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Hawks save best for last vs. Penguins

PITTSBURGH -- Despite several things going against the Chicago Blackhawks early in their 3-2 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins the Hawks nearly pulled off a dramatic comeback Tuesday night.

Down 3-0 after two periods they came out hard in the third, outscoring the Penguins 2-0 and outshooting them 19-4. Coach Joel Quenneville chose not to take the easy road in assessing the night.

“You could say for 60 minutes, playing like that, we’d be in a much better spot,” he said.

For whatever reason -- probably a bad call by the refs that led to the Penguins' first goal -- the Hawks didn’t compete in the first two periods the way they know they can. In the final 20 minutes they reminded everyone what playoff hockey looks like.

“I don’t know what we were playing like in the first 40 minutes,” Viktor Stalberg said. “We basically handed them two points tonight. We have to play like we did in the third for the full game. It’s simple as that.”

Stalberg was voted the third star of the game for his play in the final period alone. He had a goal and assist after being moved back to the top line, but the Hawks couldn’t manage the tying tally.

“We played a lot better in the third, but I’m sure it’s been said before already, it’s not good enough,” Duncan Keith said. “It’s not going to win you a game.”

But it nearly did.

Slappers

  • Stalberg had a team-high nine shots on net.

  • Patrick Sharp’s nine-game point streak came to an end.

    Quotable

  • “It’s a long time. That’s the rule. That’s a long time to sit, 17 minutes. If it was two minutes and five, it’d be good. Two, five, and 10 is a little harsh.” -- Scott, on being assessed a two-minute minor penalty for instigating with Deryk Engelland plus being given five minutes for fighting and a 10-minute misconduct.

  • “He did the right thing.” -- Quenneville, on Scott coming to the aid of a teammate when he fought Engelland.