Canes Squander Lead, Lose 4-3 in OT to Blackhawks

Cary, NC – First the Chicago Blackhawks spotted the Canes six players, then spotted the Canes two goals, twice, before taking care of business and beating the Canes 4-3 in overtime in what was a very exciting and entertaining game. 
Whether it was a Saturday night, the Blackhawks in town, the first of the Home Grown Series or a combination of all three, the crowd was the best since opening night and the crowd was into the game from the opening faceoff.

McGinn and Skinner Score in First

The first six and a half minutes were about as exciting as hockey gets. The game was fast, hard-hitting, up and down action with the Caniacs drowning out the Hawks faithful at every opportunity. Early in the game, both teams were making a change with Noan Hanifin holding onto the puck for the changes. Tommy Wingels tried ragging the puck but wound up taking a senseless penalty in the Canes end giving the Canes the first man advantage of the game.

The Canes lost the puck after winning the faceoff, Brandon Saad picked up the puck then raced Hanifin to the Canes goal. Hanifin slashed Saad just as he shot resulting in a penalty shot. Scott Darling made the stop, and could almost say with ease as he looked calm and collected while making the save with no one happier than Hanifin. The Canes power play continues to falter even with Peters changes power play lines. Just under the seven minute mark, the Canes were solid in the Hawks end. Justin Williams had the puck along the far boards sending the puck to the low slot where Derek Ryan was trying to create traffic. Ryan attempted to deflect the puck to the net but shanked right as Brock McGinn was coming from behind the goal to backhand it in to give the Canes the 1-0 lead.

A little over two minutes later, the Canes were attaching the net again. This time it was Skinner jamming the puck in front of the goal. Skinny lifted the puck over a defender and goalie Anton Forsberg to come within inches of crossing the goal line when Brent Seabrook swiped the puck to the far boards. Skinny retrieved the puck then used two defenders as screens going right side of one and between the legs of the other then bouncing the puck off the far post for an unbelievable goal. Could be he didn’t score seconds earlier because he was too close. Both teams had 16 shots in the first which was the most exciting hockey so far this season.

McGinn’s Fourth Goal in Three Games

The action slowed just a little in the second, maybe cautious as coaches say a two-goal lead is the hardest to keep in the NHL. The Hawks were attacking in the Canes’ end and all looked fine defensively until the Jonathan Towes – with a full contingent of Towes jerseys in the stands – sent a sharp pass to an uncovered Alex Debrincat in the mid slot area, sending a one-timer over Darlings right shoulder to close the gap 2-1.

Two minutes later as the Hawks were putting pressure in the Canes end, Willie tipped a puck over to Ryan to get the puck out of the Canes zone. Ryan was covered but saw McGinn turning on his jets so he did an alley oop pass that McGinn settled down closing in on Forsberg sending a nifty backhander in to out the Canes up by two again. Not sure why or how but the Canes were called for more penalties in the second than their season average.

It’s not to imply the penalties they got weren’t justified, it’s just interesting why there wasn’t a balance. Williams got called for slashing the stick out of Hawks hands but when Teuvo Teravainen’s stick is hit so hard it catapults up 25 feet in the air, no penalty; or when Sebastin Aho is tackled from behind, no penalty.

Canes Fatigue Sets In

The Canes were much slower in the third, possibly because of playing, and winning, in Columbus the night before. If the Canes were in the Hawks’ end, it was more of a one-and-done rather than a continued attack. The Hawks are still a solid team and when Towes and Patrick Kane are both on the scoreboard, good things usually happen. Kane did get on the scoreboard when he made a pass to DeBrincat who got his second of the night to one again pull the Hawks within one.

At 11:29 of the third, Brent Seabrook passed up to Gustav Forsling up at the left point sending a low shot to the net with at least six bodies in front of Darling. Somehow the puck had eyes and found the back of the net to knot the game at three all. On the second shot of overtime, the Canes got off their second shot of the extra period, Forsling cleared the puck over to DeBribcat who passed up to Saad and made his dash to the Canes end. Saad beat Darling for the well deserved comeback win for the Hawks.

After spotting players and goals, the Hawks now taught the Canes another couple of lessons: never give up on a two-goal deficit in the third and protecting a two-goal lead in the third takes another 20 minutes of solid hockey.

Next game is Monday, November 13, 2017 against Dallas. Be There!

Canes coverage by Bob Fennel. Photos from Facebook. Read more Hurricanes coverage.