It’s apparent one of the changes the Blackhawks made on the power play this week in an attempt to get it going was to make better use of Brent Seabrook and his big shot on the left side.
Seabrook scored both goals for the Blackhawks on the power play from the left side Saturday night in a 3-2 loss to Phoenix in a shootout at the United Center.
Seabrook, a right-handed shot, has a better angle at the net on attempts from the left side.
“I think from the top over to the other side gives him a little more freedom and more of a one-time threat,” Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said.
“Seabs has a great shot, and we want him to use it. That one-time is something we’ve been stressing. He moved to the right area, especially on that second goal, a great shot, the quickness of it.”
Seabrook’s second goal at 3:39 of the second period made it 2-2 and was set up beautifully by Patrick Kane, who peeked over his left shoulder before finding his teammate in the slot with a backhand pass from the right boards.
The power play was 2-for-4, making it two games in a row with 2 goals after it went nine without one.
“I liked the power play,” Quenneville said. “I thought we had good motion, good movement, good options, thinking shot. It’s nice to see some finished product. I think that’s been definitely a sore point for a stretch of games here. It’s nice to have some positive out of it on the power-play side.”
The shootout loss snapped the Hawks’ seven-game winning streak and left them 5 points ahead of Pittsburgh in the race for first place overall.
“That’s the way it goes sometimes,” Jonathan Toews said. “We’ve found ways to win in overtime and shootouts more times than not this year. I think we still did some pretty good things.
“We have a lot of confidence that we can win those tight games, but sometimes it doesn’t go your way. We’re more happy with the way we played than the result.”
It was 2-2 going to the third period with Seabrook owning both Hawk goals on his 28th birthday. It was Seabrook’s first 2-goal game since Dec. 23, 2007, against Edmonton.
Rostislav Klesla scored the Coyotes’ first goal at 12:06 of the first period when his flip from the right blue line short-hopped Hawks goalie Corey Crawford and beat him to the glove side.
“Just a bad bounce,” Crawford said. “There was nothing I could do about it.”
Quenneville didn’t fault his goalie for that one.
“You saw one the other night with (Calgary’s Miikka) Kiprusoff; they happen and it’s just one of those things,” Quenneville said. “I don’t know how many I’ve seen this year. There were a couple real fluky ones against Detroit the other night.”
Radim Vrbata scored a few minutes later to put the Coyotes ahead 2-1.
The 2 points were sorely needed by the Coyotes to keep their playoff hopes alive. They entered the game 11th on the Western Conference, 5 points out of the eighth and final spot.
The Hawks peppered Coyotes goalie Mike Smith with 38 shots.
“We got a couple of breaks and we’ve given up some points in the shootout, so it’s great to see us get the extra one in the shootout. But we’re just trying to stay alive right now,” Phoenix coach Dave Tippett said.
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