Blackhawks

Four takeaways: Blackhawks lose in overtime, but live to fight another day

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USA TODAY

Four takeaways: Blackhawks lose in overtime, but live to fight another day

Here are four takeaways from the Blackhawks' 4-3 overtime loss to the Winnipeg Jets at the United Center on Monday:

1. Live to fight another day

Entering the final week of the NHL regular season, the Blackhawks know they're running out of rope. And with the Colorado Avalanche rallying from 2-0 down to force overtime, it put the Blackhawks in a position where they had to pick up at least one point or else they'd be eliminated from contention.

And Dylan Strome saved the day.

Trailing 3-2 in the final minutes of the third period, Strome tied it up with 2:20 left for his second of the night after he had gone 12 straight without a goal. The Blackhawks eventually got it to overtime, which was the key, and it kept their playoff hopes alive ... barely.

"It was a huge goal to get it to overtime," Duncan Keith said. "Obviously, we needed that. Somehow, live to fight another day and we just worry about the next game and doing everything we can to just focus on that and trying to win the game."

2. The Captain ties and sets personal best

Jonathan Toews has never been regarded as an elite offensive player. The thing that makes him great is his effectiveness when it comes to playing a 200-foot game. He's a coach's dream to have in a franchise centerman. It's why Mike Babcock has such an appreciation for Toews, because he's been a key part of Team Canada's success internationally.

After scoring a goal on Monday, Toews tied his career-high in goals (34) originally set in 2008-09 and established a new career-high in points (77) from 2010-11. The most impressive part of his season is that he hasn't gone more than three points without recording at least one point. 

The underlying metrics suggested the Blackhawks captain was due for a bounce-back season offensively and that's exactly what's happened.

"It's nice to produce day in, day out," Toews said. "I think that's always the focus. If you're thinking about numbers way before the fact I don't think that's going to get you very far, so just trying to get back to my game and create offense but also play the right way. There's always room for improvement in any part of your game, but definitely nice to be able to go out there and contribute offensively and just feel like you're going into a game and good things are going to happen. You can keep kind of repeating that same feeling every day."

3. Reuniting the nuclear option

When the Blackhawks were playing their best hockey, Drake Caggiula was on the top line with Patrick Kane and Toews and it oddly worked — not just that group, but the balance up and down their lineup. So with their backs against the wall, Jeremy Colliton went back to his nuclear option.

And it worked for the most part.

Three of the four lines finished with positive possession numbers at 5-on-5. When the Caggiula-Toews-Kane trio was on the ice together, the Blackhawks controlled 59.1 percent of the shot attempts and 60 percent of the scoring chances, according to naturalstattrick.com. It wouldn't be surprising to see them go back to it on Wednesday.

"I think it's probably as good as we've played when they were together and as good as those two have played when Caggiula was with them, so obviously we missed him," Colliton said. "Whether you go to it right away or not, felt like we should go back to it at some point and I thought they had some good shifts. That's what we're looking for, still working on the right combos."

4. Time to scoreboard watch

The Blackhawks will be off on Tuesday, but we've reached the time of year where they aren't afraid to admit that scoreboard watching is a thing. The Avalanche host the Edmonton Oilers at 8 p.m. CT in the second of a back-to-back, and if they record a point, the Blackhawks will be eliminated from playoff contention.

"It’s probably a good idea to watch and see what happens," Strome said. "Hopefully Edmonton ... I mean, we put ourselves in this position where we have to hope other teams win, so it’s not where we want to be. But sometimes in hockey you need some luck. So hopefully we can get some the next three games.”

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Blackhawks Rewind: Game 3 of 2010 Western Conference Semifinals

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AP

Blackhawks Rewind: Game 3 of 2010 Western Conference Semifinals

Dustin Byfuglien and the Blackhawks rode the momentum from Game 2's series-tying 4-2 victory at the United Center to have a decisive 5-2 road win in Game 3 and pull ahead in the series 2-1.

Saturday night at 7 p.m. central on NBC Sports Chicago you can re-watch the game where Byfuglien had a hat trick, Kris Versteeg had a first-period goal and Marian Hossa scored in the third.

Two of Byfuglien's three goals came from rebounds on the power play while he was in front of the net. The 2010 Stanley Cup champ was moved to forward and skated on the Hawks' top line with Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane after playing as a defenseman in Game 2.

Versteeg kicked off the scoring 5:19 into the contest and Hossa's goal came at 7:42 of the third to give the Hawks a 4-2 lead. Byfuglien completed his hat trick for the 5-2 final score with 6:02 remaining in regulation. 

Toews had three assists and Kane grabbed two. 

Antti Niemi finished the game with 31 saves and Roberto Luongo made 30 stops. 

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What Jonathan Toews is doing during the NHL pause

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USA Today

What Jonathan Toews is doing during the NHL pause

Aside from a video message for a 7-year-old fan played on NBC's the Today Show Thursday and news of his $100,000 donation to a COVID-19 response fund, we haven't heard from Jonathan Toews since before the NHL paused on March 12 due to concerns amid the spreading of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Blackhawks captain was a guest on Friday's episode of former Hawk John Scott's "Dropping the Gloves" podcast. 

Toews freely spoke on a variety of topics, one of which was how the NHL pause unfolded and how he's passing the time.

"Obviously with the pandemic, out of this whole situation, day-to-day it's kind of crazy," the three-time Stanley Cup champion with the Blackhawks told his former teammate. "At times I kind of pinch myself a little bit. It's only been a week and a bit that we've been kind of on lockdown and the game just stopped. 

"I think our last game was on a Wednesday at home. I can't remember who we played (6-2 win against the San Jose Sharks), but the next morning, woke up to a text and an email from the great Tony Ommen (Blackhawks Vice President of Team Services), as you know, telling us not to come to the rink. And it was just kind of a blindside because we thought the next step would be games without fans and we just kind of go from there and it just kind of got super serious real quick. 

RELATED — Jonathan Toews gives candid assessment of where the Blackhawks are at

"So honestly, I've just been laying around, recovering, doing some reading, making some phone calls, catching up with friends. I haven't had the chance to go home to Canada yet. I'm not sure if it's even too late for that, but I'm just kid of enjoying being at home. 

"I moved into a new condo here in Lincoln Park since Christmas and I think when you're as busy as we are during the year with the schedule that we have, we were gone pretty much all of January and February, I'm just kind of settling in and doing fun little things that have been on the back burner for quite a while. So that's about it."

RELATED — How coronavirus is impacting John Scott's family and what's ahead for the NHL

Scott also asked Toews about communicating with teammates during the unique situation.

"A lot of it has just been going over some of the stuff that's going on with [the NHLPA], getting updates, obviously chatting with the boys in the team chat and I think a lot of the guys have taken off and gone home, even the European guys too," Toews said. "So it's one of those situations, we don't know what's going to happen and I guess guys will just hang out at home and if we get the call everyone will come rushing back after that."

Attention Dish and Sling customers! You have lost your Blackhawks games on NBC Sports Chicago. To switch providers, visit mysportschicago.com.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Blackhawks easily on your device.