Heading into the six-game road trip the Blackhawks completed on Wednesday, the team was on a five-game winning streak and appeared to be surging back into a playoff spot.
Then the first three games of the roadie were all losses and the Blackhawks' inconsistency this season showed once again. The Blackhawks finished the road trip with a 5-2 win at the New York Rangers to claim five points from the final three games of the trip.
Rookie goaltender Jeff Glass started all three games to close out the road trip, a 4-3 overtime win in Edmonton, a 4-3 overtime loss in Calgary and this 5-2 win against the Rangers. Glass, who made his NHL debut in Edmonton, once again proved to be a competent fill-in while Corey Crawford is out injured. He had 23 saves on Wednesday.
The Blackhawks are still on the outside looking in as far as the playoffs are concerned, but earning five points out of a possible six and getting at least one point from the final three games out of the road trip gives the team some momentum as it returns home.
Vinnie Hinostroza and Nick Schmaltz both had go-ahead goals for the Blackhawks, but it was Patrick Sharp's third-period goal that ended up being the game-winner.
Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane added empty-net goals.
Even though the Blackhawks are returning home, it doesn't get easier in the short-term with the Western Conference-leading Vegas Golden Knights heading to the United Center on Friday. While the Golden Knights aren't a bad road team (10-7-1), they have done most of their damage in Nevada with a 17-2-1 home record. Watch the video above to see Pat Boyle, Steve Konroyd and Adam Burish preview that game and the following home game against Edmonton on Sunday.