The return of rookie center Jonathan Toews from a knee injury gave the Blackhawks an emotional lift Sunday night, but not enough of a jolt on offense.
The Hawks lost for the sixth time in seven games as the Vancouver Canucks defeated them 3-2 in a shootout before a crowd of 18,630 at GM Place. The loss was the Hawks' fourth defeat in five games on their current seven-game trip, but they did earn their second point of the trip.
Ryan Shannon scored the only goal of the shootout on a controversial goal when he ran into goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin as he scored on a spinning move.
"To me that's interference," Hawks coach Denis Savard said. "A goalie shouldn't be able to get bumped. What's the difference if a guy goes right at the goalie and runs him right out? I don't think there's any difference there."
Said Khabibulin, who responded with a punch to Shannon's helmet:
"I guess there's no such rule against it. If there's no rule, I guess he can do that. But he's going to pay the price for that.
"We were pretty close to getting two points, but I didn't make the last stop (Naslund's goal late in the third period) and they played it pretty well six on five (after pulling the goalie).
"Show me one goaltender who's going to be happy if he stays in the [crease] and somebody bumps him. I don't care if it's a penalty shot or not."
Toews, who along with Patrick Kane and Patrick Sharp missed on shootout attempts, said: "You want to win those. Especially when you're up one goal and they come back and tie it up late in the game, it's hard to swallow."
Overtime was enlivened when the Canucks' Daniel Sedin was awarded a penalty shot after the Hawks' Brent Sopel was ruled to have knocked the net off its moorings intentionally. But Sedin fanned on the penalty shot.
Cam Barker scored with 4 minutes 5 seconds remaining in the third period to give the Hawks a 2-1 lead when his shot from inside the blue line was deflected high into the air, fell behind Vancouver goaltender Roberto Luongo and trickled into the net. It was Barker's second goal of the season.
Toews set up Sharp at the 5:44 mark of the third period to tie the game 1-1. He sent a pass between the circles to Sharp, who fired a wrist shot past Luongo for his 26th goal of the season.
After a scoreless first period, fortunes changed instantly at the 1:43 mark of the second period when Sharp's slap shot banged off the post behind Luongo. Henrik Sedin picked up the rebound and fed a streaking Alexandre Burrows, who skated in on Khabibulin and beat him with a back-hander to give the Canucks a 1-0 lead.
Khabibulin was strong for the second consecutive game, making 32 saves.
The Hawks' Adam Burish dropped the gloves and traded punches with Vancouver's Byron Ritchie two seconds into the game. Later in the hard-hitting period, Hawks forward Dustin Byfuglien got into a skirmish with the Canucks' Nathan McIver.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun