RALEIGH, N.C.—If there has been a trademark for the Blackhawks in the last month, it has been their ability to shake off adversity during the course of a game.
But Tuesday night, despite jumping to a quick lead, the Hawks couldn't withstand the hard-charging Carolina Hurricanes in a 5-3 loss.
The loss snapped a streak of five games in which the Hawks had collected at least a point and it was the most goals they have allowed since giving up nine on Nov. 4 in Dallas.
That Dallas game is becomingso far at leastthe turnaround game of the season for the Hawks. Since then, they are 8-5-2 and playing at a .600 clip. It's the kind of pace they will need the rest of the season to contend for a playoff spot.
Despite their recent play, the loss dropped the Hawks back to 13th in the Western Conference.
For the second straight game, the Hawks jumped out to a fast start, grabbing the lead at 3 minutes 33 seconds of the first period when defenseman Jaroslav Spacek pinched in on the left wing, took a pass from Rene Bourque and beat Martin Gerber.
For Spacek, it was his sixth goal of the season and his third in as many games.
Tyler Arnason, fresh off a three-assist outing Sunday in Atlanta, made it 2-0 at 11:32 of the first when he redirected a Pavel Vorobiev pass for his seventh goal of the season and his sixth point in his last four games.
But also for the second straight game, the Hawks let the lead slip away.
"We jumped to a lead and all of a sudden got away from the things that got us the lead," goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin said.
Craig Adams cut it to 2-1 with a breakaway goal at 13:11 of the first. Then the 'Canes took the lead with a pair of bizarre goals within 46 seconds in the second period.
Aaron Ward tied the game when he batted a rebound from a Justin Williams shot out of midair and past Khabibulin. Referee Tim Kowal initially waved the goal off because he thought Ward had batted the puck with his stick above the crossbar. After consulting video replay, the call was reversed and the game was tied.
Less than a minute later, Matt Cullen tried to center a pass from behind the Hawks' net that deflected off Khabibulin's stick and into the net for a 3-2 Carolina lead.
"The goal from behind the net changed the game," Hawks coach Trent Yawney said. "They gained momentum off that and we couldn't regain it."
Cullen came into the game without a goal in his previous 19 games, but added his second of the night five minutes into the third period, and Adams added his second of the night eight minutes later to make it 5-2.
Andy Hilbert scored his first goal as a Blackhawk at 16:28 for the final margin.
"We butchered a lot of offensive chances in that first period," Yawney said. "Sometimes those come back to haunt you."