Jonathan Toews had to sit out on Tuesday night. He made his healthy return to the lineup count on Thursday.
The Blackhawks weren’t able to generate much offense in the first period, but what should have been a 1-0 Chicago lead turned into a controversal 1-0 Coyotes lead.
At 15:40 into the first, it appeared that Marian Hossa scored to give the Hawks a 1-0 lead. On the play, a shove from former Blackhawks defenseman Klas Dahlbeck forced Hossa into Arizona netminder Louis Domingue before the puck went into the net. What’s important is that the ruling on the ice was a good goal for Hossa and the Hawks. But Arizona’s coaches challenged the play.
The officials, however, overturned the call saying Hossa initiated contact.
Which is ridiculous.
Hawks coach Joel Quenneville lost his mind on the bench, showing as much emotion as he has at any point as Chicago’s bench boss. Those emotions got him called for an unsportsmanlike minor penalty, and of course the Coyotes took advantage. Oliver Ekman-Larsson scored as Hossa and Toews were tied up behind the play, and what should have been a Hawks lead turned into a one goal deficit.
Only 12 shots were put on net in the first period, seven from Arizona and just five from Chicago. The Hawks were only credited with one blocked shot in the first, going to Patrick Kane.
There was no shortage of offense – or offensive play – in the second.
Hossa and Toews came out of the dressing room with purpose, and Hossa got his ninth goal of the season 2:53 into the second. Duncan Keith went to the box 40 seconds after Hossa’s goal, but that didn’t slow down the Hawks top line. With Keith in the box, Hossa found Toews for a short-handed goal to give the Hawks a 2-1 lead.
In the middle of the second period the game started to get chippy. There were a few questionable hits and slashes from both sides, and Andrew Shaw took a bad penalty while Ekman-Larsson was already in the box. Shaw put a huge hit on Zbynek Michalek behind the Hawks’ net that warranted a charging call; Shaw and Michalek were both assessed roughing calls after the play as Michalek drove Shaw’s head into the ice with his forearm.
On the power play created by Shaw’s hit, Mikkel Boedker scored his 13th of the season.
Nine seconds later, Jordan Martinook scored his seventh of the season to give Arizona a 3-2 lead.
Emotions continued to run high on the ice, and the Coyotes continued to focus on hitting the Blackhawks hard (because that’s worked so well for the Blues). Just over 14 minutes into the second, Martin Hanzal tried to finish a high check on Artemi Panarin but the puck found Kane who tied the game.
After the teams combined for 12 shots in the first period, 27 shots were put on net in the second (16 by Chicago, 11 by Arizona).
The Blackhawks came out and dominated the first half of the third period, out-shooting the Coyotes 9-2 in the first ten minutes of the period. Shane Doan and Hossa got mixed up in front of the benches and both were sent off at 6:45, and the Hawks took advantage of the 4-on-4. Artem Anisimov found Michal Rozsival all alone on the doorstep for the easy tap-in goal to give the Hawks a 4-3 lead.
Four minutes later, Doan tied the game as he somehow got the puck through Corey Crawford. The final 8:30 would come off the clock without another goal being scored, and the teams headed to overtime.
Chicago put 31 shots on net in the final 40 minutes of regulation, while Arizona had 18 in the same stretch. Crawford stopped 21 of 25 to get the game to free hockey while Domingue stopped 32 of 36. Domingue made four fantastic stops against Panarin on terrific looks to keep his fellow rookie off the board, but Panarin collected two assists in regulation.
Ekman-Larsson had a terrific regulation, getting three points and adding three hits with five shots on net; Martinook had two points in regulation for Arizona as well. Hossa and Panarin were the only Hawks skaters with multiple point efforts through 60 minutes.
In the extra five minutes, both goaltenders made some good saves to keep their team in the game. Brent Seabrook had all day with a number of bodies in front of the Arizona net but couldn’t get the shot through, but his captain took care of things moments later.
Toews skated the puck out between the circles and rifled a shot through Domingue for his second of the night. The game-winner was Toews’ eighth of the season, which is tied for the NHL lead.
The officiating was terrible both ways all night, and Arizona has good reason to be upset as Panarin got away with a blatant slash that started the break that led to Toews’ game-winner. Of course, the game wouldn’t have been tied at the end of regulation if Hossa’s goal in the first hadn’t been disallowed, but… yeah. The Hawks overcame the refs and some sloppy turnovers and picked up two more points in the standings.
Chicago heads to Dallas for a big Central Division showdown on Saturday night.