Wednesday night was a better night for the Chicago Mission than it was for the Chicago Blackahwks.
Brent Seabrook opened the scoring with a (gasp!) power play goal for Chicago at 5:29 into the game. Patrick Kane and Nick Schmaltz picked up the assists, and it felt like there was a chance the Hawks had shown up for a prime time game on national television.
Unfortunately, Seabrook assumed he was going to get a whistle on a potential icing play 11 minutes later. That whistle never happened and Mitch Marner tied the game with his seventh of the year.
The Hawks out-shot the Leafs 17-11 in the first period, though, and it looked like Chicago came to play.
Then the second period did everything but cure insomnia.
Both sides killed two penalties in the second and Toronto held an 11-7 shot advantage.
In the third, things started to heat up.
Tomas Jurco took a bad penalty at 3:23 and the Leafs made it count. Nazem Kadri scored his 14th of the season – but only his second since the start of December – to give Toronto a lead.
But Marner opened the door when he caught Seabrook with a high stick. The clouds parted, the angels sang and the Blackhawks scored a second power play goal in one game!
Schmaltz picked up the loose change on the doorstep and a replay deemed that Artem Anisimov did not interfere with Toronto’s Frederik Andersen. Schmaltz’s 13th of the season tied the game at two.
Seabrook went to the box 58 seconds after the Schmaltz goal but the Blackhawks survived the penalty and the game headed to overtime.
Jeff Glass did a good enough job keeping his team in the game through 60 minutes. He stopped 33 of 35 in regulation.
Patrick Kane and Alex DeBrincat led the Hawks with five shots on net in regulation. And Jonathan Toews won 11 of 15 at the dot.
But none of those numbers would matter in overtime.
Auston Matthews smoked Schmaltz on the faceoff to start overtime and William Nylander blew past Duncan Keith to get a shot on net only 6 seconds into the overtime. Keith was called for a hook and Nylander got a penalty shot, which he converted.
And the Blackhawks turned a critical four-game homestand into a 0-3-1 disappointment.
Schmaltz had a two-point night to lead Chicago, but it was his former teammate with the Chicago Mission – Nylander – who was the hero at the United Center.
The Hawks are in Detroit on Thursday.