Blackhawks

Andrew Desjardins comes up big for Blackhawks in Game 3

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Andrew Desjardins comes up big for Blackhawks in Game 3

Andrew Desjardins normally wouldn’t shoot this much, or so he says.

“It’s kind of weird. I’m usually not like that,” said Desjardins, who had four shots on goal, one of which found its way through Nashville goaltender Pekka Rinne. “But that was my mindset coming in. Any time I get around the net, just shoot it.”

The mindset worked, as Desjardins scored Sunday’s first goal for the Blackhawks, who went on to beat the Predators 4-2 in Game 3 of their first-round series. Desjardins, who was in the lineup after being a healthy scratch the first two games, gave the fourth line a scoring threat, even if he’s not typically that type of player.

[MORE: Five Things from Hawks-Preds Game 3: Darling stays hot]

For Desjardins, it was just about taking advantage of the situation.

“I was just kind of waiting, ready,” Desjardins said. “We’ve been working hard and I was just ready to go. I was fortunate to get into the game today.”

Desjardins, who the Blackhawks acquired from the San Jose Sharks for Ben Smith at the trade deadline, has played well on the fourth line in previous games. He gave that line a spark when Joakim Nordstrom was suspended and later injured in the regular season. He gave them a scoring punch on Sunday.

“I liked his game,” coach Joel Quenneville said. “The depth of our playoff rounds is a great asset to have organizationally and Desi played real strong down the stretch in different positions, on different lines as well. He made a couple nice plays tonight offensively.”

Marian Hossa said Desjardins added a jolt.

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“It was a really important first goal,” Hossa said. “He just jumped in in Game 3 and I think he had a really strong game for us. Definitely, guys like that give us more energy and he’s a guy who can play a physical game and that kind of brings energy.”

Desjardins gave the Blackhawks their first lead during a game thisseries, even if it was brief. His second-chance shot off his own rebound got by Rinne late in the first period.

“I didn’t even see it go in until [Marcus Kruger] celebrated there. I didn’t have a good view of it,” he said. “I was fortunate to get it five-hole. I think he’d take that one back if he could.”

Will Desjardins stay in the lineup for Game 4? Given what he did on Sunday, he should. The veteran center-turned-wing took advantage of his opportunity and got the Blackhawks on the board early. He’s earned another chance.

Jonathan Toews leading the way for bounce-back Blackhawks

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USA Today

Jonathan Toews leading the way for bounce-back Blackhawks

Patrick Kane is the one a hair away from 1,000 career points, but Saturday night it seemed liked Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews was the one hungry for a major milestone. 

Toews sits at 798 career points after a four-point outing (two goals, two assists) in the Hawks' 6-2 win in Toronto over the Maple Leafs, giving Chicago their fourth straight win and a perfect three-game road trip through Eastern Canada with the first two wins coming against the Ottawa Senators and Montreal Canadiens. 

After a mostly up-and-down season, the Hawks are now three games above .500 (23-20-6) and four points out of a Wild Card spot with two games at home (Sunday and Tuesday) before heading to the All-Star break. 

"We take it one game at a time and I think we're doing a great job of focusing on the task at hand and whatever situation we find ourselves in, we're playing good hockey," Toews said. "It's fun. I think we're playing a complete game right now. We're showing each other what our potential really is if we play the right way and we're getting the results for our hard work."

The Blackhawks captain has 12 points (four goals, eight assists) in a five-game point streak. After a slow start to the season, the 2010 Conn Smythe trophy winner is performing beyond a point-a-game pace since Nov. 2. 

Toews scored five-hole on Maple Leafs goalie Frederik Andersen at 5:32 of the first period, then scored on a wraparound at 3:19 of the second. He later assisted on Dominik Kubalik's goal to put the Hawks up 5-1 at 10:58 of the second and set up Kubalik's marker at 17:42 of the second to give Chicago a 6-2 lead and the final score.

"Not a whole lot of leads you feel comfortable with against this team," Toews said following the contest. "They're pretty explosive offensively, so I think all five guys were pretty cognizant of who you're playing against and just making sure we're trying to frustrate them, take away their ability to create and our offense kind of came from that."

The captain's assist on Kubalik's second goal of the game was one of the most impressive plays of the season across the league. Toews backhanded the puck towards the net from the right wall and Kubalik hit it in cleanly with his blade in mid-air in front of the net past Andersen.

"I (thought) it was maybe a foot or two lower, like on the ice," Toews said of his impressive pass from the boards. "It was probably more my intention, but just kind of floated one in there and as they say, you can't give a good player a bad pass, I tried my best on that one and he still found a way to get a stick on it."

Toews seems to have Andersen's number. He's scored 10 goals on the goalie in his career, including five during the regular season and five across seven days in the 2015 Western Conference final.

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3 Takeaways: Jonathan Toews grabs 4 points, Blackhawks grab 4-straight wins

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USA Today

3 Takeaways: Jonathan Toews grabs 4 points, Blackhawks grab 4-straight wins

Here are some takeaways from the Blackhawks fourth-straight win as Patrick Kane continues his quest for 1K:

Streaking Hawks

The Blackhawks won their fourth straight game on Saturday in Toronto 6-2. The victory gave the Hawks a perfect three-game sweep to close out their road trip in Eastern Canada. 

The Hawks won 3-2 against the Senators in Ottawa on Tuesday and 4-1 over the Canadiens in Montreal on Wednesday. 

Chicago is now three games over .500 (23-20-6) and four points out of a Wild Card spot. 

Drake Caggiula scored 21 seconds in to set the tone and put the Hawks ahead 1-0 with a trick shot, bouncing the puck over goalie Frederik Andersen's back, from behind the goal line and later picked up an assist. Caggiula has points in two straight after grabbing a goal and an assist in Montreal.

His energy and buzz around the net has been incredibly noticeable and something that's given Chicago a lift during the streak and since he returned from a concussion five games ago. 

The Blackhawks play the Winnipeg Jets on Sunday and the Florida Panthers on Tuesday (Q!!!!), both at the United Center before the All-Star break. 

Saad returns

Blackhawks forward Brandon Saad returned to the lineup after being sidelined since Dec. 19 with a right-ankle injury. The Hawks were missing the winger who can be effective anywhere in the lineup and was one of the most consistently good players on the team prior to his injury.

Saad was given a big opportunity on Saturday, being thrown on the left wing of the Hawks' second line with Ryan Carpenter centering and Patrick Kane on the right. 

Saad had 19 points (11 goals, eight assists) in 36 games with the Hawks this season before being injured. On Saturday, he scored at 11:02 of the first period, putting the Hawks up 3-0 and giving Kane, who assisted on the goal, career point No. 999.

Johnny be good

Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews kept up his stellar play of late and extended his point streak to five games, grabbing four points in Toronto. 

Toews scored five-hole on Andersen at 5:32 of the first period, then scored on a wraparound at 3:19 of the second. He later assisted on Dominik Kubalik's goal to put the Hawks up 5-1 at 10:58 of the second.

Toews also set up Kubalik's marker at 17:42 of the second to give Chicago a 6-2 lead, backhanding the puck towards the net from the right wall to Kubalik, who hit it in cleanly with his blade in mid-air past Andersen.

Toews has 12 points (four goals, eight assists) during his streak. 

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.