The start was disappointing enough for the Chicago Blackhawks. The end was even worse.
The Hawks gave up two goals in the first 47 seconds of Thursday night's game against San Jose, and then had an apparent overtime score overruled for kicking the puck.
The result: a 2-2 tie with the winless Sharks.
"It bounced off my foot. It was an instinctive thing. I don't know whether I kicked it or not," said Chad Kilger, whose apparent goal with 23.3 seconds left in sudden death was wiped off because the puck hit his foot.
"There was a definite possibility it was kicked in. It happened so fast, I don't know for sure. When you score in overtime, you know they are going to review it."
The Hawks were celebrating on the ice but referee Dave Jackson checked with replay official Randy Krawiec, who ruled the puck was kicked in. Fans then littered the ice with debris in protest and held up the final seconds for several minutes.
"I didn't see it go in," said San Jose goalie Steve Shields, making his first start of the season. "I was down and just getting off my back. I had no idea he kicked it. Our defense yelled, `No goal,' but that sort of thing happens all of the time."
A bench minor on the Sharks for throwing a stick on the ice to Owen Nolan gave Chicago a two-man advantage at 3:14 of the final period.
Forty seconds later, Eric Daze just grazed Chris Chelios' slap shot from high in the slot and it sailed past Shields, tying it at 2.
The Sharks stunned Chicago with two goals in the opening mnute.
"Obviously the start was not a good one," Chicago coach Dirk Graham said, hammering a theme he has been hitting all season. "Our veterans are not getting the job done in that way. The veteran leadership was not ready tonight."
Nolan scored 19 seconds in when his wrist shot from just off the right circle deflected off Blackhawks defenseman Doug Zmolek's right shoulder and into the net past a startled Jeff Hackett.
Less than a half-minute later, former Chicago forward Joe Murphy's backhander deflected off the ankle of Chicago's Remi Royer and into the net.
"Hackett was rattled early when we got the two goals. We should have kept the pressure going and gotten more," Nolan said.
Chicago made it 2-1 when Doug Gilmour went behind the net and centered a pass to Tony Amonte for his fourth goal of the season. It was the 800th assist of Gilmour's career.
Murphy left the game in the second period, hobbling off with a pulled hamstring after stumbling as he was skating in from the left side for a shot.
San Jose was 0-for-7 on the power play to 1-for-8 for Chicago.
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