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Hawks rally to earn point
The way things have been going the last week for the Blackhawks, it would have been easy to just chalk it up to bad luck and get ready for the San Jose Sharks Sunday at the United Center.
Down two goals on the road is not the recipe for success in the NHL, but the Hawks were able to salvage a point Saturday night with a hard-fought 3-3 tie with Carolina before 15,613 at the RBC Center.
"I thought we showed a lot of character," forward Steve Thomas said. "We battled back from a 3-1 deficit. Nobody quit tonight."
The line of Tyler Arnason, Thomas and Shawn Thornton helped secure the point on a night in which the Hawks controlled the pay for most of game and outshot Carolina 43-28.
"That line was excellent," Hawks coach Brian Sutter said.
Boris Mironov, who was back in the lineup after being a healthy scratch Thursday against Minnesota, sent a shot from just inside the blue line that may have deflected off Arnason and changed direction on Carolina goalie Kevin Weekes, hit the post and went in at the 7-minute-32-second mark of the third period to tie the game at 3-3.
Mironov was credited with his first goal of the season.
Thornton scored his first NHL goal to give the Hawks a lead midway through the first period, with Thomas and Arnason earning the assists.
"It feels good to get the monkey off my back," Thornton said. "Playing with those guys is so easy. [Thomas] has been in the league 20 years and Arnie is so gifted."
Carolina tied it off a faceoff win in the Hawks' end, where they were terrible all night. The Hawks won just 5 of 17 faceoffs in their own end. If there was a weak spot on the Arnason line, that was it. Arnason won just 3 of 16 draws.
His clean loss to Kevyn Adams led to a point shot that hit traffic in front of Steve Passmore, who started, giving Jocelyn Thibault his first night off of the season. Eric Cole jumped on the loose puck in the slot and tied the game at 1-1 late in the first period.
"We have to keep working on it," Sutter said of the faceoff woes.
Power-play goals by Jeff O'Neilland Rod Brind'Amour gave the Hurricanes a 3-1 lead halfway through the game.
The Hawks cut it to 3-2 with a hard-working goal of their own. Mark Bell and Steve Sullivan fought for a loose puck deep in the Carolina slot and worked the puck free to Alex Zhamnov.
Zhamnov made a nifty pass to Phil Housley, who scored his second goal of the season.
"It was a tough, hard-earned character point," Sutter said.