Blackhawks

GIFs: Blackhawks score three goals in less than two minutes

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GIFs: Blackhawks score three goals in less than two minutes

Now this is how you overwhelm an opponent.

After the Flames got a second-period goal to take a 1-0 lead on Sunday night, the Blackhawks retaliated with an avalanche of scoring in lightning-quick fashion, scoring three times in a minute and 55 seconds to turn a 1-0 deficit into a 3-1 lead in the blink of an eye.

First, who else but Patrick Kane? The Blackhawks' point-producing machine scored a goal for the seventh consecutive game, extending his point streak to 13 games and tying the game at 1.

Then it was Marian Hossa, who scored just his second goal of the season to give the Blackhawks a 2-1 lead.

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Finally, it was Artemi Panarin, taking the behind-the-net feed from Kane for the sixth goal of his rookie season, which gave the Blackhawks a 3-1 lead.

The result? A bunch of happy humans at the Madhouse on Madison.

Blackhawks Talk Podcast: Decision time, who stays and who goes

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USA TODAY

Blackhawks Talk Podcast: Decision time, who stays and who goes

As the crucial Canadian road trip concludes, the Hawks miss out on a great opportunity to prove that they are a playoff contender. As the trade deadline approaches, Pat Boyle is joined by Charlie Roumeliotis, Scott King and Slavko Bekovic as they discuss the tough decisions that need to be made on the direction of this Blackhawks team.

(1:05) - Did the road trip set their fate for the season?

(6:00) - Lack of power play production is the reason they aren't a playoff contender

(11:50) - Penalty kill was last year's issue; the power play is this year's

(17:36) - Hawks may be stuck if no moves are made

(25:00) - Who are the most likely candidates to be traded

(29:00) - Which goaltender may get moved

Listen here or in the embedded player below.

Blackhawks Talk Podcast

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What we learned about Blackhawks during five-game road trip

What we learned about Blackhawks during five-game road trip

"Every game now is a playoff game, pretty much. We've got to approach it like it's life or death."

Those were the words of Drake Caggiula and that was the mindset for the Blackhawks going into their five-game road trip in Western Canada, which was easily their most important swing of the season to date, given the circumstances. All five teams were ahead of them in the Western Conference standings, the Blackhawks were knocking on the door of a playoff spot and they had a chance to prove themselves ahead of the Feb. 24 trade deadline.

The Blackhawks finished the trip with a 1-4-0 record, picking up only two out of a possible 10 points. They ended the weekend sitting six points out of the final wild card spot with two games in hand but four teams to jump. It's not impossible to get back in the race, but the cards are certainly stacked against them.

So what did we learn about this team?

The easy narrative would be to say the Blackhawks shrunk in games that had playoff-type implications, but that‘s just not true. They simply failed to capitalize on their opportunities, and they had plenty of them.

In Game 1 against Winnipeg, the Blackhawks held a 2-0 lead before allowing a shorthanded goal in the second period that was the first of five unanswered for the Jets, who went on to win 5-2. The Blackhawks went 0-for-3 on the power play and were outscored (1-0), outshot (3-2) and out-chanced (4-2) during those three opportunities. That was their downfall.

In Game 2 against Edmonton, the Blackhawks held a pair of one-goal leads — 2-1 in the first period and 3-2 in the second period — but couldn’t close the deal despite the Oilers playing without the NHL's best player in Connor McDavid. Again, a huge missed opportunity that was there for the taking.

In Game 3 against Vancouver, the Blackhawks peppered a season-high 49 shots on goal on Jacob Markstrom, 25 of which came from high-danger areas, but couldn't crack the code. It was one of their most dominating performances of the season from start to finish and yet they weren't rewarded for it.

In Game 4 against Calgary, the market quickly corrected itself when the Blackhawks scored a season-high eight goals on 28 shots in an 8-4 win over the Flames. It’s the exact response they were looking for, with all four lines contributing on the scoresheet.

In Game 5 against Winnipeg, the Blackhawks scored the first goal, then fell behind 2-1 before evening things up at 2-2 in the final minute of the second period. The game was up for grabs. But the Jets scored 1:36 into the third period after a shot from the point deflected off Alex DeBrincat’s stick and in, and it turned out to be the game-winning goal.

Look, there are no moral victories at this time of year. An ugly win beats the heck out of a pretty loss.

If the power play doesn't go 0-for-14, we might be having a different discussion because it had a chance to change the complexion of each game except the last one — because, well, there were no penalties called on either side, which was the first time that's happened in an NHL game this season.

But the Blackhawks have no margin for error and they're learning that the hard way.

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