The shootout that ended the game between the Chicago Blackhawks and Nashville Predators didn’t turn out the way everyone expected. Patrick Kane missed a shot, which shocked everyone, but that’s not the unexpected part. We should rewind to see how it all came to the surprising conclusion.
The Blackhawks were dominant in the first 40 minutes of the game, outshooting the Predators 27-11 by the end of the second and having two goals in hand. But as they did in previous games, they let that lead slip away and allowed the Predators to score to tie the game. The first goal was a terrible one for which Corey Crawford would later hold himself accountable. A shot by David Legwand that left Crawford sprawled in the crease dribbled over his shoulder. As he tried to grab the puck to secure it, he pushed it across the goal line. That gave the Predators the momentum they needed to score again, although Crawford redeemed himself with a flurry of saves at the end of the third period.
With no scoring in overtime – not for lack of Kane trying a spin-o-rama move that was blocked by Pekka Rinne at the absolute last second – the game moved to a shootout. The Blackhawks shooters, consisting of Jonathan Toews, Kane, Andrew Shaw and Brandon Saad, tried their best with variations of Kane’s patented deke move. To everyone’s surprise, the only one to be successful was Toews.
With the shootout tied at one shooter each, it came down to defenseman Michal Rozsival, who to this point had been an effective player even if he didn’t have a goal to his credit. His backhand shot over Rinne’s shoulder, which he later said is the only move he knows, hit the back of the net. Sergei Kostitsyn’s miss was all the Blackhawks needed to grab two points.
The Blackhawks now have two days before their next game, which will give Patrick Sharp and Marian Hossa two more days to see if they’ll join the team against the St. Louis Blues on Thursday. It will also give Michal Handzus time to get re-acquainted with his old team. Handzus will arrive in Chicago on Tuesday and practice with the Blackhawks on Wednesday.