Here are four takeaways from the Blackhawks' 4-3 win over the Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center on Wednesday:
1. Showtime saves the day
The Blackhawks didn't play their best game. They let Anaheim hang around when they had opportunities to put it away earlier. But, as he often has in the past, Patrick Kane delivered in crunch time and secured two points for the visiting team to kick off the three-game West Coast trip on a positive note.
Brandon Saad made a terrific toe-drag move at the blue line, then fed it to Kane, who snapped one past Ryan Miller with 16.1 seconds left in regulation to give the Blackhawks a 4-3 lead.
Kane became the seventh player in Blackhawks history to post multiple 40-goal seasons, joining Bobby Hull (eight times), Steve Larmer (five), Jeremy Roenick (four), Al Secord (three), Denis Savard (three) and Tony Amonte (three), according to the NHL's PR. Kane's career-high is 46 goals, set during the 2015-16 campaign when he won the Hart Trophy, and he's on pace to break that.
Who other than Showtime to win it 😎 pic.twitter.com/YqPpaVL2gq— Blackhawks Talk (@NBCSBlackhawks) February 28, 2019
2. Return of the Crow
When Corey Crawford returned in October after being sidelined for nearly 10 months with a concussion, it was natural to wonder whether or not he'd be rusty. He quickly dismissed that by turning in a .946 save percentage in his first four starts.
He did the same on Wednesday.
Crawford was sharp all night, stopping 29 of 32 shots for a save percentage of .906, with two of the goals against coming from high-danger areas and his only real blunder coming on Anaheim's third goal of the game when he misplayed the puck and it ended up in the back of his own net. Fortunately for him, the Blackhawks had his back by scoring a late equalizer and finishing the deal in the final minute.
3. Alex DeBrincat making history
DeBrincat has been incredible this season. With two more goals on Wednesday, the 5-foot-7, 165-pound winger has 36 goals on the season and a chance to reach 50 in only his second year in the NHL. He also has 25 goals in his last 33 games, which is a pace of 62 goals over the course of an 82-game season.
DeBrincat became the fourth player in Blackhawks history to have a 35-plus goal season at age 21 or younger, joining Roenick (41 in 1990-91 and 35 in 1991-92), Hull (38 in 1959-60) and Larmer (43 in 1982-83), according to StatsCentre.
4. Five-minute power play missed opportunity
The Blackhawks had a prime opportunity in the opening minutes of the second period to take control of a scoreless game when they were awarded a five-minute power play after Rickard Rakell was given a game misconduct for boarding Drake Caggiula, who did not return due to a concussion. And it looked like they would.
DeBrincat scored 14 seconds into the power play to give the Blackhawks a 1-0 lead, but that was all they would get. In fact, the Ducks actually scored a shorthanded goal of their own thanks to an unfortunate bounce that ended up in the back of the net.
In the end, the Blackhawks came out of the five-minute power play the same way they went into it. A tie game. It could've been a killer because if the Blackhawks found a way to make it 2-0 in that sequence, it would've probably feel like a comfortable lead considering the Ducks rank dead last in goals per game (2.16), and had scored only two goals in their previous three games.