Toews' career-best five points save Blackhawks


Toews' career-best five points save Blackhawks

ANAHEIM, Calif. The Blackhawks didnt say anything special in the second intermission on Friday afternoon; nothing they havent said the past few intermissions, anyway.

They didnt need to talk. They just needed to execute. And when that third period rolled around, they did plenty of that.

Jonathan Toews had a career-high five points and Patrick Sharp recorded his first hat trick in four years as the Blackhawks came back to beat the Anaheim Ducks 6-5. Toews, who had four points alone in the third period, is the first Blackhawk with a five-point night since March 10, 2007, when Jeff Hamilton (three goals, two assists) did it against the Phoenix Coyotes.

Youre not keeping count when youre out there on the ice, Toews said of his outing. You just know youre down one goal and you need to get another one. A couple of goals gave us the momentum and we just carried it through the last 20 minutes.

It was also Sharps first hat trick since Nov. 17, 2007 against the Detroit Red Wings.

The Blackhawks four-goal outburst in the third period helped them overcome a 4-2 Ducks lead and snap a three-game losing streak. But players said there was no special speech heading into the third. It was just reinforcing whats been said since they left Alberta, Canada.

Its just been consistent over the last 6 periods. Every period were saying the same things: be predictable, be reliable do the little things that the next guy expects you to. That work ethic finally took over, Toews said. We didnt change anything going into that third period relative to the last bunch of periods. We just finally got some breaks to win.

And coach Joel Quenneville also made a quick line change, putting Sharp on the top line with Toews and Viktor Stalberg. The change took effect quick. Toews second goal, a Duncan Keith shot that went off his skate, came 64 seconds into the period. Sharps second goal of the game came just 28 seconds later to tie it. The two would score one more each to complete the comeback.

I dont think in pro sports you respond to a rah-rah speech too many times, Sharp said. We had a good discussion with the coaching staff after the Edmonton game. We felt we could be better and we have for (the last) six periods. (We got down) 2-0 but its early in the game and we didnt even really get going at that point. We didnt change the way we played for 60 minutes and thats a sign of a good team.

Keith and Stalberg had two assists each for the Blackhawks. Bobby Ryan scored twice for the Ducks.

The Blackhawks got their moral victory in San Jose but they needed the points they got in Anaheim more. They got past early hiccups, buckled down and got rewarded for it. Now they want it one more time to finish up this road trip.

It really was a great effort across the board, Quenneville said. The guys are excited; we have a chance to get to .500 and coming off two very disappointing games and the last two were right back on track. Getting our team game back in order quickly is something I appreciate.

Niklas Hjalmarsson gets standing ovation from United Center crowd in Chicago return

Niklas Hjalmarsson gets standing ovation from United Center crowd in Chicago return

Niklas Hjalmarsson played for the Blackhawks for 10 years and won three Stanley Cups with the team so his return to the United Center was a big deal.

The defenseman, now with the Arizona Coyotes, made his return to Chicago in Thursday's game. The Blackhawks had a tribute video for him during the game and the crowd gave him a standing ovation after the video.

He was teary-eyed after getting the warm reception.

Hjalmarsson was traded by the Blackhawks to the Coyotes for Connor Murphy and Laurent Dauphin after the 2016-17 season. He played against the Blackhawks on Oct. 21 and again on Feb. 12 last season, but both games were in Arizona.

Injuries limited Hjalmarsson to 48 games last season and he missed Arizona's only trip to the United Center last season, which came in December.

Watch the video above to see Hjalmarsson's tribute and reaction.

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Corey Crawford is BACK, are the Bulls legitimate playoff contenders?


SportsTalk Live Podcast: Corey Crawford is BACK, are the Bulls legitimate playoff contenders?

Mark Lazerus and Hub Arkush join David Kaplan on the panel.

The guys discuss Corey Crawford’s return and what it means for the team’s playoff chances.

Khalil Mack misses practice again. The guys debate if it would be better to leave him out vs. the Patriots.

The latest on the MLB playoffs with controversy in Houston and gamesmanship by the Brewers.

Will Perdue and Kendall Gill join the panel to discuss Kris Dunn’s absence from the opener and the team’s playoff chances this season.

Listen to the full episode at this link or in the embedded player below.