The Chicago Blackhawks had goalie Corey Crawford pulled with just under three minutes to play in regulation. They trailed the Anaheim Ducks 2-0 and risked getting shut out for just the second time all season. Patrick Kane’s shot at tying the record for longest point-scoring streak among American-born players also hung in the balance.
As Crawford skated for the bench, Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf took a careless penalty when he purposely tripped Blackhawks forward Andrew Shaw. On the ensuing power play, Duncan Keith found Marian Hossa for a one-time blast from distance that beat goalie John Gibson clean with 1:42 remaining in regulation. 2-1.
Crawford went back in net, the puck dropped for the next faceoff and soon the Blackhawks gained control. Once again Crawford headed for the visitors’ bench. The puck moved around the Ducks zone and eventually found Kane’s stick on the half-wall. He dished an impressive saucer pass under pressure to the top of the point to Brent Seabrook, who then slid it over to Keith with an open shooting lane.
Keith wound up for a slap shot and drilled the puck. Somehow it found its way through the tiny hole left by Gibson’s outstretched arm and into the back of the net. Tie game with just 26 seconds remaining in regulation, leaving the Ducks despondent.
It was another heartbreaking moment for the Ducks, of which there have been many this season. They still had overtime, so all was not lost yet. In fact, it looked like the Ducks were inches from winning the game when Getzlaf made some nice moves before trying to hit Sami Vatanen for a backdoor pass and a wide-open net. The puck just missed Vatanen’s stick. But that was as close as they would come.
Soon after, Seabrook broke down the open ice with Artem Anisimov. He sent a hopeful pass to Anisimov, who had it roll on him before he slapped at it, putting the shot just over Gibson’s right shoulder to give the Blackhawks a seemingly miraculous 3-2 win.
Here’s a look at all three goals in the stunning comeback win for Chicago:
In clock time, all three goals came in under four minutes. It was a ridiculous stretch of hockey that showed the Blackhawks are still very much a threat for quick strikes with all of their star power. It also showed that this season for the Ducks has been one nightmare after another. They had this thing won and let it slip away.
Kane, who had the secondary assist on Keith’s game-tying marker, now has points in 18 consecutive games. That ties him with Phil Kessel and current Blackhawks TV analyst Eddie Olczyk for the longest streak by an American-born player in the NHL. It was also his league-best 35th point. The 27-year-old is on some kind of roll this year.
Ryan Getzlaf reacts to his team’s stunning loss to the Blackhawks. (USATSI)
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