Hawks just happy to grab a point as Khabibulin struggles
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Blackhawks goalie Nikolai Khabibulin returned to the scene of the greatest accomplishment in his NHL career on Thursday night.
This time the result was a little different.
For only the second time since he led Tampa Bay to the Stanley Cup in 2004 with a tense Game 7 win over Calgary, Khabibulin faced the Lightning as a visitor on its home ice.
But Khabibulin gave up 6 goals in a 6-5 loss to his former team in overtime.
Khabibulin couldn't grab a rebound of a shot by Radko Gudas at 1:16 of overtime and Martin St. Louis was there to flip the puck into the open net.
The Hawks probably were lucky to even get the game to overtime thanks to a fluky goal from Jonathan Toews with 1:49 to play in regulation.
Toews was given credit for the goal, which came when Tampa Bay defenseman Matt Carle tried a pass back into his own end from the neutral zone. The puck hit the skate of partner Gudas and went through sleeping goalie Ben Bishop.
"Again, we'll take a point, especially the way it evolved there in the third period," Hawks coach Joel Quenneville told reporters. "It was a crazy third period with some things you've never seen before. We were victimized by what we did a couple of times, but we were fortunate to get that one at the end as well. Didn't like the ending, though."
Khabibulin made only 19 saves.
"He'll be better going forward," Quenneville said.
"This is where is all happened," Khabibulin told reporters before the game. "I had such a great experience here."
Thursday's game didn't start great for Khabibulin and the Hawks as they fell behind 2-0.
The Lightning got a first-period goal from Carle on a power play at 6:28 and a short-handed goal in the second period from Nate Thompson on a 2-on-1 with B.J. Crombeen.
Bryan Bickell's third goal in as many games cut the deficit to 2-1 at the nine-minute mark of the second period.
Marian Hossa tied it at 10:36 when he tipped a Patrick Sharp shot past Bishop for his fourth goal of the season.
Steven Stamkos, who had 2 goals and 2 assists, put the Lightning back ahead 3-2 when he took advantage of a slow line change by the Hawks. Stamkos carried the puck three quarters of the ice, raced around Johnny Oduya and snapped a shot past Khabibulin.
But Patrick Kane tied it at 3-3 with 1:07 left in the second period when he picked off a turnover by Eric Brewer and raced the other way, splitting the defense and beating Bishop for his fifth goal.
Kane also had a hand in Andrew Shaw's third-period power-play goal at 1:33. It was the Hawks' first goal in the third period in nine games.
Shaw tipped in Kane's shot for his first goal of the season.
The lead lasted only until midway through the third period when Victor Hedman put a shot through Khabibulin from the right side.
Khabibulin complained that he was interfered with, but replays clearly showed defenseman Michal Rozsival shoving Stamkos into his goalie.
It was a tough night for Rozsival, who also took 2 bad stick penalties during the game.
A poor penalty by Michal Handzus for delay of game late in the third led to a power-play goal from Stamkos with 2:29 to play in regulation and a 5-4 Tampa Bay lead.
It was Khabibulin's second start of the season for the Hawks.
"We're happy to have him back," Quenneville told reporters. "He's a great pro. We wanted to get him in a game on this trip and figured he had a history here."
• Follow Tim's hockey reports on Twitter @TimSassone and check out his Between the Circles blog at dailyherald.com.
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