Though the Blackhawks' power play has improved as of late - scoring three goals in the past three games - the unit came up empty against the Minnesota Wild’s league-best penalty killing unit in their 2-1 loss Sunday night.
The Hawks failed to find the back of the net on seven power play opportunities Sunday, including a 5-on-3 chance in the second period.
“We had some good chances and you just have to make sure that you capitalize on them when they happen,” said Brian Campbell. “I felt early on we had good power plays and we gained lots of momentum. We had scoring chances, but sometimes they just don’t go in for you even if you do the right things.”
The Blackhawks had numerous opportunities against backup goaltender Josh Harding, who made 44 saves on the night. Their best chance - a shot by Troy Brouwer during the 5-vs.-3 man advantage which appeared to cross the goal line - was reviewed and ultimately ruled no goal.
“They have two really good goalies over there,” said Kris Versteeg. “You’ve got to give them credit. They gave us a lot of chances on the PP, but Harding made some big saves. There are going to be some night like this.”
“Harding made some nice saves and was in the right spot a lot of times,” said Duncan Keith
. “There were some times there that I thought we should have buried it, though.”
Though he was disappointed with the result of the contest, head coach Joel Quenneville said he was happy with the pressure his team kept on the Wild all game.
“It was just one of those nights where the puck didn’t go in for us,” he said. “We generated some really good looks, but at the same time they have the best penalty kill for a lot of reasons and their goalie helped them out tonight. There are no easy games, and Minnesota's always dangerous. It was a good effort by both teams out there tonight.”