Hawks fall, but not in regulation
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The Anaheim Ducks skated into the United Center on Tuesday night 8-2-1 and looking to measure themselves against the best team in the NHL.
They left content that they had passed the test.
The Hawks didn't win, but they remained unbeaten in regulation with a 3-2 loss to the Ducks in a shootout.
Nick Bonino and Corey Perry beat Hawks goalie Corey Crawford in the shootout, while Patrick Kane and Brandon Saad were stopped by Viktor Fasth after a goal from Jonathan Toews opened the shootout.
This after the Hawks failed on two power plays in overtime.
"It's just so frustrating right now," Crawford said. "But we definitely did a lot of good things tonight."
Like kill 4 of 5 penalties, including a Ducks 5-on-3 that lasted 1:04 in the second period.
"We had some huge kills there in the second," Crawford said.
Marcus Kruger, Niklas Hjalmarsson and Brent Seabrook led the way in front of Crawford, killing the two-man advantage for the Ducks. The kill came a little more than a minute after Nick Leddy and Saad scored 28 seconds apart to wipe out a 1-0 deficit.
Leddy's goal came on a power play at 10:17 that was the result of a heavy hit by Bryan Bickell on Ryan Getzlaf that turned the game around at that point.
Brad Staubitz took exception to Bickell's clean hit on his captain and jumped the Hawks' big winger, earning a minor penalty for instigating.
Leddy beat Fasth through a screen with a shot from the right point.
Saad's goal came after the league office in Toronto reviewed a goal-mouth scramble and ruled the puck was in the net before Marian Hossa knocked it off its moorings.
Saad shot the puck while in midair.
The Hawks (10-0-3) led 2-1 late in the third period but just couldn't get it to the finish line as Andrew Cogliano scored the tying goal with 2:40 to play.
"It was a tough game," Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said. "We weren't at our best, but certainly they deserved what they got.
"That first game back (from a long road trip) you need everything going. Finding a way to get points is important as we go along here. Two is obviously the objective, but we're not complaining."
Neither was Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau.
"You always want to beat a team that's undefeated," Boudreau said. "They're by and far right now the best team in the league, so it was a test for our team. We're still trying to find a measuring stick for us, where we fit."
Fasth stayed unbeaten at 6-0-0 as he fills in for the injured Jonas Hiller.
Boudreau was asked what he liked best about Fasth's story.
"You mean that he's 30 and he played in Sweden and no one ever heard of him?" Boudreau said. "That's probably the best part. That includes me. To start the season, I didn't even know what we had.
"His demeanor is so calm. He settles everything down when he's on top of his game. He moves very Carey Price-ish, like side to side, almost robotic. It's been such a pleasant surprise."
Crawford made 8 saves in a scoreless first period, none better than his glove stop on Perry during a Ducks power play. "He was special tonight," Quenneville said. "He got us a point and did what he could do."
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