Hawks' first of 8 at UC ends in shocking fashion
A homestand that stretches a crazy eight games?
A suddenly hot-again Marian Hossa?
It will take more than that for the Blackhawks to start playing consistent, winning hockey as they approach the stretch run of the season.
After concluding a 4-3 road trip Sunday afternoon with a 4-2 win over St. Louis, the Blackhawks returned to United Center ice Monday night. They were trying to stretch their winning streak to three games, as they faced off against the Arizona Coyotes, who entered eight games under the .500 mark.
The Blackhawks couldn't sustain their momentum, however, as they lost 3-2 in a shootout.
"We have to take advantage of it," coach Joel Quenneville said of what will be the Hawks' longest homestand of the season. "It's a situation where it was seven in a row on the road, and now we got eight (straight) at home. We got a busy week here and some tough opponents, as well."
The Blackhawks appeared to have won the game late in overtime when Andrew Shaw's shot was deflected by goalie Mike Smith and trickled toward the goal. The puck hugged the goal line, but after video review, it was ruled that it never crossed completely.
"I thought it was in, but obviously it wasn't," Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith said. "So what are you going to do about it?"
"Live, it looked like it was in," Quenneville said. "Replay you could argue, you could argue, you could argue. You could argue again tomorrow. It was awfully close."
In the shootout, Patrick Kane dazzled with nifty stickhandling and a backhanded hoist, but Arizona's Lucas Lessio and Antoine Vermette (game-winner) sneaked shots past Antti Raanta.
The Blackhawks failed to capitalize on 3 power plays, including one in OT.
"I didn't like it," Quenneville said. "It started out poorly and ended poorly."
Hossa's second goal of the game, off Jonathan Toews' second assist of the night with 7:42 left in the third period, pulled the Blackhawks even at 2-2. It was his second 2-goal game in as many days, hiking his season total to 14.
Hossa celebrated his own bobblehead night by opening the scoring in the second period. But Phoenix tied it on Shane Doan's power-play deflection past Raanta. Vermette's goal -- on another redirect -- early in the third period put the Coyotes in front at 2-1.
Playing their first home game since a 6-1 win over Arizona on Jan. 20, the Blackhawks came out strong. Hossa skated in alone on Smith in the game's first half minute but had his backhander denied. Smith also turned away quality chances by Teuvo Teravainen, Toews, Marcus Kruger and Shaw (on a redirect) in the opening period, as the Blackhawks outshot the visitors 13-9.
The Blackhawks finally broke through when Toews swept a pass from the corner to Hossa, who one-timed in a shot from point-blank range.
Hossa's second goal also came from the middle of the ice.
"I think you get rewarded in our game when you get inside and are driving the net," Quenneville said. "I don't think we did enough of that tonight."