The second-half of back-to-back games haven’t treated many teams in the NHL kindly this year, and the Blackhawks were once again playing for a second time in 48 hours.
But Ray Emery showed up to play, and the Blackhawks needed him. For the third consecutive game, a shootout determined the winner of a Hawks’ game. This time, though, the outcome was different.
The Flames came in allowing the third-fewest shots against (26.2) in the NHL. However, Calgary had the worst team goals against average in the NHL, allowing 20 goals in their first five games.
Chicago failed to get the puck on net with any frequency in the game; the Blackhawks were credited with only 18 shots in regulation, and added only one more in the overtime period.
If not for an exceptional effort from Emery, the game would have been a blow-out for the Flames.
With the Blackhawks offense going into hibernation over the last four games, it has been the biggest question mark on the roster – Chicago’s goaltenders – that have come up huge. Emery was the best player on the ice for either team throughout the game, stopping 45 of 47 shots in the game.
The first Blackhawks goal of the game was scored by Patrick Kane (again), who has registered at least one point in eight of nine games this season.
At 13:23 in the third, the Blackhawks allowed a power play goal for only the second time this year, the first they have allowed on the road. The Hawks sent five players to the box on Saturday night, four of whom – Johnny Oduya, Michael Frolik, Duncan Keith and Niklas Hjalmarsson – are key members of their penalty killing unit (Brandon Saad was called for tripping in overtime).
Oduya and Hjalmarsson were the ice time leaders for the Hawks, skating over nine minutes each in the second period alone and carrying the weight of the ice time in the game. Oduya led the Hawks with 26:05 in the game.
If not for Hossa being in the right place at the right time, the game would have been the Hawks’ first regulation loss of the year. But he put a rebound into the back of the net with only 2.1 second left on the game clock, earning the Hawks another point in the season.
For the third straight game, the Blackhawks got a chance to win in a shootout. Patrick Kane found the back of the net, and Emery slammed the door against all three Flames shooters to earn the second point and finish a great evening for the veteran netminder.