Fleury nearly saves the day, but Blackhawks fall to Kraken in shootout

                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  • Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, right, makes a stop as Seattle Kraken center Yanni Gourde (37) and Blackhawks defenseman Jake McCabe, second from left, watch the puck during the first period of an NHL hockey game, Monday, Jan. 17, 2022, in Seattle.

    Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, right, makes a stop as Seattle Kraken center Yanni Gourde (37) and Blackhawks defenseman Jake McCabe, second from left, watch the puck during the first period of an NHL hockey game, Monday, Jan. 17, 2022, in Seattle. Associated Press

  • Seattle Kraken center Ryan Donato (9) scores a goal against Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury (29) during a shootout of an NHL hockey game, Monday, Jan. 17, 2022, in Seattle.

    Seattle Kraken center Ryan Donato (9) scores a goal against Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury (29) during a shootout of an NHL hockey game, Monday, Jan. 17, 2022, in Seattle. Associated Press

 
 
Updated 1/17/2022 11:23 PM

Marc-Andre Fleury's had plenty of spectacular games over his illustrious career.

Most obviously came with Pittsburgh and Vegas, but the display he put on during the Blackhawks' 3-2 shootout loss in Seattle on Monday has to rank near the top.

 

"Today I was sitting on the bench," said forward Dominik Kubalik, "and I watched the replay and was like, 'What is he doing out there?'

"It's unbelievable."

Phenomenal. Sensational. Ridiculous. Extraordinary. Remarkable. Astonishing.

Pick an adjective -- any adjective.

None do justice to what Fleury accomplished against the Kraken, especially in the third period and overtime when he thwarted 18 of 19 shots.

"Let's take the point, let's get on that plane (and) get out of here before they change their mind," said interim coach Derek King. "It was probably a good thing that Flower was on his game because he got us a point tonight."

Despite being outplayed most of the afternoon, the Hawks (15-18-6) took a 2-1 lead into the third period on goals by Dominik Kubalik (9) and Brandon Hagel (10).

by signing up you agree to our terms of service
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Seattle tied it at 2-2 early in the third period when Ryan Donato raced past a flat-footed Jake McCabe, got off a shot and cleaned up his own rebound.

After that, Fleury -- who was named the NHL's second star of the week earlier in the day -- showed us all why he's one of the best goaltenders off all time.

The save of the night, the month and quite possibly the year came when Fleury lunged to his left, stuck out his glove and somehow snared a one-timer by Jared McCann with 12:27 remaining. A stunned Jordan Eberle -- who set up McCann -- nearly fell to his knees behind the net in disbelief.

Fleury was hardly done, however, as he:

• Turned away McCann's penalty shot with 6:26 remaining.

• Stoned Joonas Donskoi from point-blank range with 19 seconds left.

• Fended off a pair of Vince Dunn attempts in the final 10 seconds of overtime.

Fleury finished with 35 saves and retreated to the bench to catch his breath before the shootout -- which is where Seattle finally solved the Hawks' netminder. After Eberle failed on his attempt, Donato got Fleury to commit and fired into a wide-open net. After Patrick Kane misfired, Donskoi won it with a shot over Fleury's left shoulder.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

In the big picture, it was a minor miracle the Hawks were in the game as they yielded 11 high-danger chances while generating only 3 themselves. Seattle also outchanced the Hawks 26-9 at even strength and finished with 74 shot attempts, 20 of which were blocked.

"We were sloppy," King admitted. "We had moments (where) we looked good, but then there was moments we looked tired. I think the travel was a little bit crazy for us. So we're gonna have to get these guys plenty of rest."

Seattle (11-23-4) snapped a nine-game losing streak.

The Hawks next host Minnesota on Friday, then play at Minnesota on Saturday and at Colorado on Monday.

0 Comments
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 
Article Comments
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.