Penalty mix-up late in Game 1

May, 16, 2010

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- The Blackhawks caught a break late in the game when replays clearly showed Dave Bolland tripping Devin Setoguchi, only to have Kris Versteeg singled out for the infraction. Bolland is one of Chicago's top penalty killers and was thus allowed to stay on the ice and help the Hawks kill one more San Jose power play to seal the victory.

Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville did not feel one bit guilty for the fortuitous turn of events on that play.

"You could talk about that. You could talk about 5-0 against us in power plays," he said. "It's one of those situations where it was a couple, three guys' sticks in the same play. I don't know at the end of the day. We still have [Jonathan] Toews and [Marian] Hossa. Pretty good penalty killers right there."

The Sharks noticed the error, but wanted to remain focused on the task at hand.

"That's the breaks that happen within a game," said Sharks coach Todd McLellan. "What we couldn't do was lose our marbles on the bench and start yelling and screaming at the referee. We had to have some poise and set up a 6-on-4 situation. Regardless of who was out there, who we had to beat, whether it was Bolland, [John] Madden or [Adam] Burish, whoever it might have been. We had to beat a good team.

"We weren't going to stand up and yell and scream. We were going to get our group organized. If they erred, they erred. We have to move on. Can't do anything about it."

We asked Versteeg about it after the game and he just smiled.

Sharks must rebound

It's hard to digest a playoff loss after launching 45 shots at the other team, but that's just the latest bout of adversity the Sharks must overcome now.

"That's the playoffs. It's always about overcoming the wins or the losses," said Sharks goalie Evgeni Nabokov, who also had a solid outing with 38 saves. "It's always the same approach. The game plan doesn't change. We have to stay on the course. Win or lose, the next game is always important."

Game 1 was evenly played, perhaps an indication of what's to come.

"That it's going to be a long series," said Sharks winger Devin Setoguchi. "We've been in every possible position, down 2-1, 2-0, up 3-0. We know what it's going to take to battle our way back into it. This one stings, but we have to forget all about it."

Sharks' top line

Joe Thornton's top line was muzzled offensively in five-on-five play, although it created a ton of chances. The line was also on for both of Chicago's goals.

"They had opportunities," said McLellan. "They produced a power-play goal for us, which was important against a very good penalty-kill team. I think what you're probably asking me is the fact that they were on the ice for two goals against and got nothing five-on-five. That happens sometimes.

"I didn't think they were poor. I thought they gave us 22 hard minutes. But with that said, I think we'll need a little bit more heading into Game 2."

Pierre LeBrun

ESPN Senior Writer




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