first, and the Hawks would withstand a furious final few minutes to escape the first period with a one goal lead.
Corey Perry scored at 17:30 into the second to the second period as the Hawks again struggled to clear their zone in the final five minutes of a period.
From there, the stories were between the pipes, as Andersen and Crawford both played exceptional hockey.
When the third period ended, the score was still tied. Chicago had put 28 shots on net; Anaheim had put 34 on net. Only two had reached the back of the net for both teams.
The first two overtimes saw Chicago put 23 shots on net and Anaheim another 26. None counted, including one that was headed into the net in the second overtime by Shaw.
Here’s the NHL’s explanation of the no-goal call.
Both goaltenders continued their incredible efforts well into the third period, but Marcus Kruger was able to tap a Brent Seabrook shot past Andersen 16:12 into the third overtime – or sixth period, as NBC’s announcers continually reminded us – to end the marathon.
Andrew Desjardins finished with no points, three hits and one takeaway but played an outstanding game. He logged 27:27 and controlled the puck behind Anaheim’s net to set up Seabrook for the game-winner, and stepped up on the penalty kill a couple times.
Another deadline acquisition, Antoine Vermette, also played a strong game with Teuvo Teravainen and Patrick Sharp. He won eight of 20 faceoffs and was credited with two blocked shots, four hits, three shots on net and one takeaway. The Hawks third line created a lot of good scoring chances but weren’t able to finish.
But not many skaters had much luck against two netminders who were on top of their game. Crawford made 60 (SIXTY) saves in the victory, while Andersen 53 in the loss.
Keith led all Blackhawks, predictably, in ice time. He came up “only” nine seconds short of playing 50 minutes. Niklas Hjalmarsson skated 47:36, Seabrook 47:46 and Johnny Oduya 46:06 as Chicago continued to rely heavily on their top four defensemen. All four played well throughout the game, showing an amazing amount of jump all the way to Seabrook’s final shot.
Kimmo Timonen played 16:45 and Kyle Cumiskey 18:34.
Patrick Kane led Chicago forwards with 34:26 on the ice, putting six shots on net. Shaw was credited with a team-high seven shots on net and skated 25:33, and thought he had won the game using his head.
Jonathan Toews skated 34:06 and was credited with a team-leading three takeaways and three hits. He was once again chased all over the ice by Ryan Kesler, but picked up an assist in the victory. Kruger skated 29:04 and was rewarded with the game-winner.
The teams will have to fly to Chicago and get back on the ice on Thursday night at the United Center.