The Chicago Blackhawks have now tied the NHL record 16 game start without a regulation loss set by the Anaheim Ducks in their 2006-07 season. Another 2 points to this unstoppable record, the Blackhawks now lead the league with 29 points in a 13-0-3 season start.
The unstoppable team took tonights game back from the opposing Vancouver Canucks with three goals spread through the 2nd period after trailing 1-0 in the first. But the Hawks 3-1 lead was quickly tainted early in the 3rd by an unquestionably reckless hit on Marian Hossa by Jannik Hansen.
Hossa scored 2 goals, including a PPG and an unassisted backhand, in the second period for the home team before he was helped off the ice following the forearm hit to the back of his head by Hansen.
Big Hoss did not return to the game, and neither did the rest of the Hawks apparently, allowing in 2 goals to tie the game at 3-3 in the last three minutes of regulation play. The 5th game of the year where the Blackhawks have let their lead slip late in the third.
Unable to capitalize early on three separate breakaway opportunities (two in a 4 on 5 PK) by Hossa, Bolland and Sharp, the Blackhawks ended the first period down 1-0 to Daniel Sedin’s 5-hole shot on Ray Emery.
Emery started his 3rd consecutive game in goal with the Blackhawks tonight with starting net-minder Corey Crawford out with an upper body injury.
Patrick Sharp’s 4th goal of the year tied things up on the UC ice midway through the second and Hossa’s quick two goals brought the MadHouse to life with a 3-1 scoreboard. To combat Hossa’s unassisted goal that he was able to slip juuust around Canuck goalie Corey Schneider’s right skate, Ray Emery made a crazy save late in the 2nd period, smothering the puck with his skate to prevent it from crossing the goal line.
After the very scary seconds that Marian Hossa lay motionless on the ice in the third, the Hawks did nothing with 2 PP opportunities, but let Vancouver tie the match at 3-3 with a PPG by Alexander Edler and a slap shot by Kevin Bieska.
All tied up through regulation and OT, the Blackhawks were able to pull it off in the shootout with goals from Patrick Kane and third man Andrew Shaw. Ray Emery blocked two of three shots by the Canucks.
Marian Hossa is reported to be “OK” immediately following the game, and was not rushed to the hospital as was circulated briefly after his exit from the ice. Jennik Hansen said of the hit, “It’s a hockey play. We bumped a little hard.” strangely reminiscent of Phoenix Coyote Raffi Torres’ comment following his hit on Hoss that ended his season last year in April 2012: “I felt it was a hockey play.”
Hossa, who was just recently cleared from the concussion he sustained from the Torres hit during last years playoffs will obviously be carefully monitored over the next few days and could quite possibly be questionable for Friday’s history make-or-break game against the San Jose Sharks.
Win aside. Record tying game aside. This was a major hit to the Hawks, not just Hossa.
Hoping for the best.