For the Blackhawks, it's a disappointing end to a game in which they at one point had a two goal lead, however brief. That lead disappeared at the hands of Lightning superstar Steven Stamkos, who single-handedly erased Chicago's 4-2 lead by ending the second period with two straight goals. Stamkos had also started the scoring off with the game's opening goal in the that period, but not seven minutes later the Blackhawks were in possession of the aforementioned two goal lead.
The Blackhawks will undoubtedly look back at overtime in disgust, as they were unable to put even one shot on net in the sudden death frame. Patrick Sharp led the Blackhawks with two goals, and Marion Hossa added a goal for his team leading seventh of the season. Though Chicago will leave Tampa without even a point, they will remain in first place in the Central Division throughout the night. Tonight's game concluded Chicago's first swing through the South this season, and they return home to face the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday night.
Sometimes a hockey game finishes regulation with zero total goals, and other times the two teams combine to score eight goals in one period. What was a scoreless tie going into the second period in Tampa is now still a tie, although the scoreboard looks quite a bit different at 4-4.
Tampa's Steven Stamkos (this will be a theme) started the scoring off 15 seconds into the second with his seventh goal of the season. 50 seconds later, Chicago's Patrick Sharp tied the game at one with a power play goal, which was his fourth of the season. Less than four minutes after that, Tampa's Brett Connolly lit the lamp for the second time this season to put the Lightning up 2-1. Less than two minutes after that goal, Chicago's Marian Hossa tied the game at two with his seventh goal of the season. Less than a minute later the Blackhawks took the lead for the first time with a goal from Dan Carcillo, his first of the year. A mere 12 seconds later— yes, twelve— Sharp scored for the fifth time this season and second time in the period to put Chicago up 4-2. Not to be outdone, Stamkos waited an entire 4:23 to bring Tampa within a goal; it was his second of the period and eighth of the year. And then finally, with the Tampa on the power play, Stamkos made it rain (hats) in Tampa with 33 seconds left on the clock after he scored his third goal of the period, which tied the game at 4.
As we exhale during intermission, fans in Tampa can't believe their luck, and rummage under their seats for any potential stray $100 bills.
The Blackhawks had the period's lone power play and out-shot the Lightning 15-8, but they were unable to break through Lightning goalie Dwayne Roloson. Jonathan Toews had to leave the bench in the first period after being struck in the face with a puck, and his status for the rest of the game is uncertain.
Ray Emery is in net this evening for Chicago and has handled all eight shots from Tampa Bay.
Tampa has the edge in the faceoff circle and has out-hit Chicago 6-3.
The Blackhawks are looking to complete a brief but successful tour through the state of Florida; they defeated the Panthers 3-2 in a shootout on Thursday night.
After topping the Florida Panthers 3-2 in a shootout on Thursday night, the Chicago Blackhawks (8-2-2) move on to the St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa for a 6:30 PM CST Friday night matchup against the Lightning (5-5-2).