The Blackhawks ended October with some questions. They didn’t mind their overall game but they were still looking for consistency, still looking for the right line combinations and still looking to put it all together.
Monday was just the first game in November but it was a good start to the month, a 4-2 comeback victory against the Los Angeles Kings, who were riding a seven-game winning streak entering this one. Minus another player — Marian Hossa (lower body), who coach Joel Quenneville is hopeful plays against the St. Louis Blues on Wednesday — the Blackhawks once again needed to make up for a big loss. They got what was necessary.
So before we call it a night, let’s look at Five Things to take from the Blackhawks’ victory over the Kings.
1. Corey Crawford comes through again. Crawford said he didn’t feel right through the first part of this game. Whatever was bothering him didn’t look like a problem in the third period, when he stopped all 19 of the Kings’ shots. Crawford was strong late, keeping the Kings at bay while the Blackhawks scored three unanswered goals in that final period. Said Teravainen of Crawford, “he’s been unbelievable all year and tonight, unbelievable in the end there and he made some huge saves. We can really trust him out there.”
2. Patrick Kane’s point streak continues. Kane’s goal and an assist — a slick pass to Teravainen for the Finn’s game-winning goal — give him a seven-game point streak (four goals, five assists). Kane’s goal on Jonathan Quick sparked the Blackhawks, who would score two more in the third. Teravainen joined Kane and Artem Anisimov on that second line and it didn’t seem to disrupt a thing.
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3. Speaking of Anisimov… It was another big goal for the big Russian center, who went (surprisingly) forehand for this short-handed goal. Anisimov has been a bighelp on the penalty kill as well as bringing stability to the second line.
4. Ryan Garbutt finding his game. Who knows if Garbutt is on that top line once Marian Hossa gets back but he’s done well in every role, including that one, in recent games. Garbutt got his second assist with the Blackhawks when he set up Jonathan Toews’ opening goal and he led the Blackhawks with four hits.
5. Not a bad debut for Marko Dano. The young forward was recalled on Monday morning and was part of a youthful line with fellow recent Rockford IceHogs Tanner Kero and Ryan Hartman. Dano said he’ll try to do what worked for him with Columbus last season: “just be strong on the puck, go to the net hard and try to shoot the puck. I have to bring it here, too, and hopefully I’ll get some lucky bounces and some greasy goals.”