Quenneville had expressed disappointment for the first time all season after the Blackhawks surrendered third-period leads and lost in regulation to the Anaheim Ducks and the Los Angeles Kings in their previous two games. He could have lived with going to overtime in both games, but it was unacceptable to pick up zero points amid a race for the top seed in the Western Conference.
Quenneville wasn’t going to stand for that again Tuesday, and his players responded by giving the full effort he required. Not only did the Blackhawks defeat the Flames 2-0, they made sure to attack until game’s end.
“I liked our game tonight,” Quenneville said. “We talked about it before the game, to welcome the challenge of playing at a certain standard of how we compete and how we play with a purpose. I thought we met the goal and the objectives.”
The Blackhawks contained the Flames from start to finish. The Flames had six shots on goal in the first period, three in the second and seven in the third. Overall, the Blackhawks outshot the opposition 35-16. (In Monday’s 5-4 loss to the Kings, the Blackhawks had been outshot 17-9 in the third period and 36-25 overall.)
“We wanted to tighten up a little bit on a few things,” Blackhawks defenseman Nick Leddy said. “I thought we did a great job in that tonight.”
And for that, Quenneville was pleased.
“I thought we talked about [finishing games] as well going into it,” Quenneville said. “Late in periods, late in game, you got to find ways to come up with points [after] you come up 0-for-4 when you look like you’re in a pretty good spot the two previous games.
“Let’s be wanting to be out there, let’s be confident in those situations and let’s do those things the right way, which we did.”