This was “just another game” and “the streak” meant nothing.
There was no convincing anybody in Tuesday night's United Center crowd of 21,423 as they thoroughly ate up every up and down of the Blackhawks' 4-3 shootout victory over the Vancouver Canucks.
The Hawks let a 3-1 lead get away late in the game as the Canucks got goals from Alexander Edler and Kevin Bieksa to tie it.
After a scoreless overtime, Patrick Kane and Andrew Shaw scored for the Hawks while Ray Emery stopped 2 of 3 Vancouver shots.
With the win, the Hawks improved to 13-0-3. In gaining at least 1 point in each of their first 16 games, the Hawks tied the season-opening mark set by the 2006-07 Anaheim Ducks, who went 12-0-4 out of the gate.
“It's a remarkable start,” Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said. “We're very happy and pleased. Guys should be proud of the achievement and where they're at, especially in a 48-game season.”
After a blistering first period that found them down 1-0, the Hawks exploded for 3 goals in the second, 1 by Patrick Sharp and 2 by Marian Hossa, who put on a dominant display before suffering an injury scare.
At 1:10 of the third period, Vancouver's Jannik Hansen clocked Hossa in the back of the head in front of the Hawks' bench.
Hossa went down and stayed on the ice for several minutes before going to the dressing room and not returning. He was named the game's No. 1 star.
Hossa suffered a severe concussion in last year's playoffs when he was taken out by a vicious hit by Phoenix' Raffi Torres.
“I saw him after the game,” Quenneville said. “He seemed OK. We'll know more (Wednesday). It was a major concern. Hopefully, he's OK.
“I think everybody saw it (the hit). Everybody can have their own opinion. We'll let the people who do that stuff (handle NHL discipline) do their job.”
There was concern for Hossa inside the Blackhawks' locker room.
“Obviously, whether it's Hoss or any of my teammates, I'm concerned,” Sharp said.
Team captain Jonathan Toews was asked about the Hansen hit.
“I saw the replay on the board,” Toews said. “It's pretty evident he wasn't reaching for the puck or anything.”
The early pace of this game was torrid. There were five breakaways in the first period, with the Hawks having three.
Canucks goalie Cory Schneider stopped Hossa on a short-handed break before Dave Bolland missed the net high during the same penalty kill. Later, Sharp couldn't convert as he tried to go stick side on Schneider.
At the other end, Hawks goalie Ray Emery denied Daniel Sedin as Sedin moved in from the right circle.
“It was an amazing pace,” Quenneville said. “When you play Vancouver, the pace is as good as there is in the game. I thought that was an exciting hockey game as far as the quantity and quality of the chances at both ends, breakaways at both ends.”
Some of the air went out of the United Center, temporarily, at 13:34 when Sedin backhanded one through Emery from the lower right circle to give the Canucks a 1-0 lead. In the second, Sharp took a nice backhand pass from Patrick Kane at 6:36 and fired the puck past Schneider.
With the Hawks on a power play at 12:45, Hossa blistered a shot past Schneider from the high slot after a feed from Johnny Oduya. Hossa did it again at 17:15, picking up the puck in the left corner, circling to the front of the net and backhanding it past Schneider.Copyright © 2013 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.