For the first time this season, the Chicago Blackhawks were facing an opponent after losing two consecutive games in regulation.
The defending Stanley Cup champions battled Western Conference rival Anaheim Ducks on Friday night at the United Center and were looking to right the ship after losing their last two.
In a tight affair, the Ducks skated to a 3-2 shootout victory over the Hawks. Kyle Palmieri scored the game-winner in the shootout for the Ducks while Ryan Getzlaf had a goal and an assist and Corey Perry a score in regulation. Jonas Hiller out-dueled Hawks goaltender Antti Raanta to earn the victory and help Anaheim snap a two-game losing skid. Anaheim also posted its fifth consecutive win over the Hawks.
Kris Versteeg had a goal and an assist and Ben Smith also found the back of the net but it wasn’t enough as the Hawks dropped their third in a row.
The Ducks struck first when they scored on their first shot on goal against Raanta. Perry redirected a shot from Getzlaf from the left circle while camped in front of the goalie.
Smith evened the score 45 seconds later when the forward ripped a shot from the top of the right circle that found its way through Hiller’s pads.
In the second period, the Hawks’ penalty kill, which entered the game ranked 29th in the league with a 72.6 percent kill rate, failed again. The unit nearly halted a Ducks man advantage but with one tick left on a penalty by Johnny Oduya for closing his hand on the puck, Getzlaf’s wrister eluded Raanta.
Again, the Hawks battled back as Versteeg converted off a rebound of his own shot from the slot while on the power play and the score was knotted at 2-2.
Raanta’s best save of the night came with 7:18 remaining in the third when sans stick he stood tall and stoned Matt Beleskey on a blast from between the circles.
In overtime, the Ducks had an apparent winning goal by Mark Fistric waved off by officials after it was determined Saku Koivu was impeding Raanta. It appeared to be a break for the Hawks as defenseman Brent Seabrook had shoved Koivu into Raanta.
Michal Handzus returned to the Hawks’ lineup after missing two games with an illness. Fellow forward Andrew Shaw missed his second consecutive game with an upper-body injury. Quenneville said Shaw was “real close” and likely will play against the Florida Panthers on Sunday night.