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.”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.