Another night of special teams struggles for the Blackhawks ended with a loss in spite of a good even strength performance.
The Blackhawks went to the penalty kill less than five minutes into the game when Tyler Motte tripped Johnny Gaudreau. And, not surprisingly, the Flames converted to take an early 1-0 lead.
Even though Chicago also had a power play in the first, Calgary out-shot the home Hawks 13-7 in the opening 20 minutes. To say the effort was lackluster would be an understatement.
Chicago opened the second with a bang as Patrick Kane tied the game 92 seconds into the middle frame. Artem Anisimov, who was named one of the league’s three stars for last week earlier in the day, was credited with the lone assist on Kane’s second of the season.
But another penalty, this time on Richard Panik for roughing TJ Brodie, cost the Hawks as Calgary took advantage once again. Two penalties, two power play goals against and the Hawks were trailing 2-1 seven minutes into the second period.
While the offense continued to remain dormant, the penalty kill actually showed signs of life in the later stages of the second. Artemi Panarin served two minutes for high-sticking Deryk Engelland and then Motte went back to the box for four minutes for high-sticking Brodie. Chicago successfully killed those three penalties to stay within one through 40 minutes of hockey.
Unfortunately, when the third period began, Gustav Forsling did not return to the bench. He left after getting hammered by Lance Bouma and went directly to the room. The five remaining defensemen in the game included Michal Rozsival, who dressed for the first time this regular season.
Down a defenseman and needing to generate offense, the Hawks’ blue line was more active to open the third period and it paid off. Brian Campbell scored his first of the season at 4:12 into the third, tying the game at two.
After forgetting how to look like an elite netminder for much of the early going this year, Brian Elliott dusted off a dominant sequence late in regulation to preserve at least one point for the Flames and force overtime.
Both goaltenders were tremendous in regulation. Corey Crawford stopped 25 of 27 in regulation, allowing only the two power play goals. Elliott allowed two goals against 24 shots in the opening 60 minutes.
For the second time in as many contests (technically the third), the Blackhawks got an overtime power play when Michael Frolik went to the box 46 seconds into the extra session. And, as they did with two power plays against Toronto on Saturday, the Blackhawks failed to capitalize and were forced to allowing a shootout decide the contest.
It took seven rounds of shooters to finally have someone score, and it was Kris Versteeg closing the book on his former teammates.
Rozsival blocked two shots and led Chicago with three hits in 16:39. Niklas Hjalmarsson, Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook were all over 25 minutes in the loss after Forsling went down in the second. Campbell finished over 21 minutes as well.
The Hawks were awful at the dot again on Monday night. Jonathan Toews won 19 of 28, but the rest of the box score was ugly in the faceoff department. Anisimov won four of 19 and Nick Schmaltz won only two of nine.