Blackhawks

Montador, Toews score twice to power Hawks

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Montador, Toews score twice to power Hawks

The Blackhawks keep getting offense from their defensemen. Thats good, because they may have to chip in for an injured teammate.

Steve Montador and Jonathan Toews scored two goals apiece, but Brent Seabrook suffered a lower body injury and did not return to the Blackhawks 6-3 victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Sunday night.

The Blackhawks have won three in a row but the victory was somewhat tempered by the injury to Seabrook; coach Joel Quenneville said Seabrook is currently listed as day to day, and that theyll know more Monday morning.

Seabrook appeared to have lost an edge as he went into the back boards awkwardly with about 14:30 remaining in the second period. He got off the ice and went to the locker room on his own, but he was putting little weight on his left leg.

The Blackhawks may have to call on that defensemen depth, much of which they picked up this offseason.

We missed (Duncan Keith) there for three games and it was obviously a void with all the quality ice time in all situations, Quenneville said. We did a good job without him this half of the game, but it may present a challenge moving forward.

Meanwhile, one of those summer acquisitions was once again an offensive threat. Montador now has three goals in his past two games, including another one on the power play. His first goal was a beauty, as he bobbed and weaved his way to the front and flicked one past Nikolai Khabibulin.

It also came just 34 seconds after Toews first one, giving the Blackhawks an early 2-0 advantage. Montador laughed at the notion that his first-goal move was Patrick Kane-like.

I dont look like Justin Bieber, Montador joked. But (Kane) is in a league all of his own. I was just trying to hold onto the puck like I did and get it around Khabibulin and did that.

Quenneville said Montadors first goal was pretty remarkable for a defenseman, and a big goal at the time. Hes been a nice addition to our club.

The defensemen continue to pump the Blackhawks offensive numbers, as they added six more points on Sunday. Keith scored his second goal of the season and Nick Leddy added two assists.

Its great for everyones confidence and great for teams confidence to see different guys score, Toews said. It doesnt matter who scores as long as we find a way. If were getting it from different guys, it just goes to show we can play a solid team game and things will go well for us if we keep working.

Daniel Carcillo had an empty-net goal while Marian Hossa, Patrick Sharp and Kane each had two assists.

The Blackhawks are getting contributions across the board, and a lot more now from the blue liners. Its translated into a more consistent game and victories. Whether or not the Blackhawks will have to go without Seabrook for a bit is not known. But they have to be confident with their depth and current run.

Weve had good starts but at the same time were not letting off the gas pedal, so to speak, Toews said. We have to keep going that way whereas, when we have a lead going into the third period, home or road, our style doesnt change.

Briefly

Dave Bolland (right foot) was out again for Sundays game. Quenneville said Bolland will make the road trip, and the coach hopes Bolland plays in one of the first two games.

Leddy now has 10 assists on the season and leads Blackhawks defensemen in points with 12.

Hossa was also credited with four takeaways on Sunday night.

Blackhawks make sports history with fifth straight overtime game to start season

Blackhawks make sports history with fifth straight overtime game to start season

The Blackhawks made sports history on Saturday after they appeared in their fifth straight overtime game to start the season.

No NHL team has done that since the league introduced a regular-season overtime period in 1983-84, per the Elias Sports Bureau. It also has never happened in the history of MLB, NBA or NFL, showing just how crazy this early season run has been for the Blackhawks, who have rallied from all five games and have come away with wins in three of them.

"We’ve had five games, every one of them have been extremely intense and the game’s been on the line from start to finish," coach Joel Quenneville said following a 4-3 overtime win over the St. Louis Blues. "Our group’s been competitive this year, the guys have been working hard for one another. I don’t know how many games we’ve been down in the third period, and coming back to win is special."

The Blackhawks appeared in 17 overtime/shootout games last season and won seven of them. They are one of six teams this season that have yet to pick up a regulation win.

On a separate note, Saturday marked the eighth time in Blackhawks history that one player scored a tying goal in the third period and scored in overtime (Alex DeBrincat), according to the NHL's PR department. It's the second time it's happened this year for the Blackhawks, with Jonathan Toews the other on Oct. 6 against St. Louis.

Four takeaways: Alex DeBrincat salvages divisional game for Blackhawks in overtime on Duncan Keith’s special night

Four takeaways: Alex DeBrincat salvages divisional game for Blackhawks in overtime on Duncan Keith’s special night

Here are four takeaways from the Blackhawks' 4-3 overtime win over the St. Louis Blues at the United Center on Saturday night:

1. Special night for Duncan Keith — and Brent Seabrook

The Blackhawks celebrated Keith's 1,000-game milestone in the perfect way. Every player wore a No. 2 jersey during warmups, his family was on the ice for the pregame ceremony, and Patrick Sharp made an appearance to present Keith with a silver stick. Seabrook was also paired with Keith among the starters, a great touch by Joel Quenneville and the coaching staff.

But it was also a historic day for Keith's partner and close friend Seabrook, who became the franchise leader in games played by a defenseman, surpassing Bob Murray who previously held that mark at 1,008. It's only fitting Keith and Seabrook shared that moment together.

"We've been riding shotgun together for our whole careers," Keith said. "I couldn't imagine my career, my 1,000 games without him and all the experiences and memories that I've had winning and even losing, and the fun times we've had off the ice. I owe a lot of my success, and I think the team does as well, to Brent and what he means to the team and what he brings to our friendship and as a teammate."

To put a bow on the game, Keith had a vintage Keith moment on the game-tying goal in the third period when he intercepted a pass in the neutral zone on his backhand, then fed Toews a dart leading him into the offensive zone that set up DeBrincat's goal. 

2. Alex DeBrincat's torrid start

The Blackhawks continued to get contributions from their top players such as Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews, both of whom extended their point streaks to five games to open the season. But DeBrincat has propelled himself into that conversation as a top player on this team.

He had a multi-goal effort for the second straight game, upping his goal total on the season to a team-leading six. His overtime winner is the first of his NHL career in that fashion.

DeBrincat didn't score his sixth goal until Nov. 12 last season, which was the 18th game. And he still finished with 28. While it's hard to envision him continuing to score at more than a goal-per-game pace, it's not hard to see him continuing to be one of the best players on the ice and generating offense and scoring chances on a nightly basis.

"I think I'm getting pretty lucky right now," DeBrincat said. "I'm playing with [Toews] and [Dominik] Kahun, they're making great plays and getting me the puck. It's pretty easy when you have those guys as your linemates. Even on that last goal, [Erik Gustafsson] made a great pass backdoor to me. Pretty easy tap in."

3. Squandering another two-goal lead

The Blackhawks took a 2-0 lead for the third straight game. And they squandered it for the third straight game, in large part because they committed five straight penalties in the second and third periods.

It's no longer a blip at this point and is becoming an alarming trend, even though the Blackhawks have come back to force overtime in each of those three games. That will be something the Blackhawks work on all season long.

But Quenneville would have liked to have seen the Blackhawks keep their foot on the gas pedal and cash in on their opportunities to make it a 3-0 game.

"Score the third goal," he said. "I loved the way we were playing. We had a lot of good things going. Eventually they’re going to get chances, get opportunities. But we had some great chances to get it to three. It was one of those nights, every game is kind of different how the leads changed."

4. Brotherly love

For the first time in the NHL, the Schmaltz brothers finally got their chance to go up against each other at the highest level. There had been a handful of other opportunities in the past, but it never lined up for a variety of reasons. 

They didn't see much of each other while on the ice — they were on together for only 1:30 of the game — but Nick did commit a penalty that led to Jordan assisting on the Blues' first goal on a delayed call. 

The best battles between Jordan, who turned 25 on Oct. 8, and Nick, 22, came when they were kids.

"We had a little roller rink downstairs in our house growing up," Nick said. "It would be me vs. my sister (Kylie) and my brother. Those were probably the best battles. Someone would usually come up crying or high-stick or puck to the face or something like that. A lot of good memories. Looking back at it, it was awesome to have that and work on each other’s game and push each other to get better."