Reporting Connor McKnight
Patrick Sharp’s first game back with the Blackhawks since March 20th was quite a ride. The Hawks coughed up a goal in the first 17 seconds of play and played listless hockey throughout the rest of the first. The encore to that act was going down 2-0 in the first 66 seconds of the second period.
A completely different team took the ice after Marian Hossa’s goal 7:52 into the second period lifted the Hawks’ spirits from the floor. Although Hossa seemed to have kicked the puck in, a lengthy replay determined a good goal and the Blues’ lead was cut to one.
From there the Hawks stormed back for a 3-2 lead while playing some pretty inspiring hockey.
That is, until Chris Stewart blew past Duncan Keith for a loose puck in the Blues offensive zone. Stewart was able to gain control and popped one over Corey Crawford for the equalizer.
After that it was a Malox-chugging final 9:44 before the game reached overtime when Jonathan Toews finally deposited the deciding goal into the back of the net.
No big deal.
The Hawks offensive mounted a solid offensive attack after Hossa’s goal cut the Blues’ lead to one. Tomas Kopecky reaped the rewards with his game-tying goal 13:23 into the second. Chris Campoli and Brent Seabrook combined for some crafty passing from behind the net to set up Kopecky’s 15th of the season.
Rookie defenseman Nick Leddy put the Hawks up 3-2 with his blast from the blue line 18:10 into the second. Leddy took a D-to-D pass from Duncan Keith and let it rip through a screen in front of Blues’ goaltender Ty Conklin.
The win keeps the Hawks’ fate in their hands with a home-and-home series beginning in Detroit starting Friday. The Hawks, essentially, need two points in two games to ward off Dallas and wrap up a postseason spot. That task may be a bit easier as Detroit’s Henrik Zetterberg may be out until the playoffs with an apparent lower body injury suffered Wednesday night.
The Hawks will tell you, they’ll take any help they can find.