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Thursday, March 21, 2013
Hawks won't let Ducks' rally derail them

By Dan Arritt

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- The Chicago Blackhawks were 5 minutes away from a perfect road trip Wednesday night, then they left the Anaheim Ducks a sliver to slip through.

The Ducks scored three goals in those final minutes, turning a one-goal deficit into a 4-2 victory in front of the largest crowd to watch an NHL game at Honda Center. The Ducks now trail Chicago by three points for the West lead.

Jonathan Toews
"Other than the way tonight's game finished, it was a good road trip," Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews said after Wednesday's loss to the Ducks. "We've really been building our game and playing smart as a team."
Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said the result felt similar to the 3-2 shootout loss Chicago experienced against the visiting Ducks on Feb. 12, when Anaheim scored the tying goal with 2:40 left.

“It’s a seven-point swing when you look at it,” Quenneville said.

But the Blackhawks also reiterated they weren’t going to let the loss douse their mood, not after winning the first three games on the road trip, including a 5-2 victory Monday against the Colorado Avalanche, the team that earlier ended Chicago's NHL-record 24-game point streak to start the season.

“Other than the way tonight’s game finished, it was a good road trip,” said center Jonathan Toews, who scored a short-handed goal early in the first period to tie the score, 1-1. “We’ve really been building our game and playing smart as a team.”

And that was without last season’s leading goal scorer, Patrick Sharp, who missed his sixth consecutive game Wednesday with a shoulder injury, and most recently second-leading scorer Marian Hossa, who went down with an upper-body injury Monday against the Avalanche and sat against the Ducks.

Sharp is expected to be out another two to three weeks. Quenneville sounded more optimistic about Hossa, offering “I hope so” when asked if Hossa would be available for Monday’s home game against the defending Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings.

“We’re not going to get too down,” said defenseman Duncan Keith. “Just, basically, the game came down to a couple plays at the end. We know we can be better and a little more sharp.”

The Blackhawks plan to use the next couple of days to “recharge the batteries,” as Toews said, and get ready for a three-game homestand that also includes a visit from the Ducks on March 29.

“We’ll use those four days and get back at it and be excited,” Toews said.