Blackhawks' perfect start ends in shootout loss
Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford gets a pat on the helmet from Brandon Bollig after the Minnesota Wild won 3-2 in a shootout Wednesday night.
You knew the Blackhawks weren't going to go 48-0.
Their franchise record six-game winning streak to start the season came to an end Wednesday night, but at least they left the Xcel Energy Center with a point after a 3-2 loss to Minnesota in a shootout.
Zach Parise and Matt Cullen beat Hawks goalie Corey Crawford in the shootout, while Patrick Kane and Patrick Sharp failed after Jonathan Toews opened with a goal.
Sharp put a wrist shot off the crossbar after Cullen scored in the third hole for the Wild.
Hawks coach Joel Quenneville went with Sharp in the third spot instead of leading goal scorer Marian Hossa.
"I thought we got better as the game went on," Quenneville told reporters. "We might have been fortunate to be ahead, but at the same time the second part of the game we were in their end a lot more and didn't give up much."
It was 2-2 going to the third period thanks to Crawford.
The Wild went ahead 1-0 just 1:30 into the first period when Cullen got his first goal of the season on a third rebound.
Andrew Shaw's first goal of the season at 5:14 tied it as he jammed home a centering pass from Bryan Bickell, who drove hard to the net out of the corner.
Toews put the Hawks ahead 2-1 minutes later, chasing Wild starting goalie Josh Harding. Toews beat Harding with a long shot from inside the left circle at 6:45.
Niklas Backstrom was brought in to replace Harding and blanked the Hawks the rest of the way, making 28 saves.
Cal Clutterbuck made a nice deflection 59 seconds into the second period to make it 2-2. Crawford had little chance to stop Clutterbuck's tip of a shot by Tom Gilbert.
"We still feel there's a few things we can do better," Toews said. "We started a little bit slow again, and as you saw midway through the second and into the third, I'd say we got more shots on net and dictated more of the play.
"Those are the tight games, the last three or four games that we found a way to win. We were this close again and had a great chance to win in overtime and even the shootout and just came up a bit short."
Crawford made what could have been his best save of the year in the first period during a Minnesota 5-on-3 when he moved to his right to rob Pierre-Marc Bouchard on a backhander.
The Hawk penalty killers were big again, killing that 5-on-3 that lasted 1:22 and a minor penalty to Sharp that came with 2:05 to play in regulation. Niklas Hjalmarsson, Johnny Oduya and Marcus Kruger were on the ice for the bulk of the 5-on-3.
"Guys did a good job showing patience and taking away the danger shots, and Crow made a spectacular save," Quenneville said. "When you're killing a minute 20 and they're in your own end the whole time, you've got to hold your breath."
It was the second game in two nights for the Wild and the third in four nights. Minnesota showed some fatigue in the third period, but Backstrom was there when needed.
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