Considering the way this season has gone, it really shouldn't have come as too big a surprise.
The Blackhawks have left many scratching their heads at times and that continued Sunday, when they were assessed a penalty for putting the wrong starting lineup on the ice to start their 4-1 loss to the Mighty Ducks.
Trying to keep pace with their rivals up the freeway, the Los Angeles Kings, the Ducks scored twice in the first 3 minutes 20 seconds of the third period to snap a 1-1 tie.
The Ducks trail the Kings by four points for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Dustin Penner scored from the goal line, sending a shot through the pads of Adam Munro 17 seconds into the period, and Corey Perry redirected a pass from Ryan Getlaf to hand the Hawks their ninth loss in their last 11 games in Anaheim.
The Hawks haven't won in Anaheim since Feb. 7, 2001.
Penner "just threw it at the net," Munro said. "It's something you have to have. The team was playing well and I have to help them out."
Sunday's was the final game before the Olympic break and apparently everyone, including coach Trent Yawney, can use a little time away from the ice.
The Hawks won't be back in action until March 1.
"It's never good to end it like that," winger Kyle Calder said.
The lineup Yawney turned in to officials had Munro, Duncan Keith, Jim Vandermeer, Mark Bell, Calder and Radim Vrbata as his starters. But instead of Vrbata, Rene Bourque was was on the ice to start the game.
After a couple of minutes of play, Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle pointed out the discrepancy and the Hawks were given a two-minute penalty.
"I just circled the wrong guy," Yawney said.
They killed the penalty, so the mishap was just an embarrassing incident, something the Hawks have become accustomed to dealing with the last couple of years.
They were unable, however, to kill the first of two Brent Seabrook penalties in the opening period.
Joffrey Lupol scored the first of his two goals at 6:55 of the first to give Anaheim the lead. Lupol also closed the scoring with an empty-net goal at 18:24.
The Hawks tied the game at 3:51 of the second period when Patrick Sharp picked up his first goal in 25 games since being acquired by Philadelphia.
The Hawks are expected to send Munro and defensemen James Wisniewski and Danny Richmond back to Norfolk on Monday. For Munro, Sunday may have been his last game as a Hawk, barring injury.
With Nikolai Khabibulin expected back after the Olympic break and Craig Anderson playing better since returning from waivers, Munro appears to be the odd man out.
Yawney said he was considering talking to the team on the flight home Sunday but didn't have any specific instructions.
"It's been a difficult year for everybody," Yawney said. "Getting away sometimes doesn't hurt. It's like a new start."Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times