CHICAGO (AP) — Nick Schmaltz and the Chicago Blackhawks weren’t looking for anything fancy, and the direct approach eventually got them a much-needed win.
Schmaltz scored the deciding goal in the seventh round of the shootout to lift Chicago over the Ottawa Senators 3-2 on Wednesday night, just the Blackhawks’ second victory in 11 games.
Schmaltz fired a wrist shot between the legs of Mike Condon after Patrick Kane and rookie Alex DeBrincat connected earlier in the tiebreaker. Matt Duchene and Mike Hoffman scored in the shootout for the Senators, who lost their second straight.
Schmaltz said he had a sense of where to shoot against Condon after six rounds in only Chicago’s second shootout this season. It was Schmaltz’s first score in the shootout on just his second career attempt.
“You kind of just go with your go-to moves, trust them,” Schmaltz said. “I got a little bit of a lucky bounce there, but it’s good to see one go in.
“Obviously a big win for us.”
Kane scored his team-leading 23rd goal and set up Artem Anisimov’s 16th in regulation for the last-place Blackhawks.
“We need every point we can get at this point,” Kane said. “There’s still belief in this locker room. Obviously we need to go on quite a run, have a big record down the stretch, but take it a game at a time.”
Chicago won for the second time in three games following an eight-game losing streak.
Anton Forsberg stopped 32 shots through overtime and five of seven in the shootout, including final stop on Mark Stone.
“(Forsberg) made some big saves for us particularly as the game got deeper,” said Chicago coach Joel Quenneville, who coached his 1,600th NHL game. Only Scotty Bowman and Al Arbour have coached more.
Duchene and Zack Smith scored for the Senators in regulation, Stone had two assists, and Condon finished with 36 saves through overtime.
The Senators came back twice from one-goal deficits to tie it, then played their best late in the game.
“We adjusted well after the first (period),” Ottawa coach Guy Boucher said. “I thought our second period was really good and our third period was outstanding, and the overtime too.
“We’ve just got to keep that up.”
The Senators and Blackhawks, two teams well out of playoff contention heading into the NHL’s trade deadline on Monday, both played their first of three games in four nights.
Kane opened the scoring at 14:19 of the first after taking a drop pass from Vinnie Hinostroza and firing from the slot. The puck slithered under Condon was crossing the goal line before Kane followed through and slammed it in.
Smith tied it at 1-all 1:37 later on a tip-in from the left side of the crease. Derick Brassard set him up with a slick cross-ice pass from the right circle.
Anisimov slipped to the net, tipped in Kane’s feed from the right side and put Chicago back ahead, 2-1, at 5:52 of the second.
Duchene replied 6:09 later on a rising shot from slot that ticked off defenseman Jordan Oesterle and landed in the upper right corner of the net.
Neither team generated sustained pressure in the scoreless third, although both had a handful of chances in the final minutes. The Blackhawks failed to convert a power play — one of only three man advantages for both teams combined — late in the period.
The Senators had the better chances in overtime. Erik Karlsson and Ryan Dzingel missed on close-in attempts, and Forsberg got a glove on a shot by Thomas Chabot that then ticked off the post.
NOTES: Ottawa LW Ryan Dzingel, who has 15 goals in his second full NHL season, returned after missing two games due to a family matter in his hometown of suburban Wheaton, Illinois. … The Senators’ bus was involved in a minor accident en route to the United Center for the game. No one was injured. … Blackhawks F Anthony Duclair was back in the lineup after sitting out two games. Chicago F Patrick Sharp and F Lance Bouma were scratches. … F Alexandre Burrows and D Ben Harpur sat out for Ottawa.
Senators: Host Tampa Bay on Thursday night.
Blackhawks: Host San Jose on Friday night.