Saturday night was a good news/bad news/OK news type of night for the Blackhawks.
Martin Havlat returned after a seven-week, 19-game layoff and had two goals and an assist, but the Hawks lost their third straight game.
But even with the 5-4 overtime loss to the Minnesota Wild, the Hawks collected a point for the sixth straight game since Denis Savard replaced Trent Yawney as head coach.
Getting points is always a good thing, but collecting just one point in every game makes for just an average team. Then again, the Hawks probably were lucky to get a point Saturday.
Jeff Hamilton and Brent Seabrook scored two goals in 25 seconds late in the third period to tie the game 4-4.
"I thought it was a great point," Havlat said. "There were too many mistakes, but everybody battled hard."
Mark Parrish scored the winner 3 minutes 18 seconds into overtime, beating Brian Boucher from a sharp angle. It was Parrish's third goal of the night.
"I [have] to be honest," Boucher said. "It was a horrible goal."
Like his teammates, it was an up-and-down night for Boucher, who filled in for an ill Nikolai Khabibulin. Boucher's attempt to catch the Wild in a line change during a Hawks power play led to Pavol Demitra's short-handed goal in the second.
But Boucher also made some sparkling saves when the Wild wasn't hitting the goal post five times. It was Boucher's first game since allowing three goals on seven shots before being lifted Nov. 24 in Edmonton.
"Boucher played good," Savard said. "It's tough when you've played once in two weeks."
Havlat has played once in seven weeks and looked like he did before suffering the high ankle sprain Oct. 20 in Dallas. He ended up playing 22:42 with five shots on goal.
"The legs weren't there, but it was better than I thought it was going to be," Havlat said. "We'll see how I feel [Sunday]."
Havlat's first goal came after Tuomo Ruutu won a faceoff cleanly. Havlat kicked the puck to his stick and fired it past Manny Fernandez at 8:34 of the first period. His second came on the power playsnapping an 0-for-36 Hawks stretchwhen he beat Fernandez from the right faceoff dot.
"The goals were a plus," Havlat said. "I just wanted to play a smart, simple game."
The Wild scored three power-play goals, the most the Hawks have allowed since Oct. 31 against the Islanders. Radim Vrbata was scratched with an injured left wrist. He suffered the injury late in Thursday's 2-1 loss to Phoenix. After making the trip Friday, he flew back to Chicago on Saturday to have the wrist examined. Khabibulin took part in the pregame warmups but did not sit on the bench during the game. Saturday was the first game Khabibulin didn't play since he returned from his broken finger on Nov. 17. Havlat wasn't sure he would be making the trip. They didn't decide until after practice Friday and Havlat had to return home to get a change of clothes. Friday traffic en route to O'Hare caused him to miss the team charter. He flew commercially two hours later. Havlat wore an "A" Saturday as assistant captain. Bryan Smolinski and Martin Lapointe also wore an "A" with captain Adrian Aucoin still out with a groin injury. Aucoin has missed the last seven games with no target date for a return.
firstname.lastname@example.orgCopyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times