The Chicago Blackhawks lost to the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-2 in a shootout on Saturday evening. The Blackhawks will be off until Wednesday when they travel for their first road game against the St. Louis Blues.
It was a strange opening period between the two teams. In a hot, humid night the puck was bouncing all over the United Center. The Blackhawks blanked the Lightning on the scoreboard and in the shot total column in the first period compiling a 12-0 edge in shots but the game would remain tied after one.
The Blackhawks would get on the board early in the first period. Patrick Kane would score his second goal of the season at the 59 second mark after receiving a pass from Bryan Bickell to beat Bishop. The Blackhawks would find a way to extend the lead with some good fortune halfway through the period. In the final seconds of a power play, Nick Leddy shot the puck in and it bounced off of the glass. For some inexplicable reason, Bishop went behind the net to retrieve it but the puck bounced off the boards in front of the net where a hard charging Brandon Saad put the puck into the net at 9:14. Saad now has two goals this season and gave the Blackhawks a 2-0 edge after forty minutes.
The third period saw the Lightning wake up after only tallying six shots in the first two periods. After Corey Crawford stopped a shot from the point and kicked out a rebound, Martin St. Louis backhanded the puck past Crawford at 10:08 of the third period. Shortly after that Jonathan Toews was sent to the box for high sticking bringing the Tampa Bay power play out for their only chance and they would capitalize as Teddy Purcell one timed a deflected pass from St. Louis to the far post at 11:51 to tie the game at 2 which is where it would remain. Even though the Blackhawks outshot the Lightning 39-16 in the game, it would be decided by a shootout.
In the shootout, Toews went five hole but was stopped by Bishop. Valtteri Filppula would stickhandle and then put the puck over the blocker of Crawford to score. Kane went forehand to backhand and tried to slide it through the legs of Bishop but failed to do it quick enough. Victor Hedman had a chance to win the game but hit the post. Meanwhile, Marian Hossa had a chance to save the game but was stopped by Bishop.
What it means
The Blackhawks remain unbeaten in regulation and got a point. But this game leaves a bitter taste in their mouths as they should have won the game easily after dominating Tampa Bay for a majority of the game. The Blackhawks finally play within their conference and face a very hot St. Louis team on Wednesday night.
3 stars of the game
3. Brandon Saad- Saad was the best player for the Blackhawks tonight. He now has four points in his first two games. Starting out on the third line seems to have decreased the pressure on Saad who had five shots on goal and four takeaways as well.
2. Martin St. Louis- The new Tampa Bay captain led his team with his play in the third period. St. Louis had one goal and one assist as he lived up to the C on his jersey.
1. Ben Bishop- There is no question that Bishop was the number one star. He was under siege for the whole night and made several huge saves. Bishop was stellar on a late power play to keep the Lightning in the game. On the night, Bishop made 37 saves on 39 shots and stopped all three shots in the shootout.