Doesn’t seem to matter the start or the opponent, the Blackhawks just keep winning.
Granted, they’ve made things interesting in a few of these games but the bottom line remains the same: the points keep adding up, and the Blackhawks are leading the Central Division because of it.
Hey, it’s been a long weekend. So let’s just get to the Five Things to take from the Blackhawks’ 4-3 overtime victory over the Dallas Stars on Sunday night.
1.The captain leads the way. It took a while for Jonathan Toews’ production to get going this season but he’s finding his rhythm now. Toews had a three-point night, including his third goal in his last five games. Coach Joel Quenneville said earlier this season that he wasn’t concerned about Toews’ production at the time, given everything else he does. Well, it’s there now, anyway.
2.Quick strikes. Again, we knock the Blackhawks for those sluggish starts but when they decide to turn it on, they don’t mess around. Just 56 seconds passed between Toews’ game-tying goal and Artem Anisimov’s go-ahead goal, which came off a pass from Toews.
[SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]
3.Nice night for Gemel Smith. The Stars center made his NHL debut Oct. 22 against the Columbus Blue Jackets and he came up big for Dallas on Sunday night. His first career goal was an impressive short-handed effort, and his second of the night tied the game 3-3 with 1:20 remaining, earning the very injured Stars a point.
4.Scott Darling’s heroics. It pays to be a good goaltender. It also pays to be a good, tall goaltender. Darling’s overtime stop on Patrick Eaves was stellar, and it gave the Blackhawks a chance to pick up that second point. Jonathan Toews compared it to Darling’s work against the Nashville Predators in the playoffs two seasons ago. “I mean, it was an important time of the game. Not quite as important as the playoffs, but I’m just thrilled,” Darling said with a smile.
5.Tyler Motte injured. The rookie was having a good start to his season but it looks like he’ll miss some time with a lower-body injury sustained in the second period. It’s disappointing for Motte and the Blackhawks, who were starting to find some energy and opportunity with that third line of he, Marcus Kruger and Ryan Hartman. We’ll see over the next day or so how much time he misses.