Although they have yet to put a game in the win column, the Blackhawks began their regular-season home schedule by getting their first points of the season, losing 3-2 in a shootout to the Nashville Predators. Rich Peverly and J.P. Dumont scored the Nashville goals in the shootout as Nashville goaltender Dan Ellis stopped Patrick Kane and Martin Havlat for the win.
“I thought that it was a much better performance,” said head coach Denis Savard. “It’s tough not to get two points. We played harder, we competed harder. We battled harder than we have all year so far.”
The game was a dead heat through much of regulation; Martin Havlat tipped in a power play goal mid-way through the first period, only to have Shea Weber answer back with a power play goal of his own. Nashville took a 2-1 lead on a goal by Kevin Klein, but Chicago answered back with a goal by Patrick Sharp 29 seconds into the second period.
“We’re pretty much look-alike,” said Savard of Nashville. “The team that makes the fewest mistakes ends up on the winning side.”
Although the play has obviously improved over three games, there’s still plenty of room for the Hawks to improve.
“I think the previous two games we had more chances than tonight,” said Havlat. “It’s not the offense that’s costing us the game. Our overall defensive game - the whole team, not just the defense - that’s what’s costing us games.”
The Hawks will return to the ice on Wednesday against Phoenix, looking for their first win of the 2008-09 regular season.