for this game

Versteeg, Toews help Blackhawks rally past Ducks

Dec 4, 2008 - 6:08 AM
CHICAGO (Ticker) -- The Chicago Blackhawks appeared on their way to another loss in their return home. But the playmaking skills of rookie Kris Versteeg helped turn an apparent setback into a thrilling victory.

Versteeg set up Martin Havlat's tying goal with less than six minutes remaining in the third period and fed captain Jonathan Toews for the winner with 95 seconds to go as the Blackhawks rallied for a 4-2 triumph over the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday.

Patrick Sharp and Dave Bolland also scored and Toews added an assist for the Blackhawks, who returned to the United Center after a 3-2-1 road trip that included a 1-0 loss to the Ducks.

"Getting a win like this was huge for us," Versteeg said. "After the way we finished the road trip and had those OT losses, and we didn't even score against Anaheim there."

"It's nice to win a close game," Toews added. "We haven't won many games (in which we were) down in the third. But we didn't give up tonight. We knew if we kept working hard, we could win this game."

Cristobal Huet made 30 saves for Chicago, which had lost three straight overall (0-2-1) and three in a row at home (0-1-2).

"I felt good," said Huet, who was making his third straight start. "I was just trying to help the team any way I could and was able to come up big when it was needed."

Teemu Selanne and defenseman Chris Pronger tallied for Anaheim, which fell to 7-2-1 in its last 10 road games.

"To a man, we're very disappointed how we finished this game," Pronger said. "We're a veteran group that has been through this many times, and for the game to end the way it did does not sit well."

On a night when the Blackhawks paid tribute to former legend Steve Larmer, Versteeg demonstrated the skills that one day could earn him a special night of his own. Entering as the NHL's leading scorer among rookies with 22 points in 23 games, the 22-year-old native of Lethbridge, Alberta added to his total by assisting on goals 4:10 apart late in the third period.

"The guy who should get a lot of the credit was Steeger, who made two great plays," Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said. "Those were highlight-reel plays. He's played with some good players, but he's certainly earned more opportunities to play with those guys."

Acquired from the Boston Bruins in February 2007, Versteeg notched the secondary assist on the tally by Havlat. Skating down the left wing, the 2004 fifth-round draft pick went around Anaheim defenseman Steve Montador before dishing the puck to blue-liner Duncan Keith, who had joined the rush.

Keith quickly made a cross-slot pass from the left faceoff circle to Havlat, whose snap shot beat goaltender Jonas Hiller at 14:15 of the third to tie the game at 2-2.

With time winding down in regulation, Versteeg pounced on a loose puck at the left side of the crease and backhanded it into the slot to Toews, who buried it for his fifth goal of the season and a 3-2 edge.

"I saw JT at the last minute out of the corner of my eye," Versteeg said. "So I tried to get the puck to him and he made a nice play."

"They got a bit of a lucky bounce there and were able to get it where (Toews) could go back door," Hiller said. "I didn't expect that. Not sure (Toews) did either."

Quenneville could not credit Versteeg enough for his performance.

"Martin Havlat scored a timely goal for us, and Jonathan Toews' goal was a big goal, but Kris Versteeg was so big setting up both of them," Quenneville said.

Toews was so animated in his celebration after scoring, he received some razzing from teammates afterward.

"The guys gave it to me on the bench for how I celebrated," he said. "I don't normally celebrate that way, but it was so good to get a goal like that."

Bolland sealed the victory with nine seconds remaining with an empty-netter.

"We're not happy with the way we finished the game, myself included after getting three penalties," said Anaheim's Ryan Getzlaf, who recorded an assist. "That can't happen."

The Blackhawks, who improved to 7-1-4 at home this season, opened the scoring with 93 seconds to go in the first session. From along the right wing boards, 2008 Calder Trophy winner Patrick Kane made a pass to Sharp, who beat Hiller high to the glove side from alone at the left hash marks during a power play for his 14th of the campaign.

The goal ended the Ducks' streak of five consecutive games without having allowed a man-advantage tally.

Anaheim cashed in on a power play of its own midway through the second period to knot the contest.

Skating below the end line on the left side of the net, captain Scott Niedermayer passed the puck to Selanne, who beat Huet from the doorstep at 9:24 for his league-leading 13th power-play goal - and 14th overall this season.

The tally also was the 566th of Selanne's career, moving the "Finnish Flash" within seven of tying Hall of Famer Mike Bossy for 18th place on the all-time list.

Anaheim grabbed a 2-1 lead just 48 seconds into the third, when Pronger unleashed a wrist shot from the right point that got past Huet, who was screened by Rob Niedermayer. The goal was the 2,997th in franchise history.

Hiller turned aside 37 shots for the Ducks, who lost for just the third time in their last 11 visits to the United Center. The Swiss goalie entered with a 5-0-0 record, two shutouts and a .957 save percentage in his previous six starts.

"Chicago knew they had to come out tonight," Hiller said. "I heard they had a bad road trip and needed to show something. We had a lead in the third period and didn't hold it. that shouldn't happen to us."






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    Ducks 2, Blackhawks 4  FinalDec 3 11:22 PM


  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ANAHEIM 0 1 1 2
    CHICAGO 1 0 3 4 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: CHI - (PP) PATRICK SHARP 14 (PATRICK KANE, JONATHAN TOEWS)
    18:27
    2ND PRD: ANA - (PP) TEEMU SELANNE 14 (SCOTT NIEDERMAYER, RYAN
    GETZLAF) 9:24
    3RD PRD: ANA - CHRIS PRONGER 6 (BRETT FESTERLING, ROB NIEDERMAYER)
    0:48
    C

    Dec 3 11:06 PM


  • NHL
    ANAHEIM 2
    CHICAGO 4
    3RD PRD: CHI - (EN) DAVE BOLLAND 4 (UNASSISTED) 19:51

    Ducks 2, Blackhawks 4  3rd - 0:09Dec 3 11:04 PM
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    RUWTbot Took away 17 roots

    Ducks 2, Blackhawks 4  3rd - 0:09Dec 3 11:04 PM


  • NHL
    ANAHEIM 2
    CHICAGO 3
    3RD PRD: CHI - JONATHAN TOEWS 5 (KRIS VERSTEEG) 18:25

    Ducks 2, Blackhawks 3  3rd - 1:35Dec 3 11:00 PM
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    Ducks 2, Blackhawks 3  3rd - 1:35Dec 3 11:00 PM


  • NHL
    ANAHEIM 2
    CHICAGO 2
    3RD PRD: CHI - MARTIN HAVLAT 7 (DUNCAN KEITH, KRIS VERSTEEG) 14:15

    Ducks 2, Blackhawks 2  3rd - 5:45Dec 3 10:52 PM
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    RUWTbot Added 17 roots (Close Finish)

    Ducks 2, Blackhawks 2  3rd - 4:00Dec 3 10:52 PM
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    Ducks 2, Blackhawks 2  3rd - 5:45Dec 3 10:52 PM


  • NHL
    ANAHEIM 2
    CHICAGO 1
    3RD PRD: ANA - CHRIS PRONGER 6 (BRETT FESTERLING, ROB NIEDERMAYER)
    0:48

    Ducks 2, Blackhawks 1  3rd - 19:12Dec 3 10:31 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ANAHEIM 0 1 1
    CHICAGO 1 0 1 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: CHI - (PP) PATRICK SHARP 14 (PATRICK KANE, JONATHAN TOEWS)
    18:27
    2ND PRD: ANA - (PP) TEEMU SELANNE 14 (SCOTT NIEDERMAYER, RYAN
    GETZLAF) 9:24
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- ---

    Dec 3 10:09 PM


  • NHL
    ANAHEIM 1
    CHICAGO 1
    2ND PRD: ANA - (PP) TEEMU SELANNE 14 (SCOTT NIEDERMAYER, RYAN GETZLAF)
    9:24

    Ducks 1, Blackhawks 1  2nd - 10:36Dec 3 9:49 PM
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    Ducks 0, Blackhawks 1  End of 1stDec 3 9:25 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ANAHEIM 0 0
    CHICAGO 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: CHI - (PP) PATRICK SHARP 14 (PATRICK KANE, JONATHAN TOEWS)
    18:27
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ANA 9 9
    CHI 17 17
    GOALIES: ANA - JONAS H

    Dec 3 9:16 PM


  • NHL
    ANAHEIM 0
    CHICAGO 1
    1ST PRD: CHI - (PP) PATRICK SHARP 14 (UNASSISTED) 18:27

    Ducks 0, Blackhawks 1  1st - 1:33Dec 3 9:14 PM