OTTAWA, Ontario (AP)The Chicago Blackhawks overcame a sluggish start to keep the Ottawa Senators winless in their last eight games.
Jonathan Toews scored 42 seconds into overtime and assisted on Chicago’s two other goals, as the Blackhawks rallied to beat Ottawa 3-2 on Tuesday night.
A pair of goals by Dominik Kubalik tied the score at 2-all early in the third after the Blackhawks trailed 2-0 early. Kubalik has seven goals this season.
”We kind of fell asleep off the faceoff and they got a rush goal off a tough change,” Chicago head coach Jeremy Colliton said. ”The last 50 minutes or so we stuck with it. We were patient and the second period we really used it to get back in the game. It was a big two points for us.”
Robin Lehner stopped 20 shots for Chicago, which was playing its first of a three games in eastern Canada.
Connor Brown and Chris Tierney scored first-period goals for the Senators. Rookie goaltender Marcus Hogberg started in net for the third straight game and made 27 saves.
Ottawa has just one regulation win in its last 14 games (3-5-6). The Senators are winless in their last eight (0-4-4).
”Ultimately I felt we had too many passengers (Tuesday),” Ottawa coach DJ Smith said.
”We didn’t have enough guys playing hard enough (Tuesday),” he said. ”When you don’t get chances, you’re not working hard enough to get them.”
Ottawa sped to an early lead. Brown scored 3:33 into the game, banging home a rebound of a shot by Dylan DeMelo.
Tierney gave the Senators a 2-0 lead less than four minutes later, scoring his seventh of the season by tipping in a pass from Thomas Chabot.
With time running out in the second, Kubalik cut the Senators’ lead in half, deflecting a shot by Patrick Kane shot and beating Hogberg.
Kubalik then beat Ron Hainsey in a foot race 3:41 into the third and scored through Hogberg’s pads for his 18th of the season.
Hogberg has been the Senators best player of late, stopping 75 of 83 shots and helping the Senators get to overtime and a shootout through his three appearances. Despite that, he’s still looking for his second win of the season. Six of Hogberg’s last seven starts have gone to overtime.
”He’s putting in a lot of great efforts and kept us in a lot of games and made some timely saves,” said Dylan DeMelo. ”He’s been excellent. It would be nice to get one for him here.”
Lehner made an impressive two-pad save on Anthony Duclair to keep the game close early in the second. That seemed to spark the Blackhawks.
The Senators have shown flashes of solid play, but are struggling to find any consistency.
”That’s why you see St. Louis, you see Boston, you see Washington and they do it over and over every night and they don’t let up,” DeMelo said. ”We’re trying to get there and that’s obviously where we need to get to for our group and we’ll get there in time.”
NOTES: Nikita Zaitsev was back in Ottawa’s lineup for the first time since suffering an undisclosed injury Dec. 14. The Senators announced Nick Paul would likely miss a month due to a high ankle sprain. … Tuesday’s game marked the return of Zack Smith, who was traded to Chicago for Artem Anisimov in the off-season. Smith’s 612 career games with Ottawa ranks ninth in franchise history. Smith has two goals and nine points through 39 games, while Anisomov has eight goals and 10 points in 27 games with the Senators.
Blackhawks: At Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday.
Senators: Host Vegas Golden Knights on Thursday.
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