Toews' career-best five points save Blackhawks


Toews' career-best five points save Blackhawks

ANAHEIM, Calif. The Blackhawks didnt say anything special in the second intermission on Friday afternoon; nothing they havent said the past few intermissions, anyway.

They didnt need to talk. They just needed to execute. And when that third period rolled around, they did plenty of that.

Jonathan Toews had a career-high five points and Patrick Sharp recorded his first hat trick in four years as the Blackhawks came back to beat the Anaheim Ducks 6-5. Toews, who had four points alone in the third period, is the first Blackhawk with a five-point night since March 10, 2007, when Jeff Hamilton (three goals, two assists) did it against the Phoenix Coyotes.

Youre not keeping count when youre out there on the ice, Toews said of his outing. You just know youre down one goal and you need to get another one. A couple of goals gave us the momentum and we just carried it through the last 20 minutes.

It was also Sharps first hat trick since Nov. 17, 2007 against the Detroit Red Wings.

The Blackhawks four-goal outburst in the third period helped them overcome a 4-2 Ducks lead and snap a three-game losing streak. But players said there was no special speech heading into the third. It was just reinforcing whats been said since they left Alberta, Canada.

Its just been consistent over the last 6 periods. Every period were saying the same things: be predictable, be reliable do the little things that the next guy expects you to. That work ethic finally took over, Toews said. We didnt change anything going into that third period relative to the last bunch of periods. We just finally got some breaks to win.

And coach Joel Quenneville also made a quick line change, putting Sharp on the top line with Toews and Viktor Stalberg. The change took effect quick. Toews second goal, a Duncan Keith shot that went off his skate, came 64 seconds into the period. Sharps second goal of the game came just 28 seconds later to tie it. The two would score one more each to complete the comeback.

I dont think in pro sports you respond to a rah-rah speech too many times, Sharp said. We had a good discussion with the coaching staff after the Edmonton game. We felt we could be better and we have for (the last) six periods. (We got down) 2-0 but its early in the game and we didnt even really get going at that point. We didnt change the way we played for 60 minutes and thats a sign of a good team.

Keith and Stalberg had two assists each for the Blackhawks. Bobby Ryan scored twice for the Ducks.

The Blackhawks got their moral victory in San Jose but they needed the points they got in Anaheim more. They got past early hiccups, buckled down and got rewarded for it. Now they want it one more time to finish up this road trip.

It really was a great effort across the board, Quenneville said. The guys are excited; we have a chance to get to .500 and coming off two very disappointing games and the last two were right back on track. Getting our team game back in order quickly is something I appreciate.

Blackhawks edge out Senators in shootout: 'It was really nice to get a win'

Blackhawks edge out Senators in shootout: 'It was really nice to get a win'

It was a rare sight to see the Blackhawks in a shootout on Wednesday night.

It was just the second time this season — and first time at the United Center — that the Blackhawks made it past 3-on-3 overtime. 

The last came on Dec. 2, 2017, a 3-2 shootout loss to the Stars in Dallas. On Wednesday night, the Blackhawks were on the other end, beating the Ottawa Senators 3-2 in a seven-round shootout. Nick Schmaltz netted the game-winner.

"We'll take it," coach Joel Quenneville said. "I thought we had a decent game tonight. Overtime not so good, I liked the shootout victory, Fors made some big saves for us particularly as the game got deeper. Our third was OK, I thought our first two were way better, and overtime we gave up some high quality, some bells were rings for a bit there. But it was nice to see the shootout win."

Patrick Kane had a goal and an assist, recording another multi-point game, his 16th of the season.

"I mean 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 and have a big record here down the stretch. But take it a game at a time and nice to get two points."

Anton Forsberg was a big reason the Blackhawks even recorded those two points. The 25-year-old netminder stopped 34 of 36 shots and made a handful of big saves down the stretch.

"It was really nice to get a win for sure," Forsberg said. "I would love to have a lot more wins, but right now just gotta look forward and get as many wins as possible."

Added Quenneville: "I think it was good for him to win a game the way he did. Lot of shots were on the line, as we progressed, got deeper, hitting the point first was big for him and for us and then finding a way to get the extra one was a good win."

Three Things to Watch: Blackhawks collide with Senators

NBC Sports Chicago

Three Things to Watch: Blackhawks collide with Senators

Here are Three Things to Watch when the Blackhawks take on the Ottawa Senators tonight on NBC Sports Chicago and streaming live on the NBC Sports app. Coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. with Blackhawks Pregame Live.

1. Trade chips.

The Blackhawks have reached the point in their season where they have no choice but to become sellers before the Feb. 26 deadline, and we saw that when they traded Michal Kempny to the Washington Capitals on Monday for a conditional third-round pick in 2018. Tommy Wingels could also be an attractive piece for a team looking to fill out their depth.

The Senators will definitely be sellers, and wow do they have some names potentially on the market that can fetch large returns: Derrick Brassard and Mike Hoffman are two players who log top-six minutes on a nightly basis and also have term left on their contract, which is great for teams looking to load up for this year and beyond.

The biggest name to watch, probably in the league altogether, is Erik Karlsson, who could be on the move if a team offers a big enough package for the Senators to pull the trigger now as opposed to in the offseason if they feel him re-signing is a long shot. He was the best defenseman last season, and if a team steps up to get him, they're getting two possible postseason runs out of him.

2. Artem Anisimov's experiment at left wing not working.

Joel Quenneville has tried rekindling the magic between Anisimov, Nick Schmaltz and Patrick Kane as of late, only this time Anisimov is playing the wing and it just hasn't been very effective. The trio was on the ice for each of the two 5-on-5 goals the Kings scored on Monday, and Anisimov completely lost his man on the first one.

It's important to establish a consistent left winger for Schmaltz and Kane, and maybe putting Alex DeBrincat up there is something you consider going forward as part of a long-term solution. Move Anisimov back down as the third-line center to play in more of a defensive role and continue using his big body on power plays for his offensive abilities might be the best bet.

3. Win the special teams battle.

In their last meeting against Ottawa on Jan. 9, the Blackhawks went 4-for-6 on the power play and 4-on-4 on the penalty kill in an 8-2 win. And those are two areas to look out for again.

The Senators own the 28th-ranked power play with a 16.1 percent success rate and 29th-ranked penalty kill with a 74.5 percent success rate. Get ready for another offensive outburst?