For all of last season and the first half of this one, the Blackhawks' power play has cost them points. Sunday night was perhaps the most blatant example.
The Edmonton Oilers scored two short-handed goals 41 seconds apart to help erase a two-goal deficit en route to a 4-3 victory as an announced crowd of 10,101 braved the snow to watch two Western Conference bottom-feeders.
In Friday's win over San Jose, the Hawks got a break when the Sharks' tying goal was waved off because Steve Passmore knocked the net off its moorings. Such breaks usually even outand it didn't take long.
Hawks coach Brian Sutter said the Edmonton goals "were all broken plays in which a bounce went their way."
The Oilers' winning score55 seconds into the third periodcame when former Hawk Ethan Moreau shoveled a puck from the goal line that crawled up and over Passmore's arm and into the net.
"I can't explain what happened on the fourth goal," Sutter said.
Passmore, after a standout performance against San Jose, was making his second straight start.
"Tonight was a setback, a tough loss," Passmore said. "A lot of guys won't be sleeping tonight."
The Hawks also received a pair of gifts that staked them to a two-goal first-period lead.
With the teams playing four-on-four, Alex Zhamnov was allowed to pirouette around the faceoff circle. He beat goaltender Tommy Salo to the far side for his second goal of the season. Seven minutes later, Deron Quint sent a shot from inside the blue line that went right between Salo's legs.
But the Hawks received payback for Friday's break midway through the second period. Ryan Smyth appeared to slash Hawks defenseman Stephane Robidas at center ice, then fed Brad Isbister, who cut the lead in half. "They got away with a slash," Sutter said. "That's how they scored the first goal."
The wheels came off when the Hawks went on the power play at 13:10 of the second period.
Bryan Berard broke his stick and the Oilers had an odd-man rush. Edmonton's Jarret Stoll fired a shot from the top of the right circle that beat Passmore to tie the game.
On the same power playwith the same Hawks unit of Zhamnov, Berard, Igor Korolev, Kyle Calder and Steve Sullivan on the iceSmyth deflected a pass by Passmore for a 3-2 Oilers lead.
On Hawks power plays this season, they have scored 20 goals and allowed nine.
Nathan Dempsey tied the score late in the second period, but after Moreau scored the eventual game-winner, the Hawks had a wonderful chance to tie the game again midway through the final period. But with a two-man advantage for 1:18 they took only three shots.
"We had some quality shots," Berard said. "It seemed like we didn't have screened shots."
The Hawks had another power-play opportunity a few minutes later but also were unable to cash in.
"We had a two-goal lead, and they scored three quick ones on us," winger Mark Bell said. "At the same time, we went into the third period tied. Those are the games you have to win."Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun