The Chicago Blackhawks turned a potentially embarrassing loss into a thrilling comeback victory over the Colorado Avalanche on Sunday night, scoring five unanswered goals in the third period for a 6-3 win.
The victory was Chicago’s fifth straight win, allowing them to extend their Central Division lead over the Minnesota Wild to seven points.
After trailing by two heading into the final frame on Sunday night, the Blackhawks pulled it together to put up five goals in the third period. Jonathan Toews led the Hawks with two goals on the night, scoring his 19th and 20th of the season. Three of Chicago’s goals came in a 34-second span, which gave us this beauty of a screenshot:
Gee where have I seen this before pic.twitter.com/7Jly32HFny— Satchel Price (@SatchelPrice) March 20, 2017
Scott Darling played well enough over the first 40 minutes of regulation to keep his team alive before the Blackhawks turned it around in the third. Once the afterburners were flipped on, it became clear which team is a Stanley Cup contender, and which is stuck in the gutter.
Here’s what happened:
Just over four minutes into the first period, the Blackhawks opened the scoring with a beauty play on a 2-on-1 from Patrick Kane and Artemi Panarin. A pass from Panarin right to Kane’s tape allowed Kane to score his 32nd of the season, putting the puck past Jeremy Smith’s blocker side, giving Chicago the 1-0 lead.
At the 8:14 mark of the opening frame, Mikhail Grigorenko capitalized on a mistake from Darling to put the Avalanche on the board. With Darling trying to get rid of the puck in front of the net, the puck landed right on Grigorenko’s stick, allowing him to put it past Darling and tie the game at 1-1.
With under five minutes remaining in the first period, a Grigorenko shot went right past Darling’s glove, allowing Colorado to take a one goal lead heading into the second period.
Darling was incredible in the crease for the Hawks throughout the second frame, keeping his team in it. Despite Darling’s incredible efforts, the Avalanche extended their lead to two as the puck deflected off of Sven Andrighetto’s stick, to go top shelf over the Blackhawks goaltender.
Chicago had a few looks with the clock winding down in the second period, but the Avalanche held onto their 3-1 lead with just 20 minutes remaining in regulation.
The Blackhawks changed up their lines throughout the third, looking to turn things around, and turn them around is just what they did.
At the halfway mark of the third, a bouncing puck from Duncan Keith hit both John Hayden’s and Jonatha Toews’ sticks, to find its way into the back of the net. The Avalanche called for review on the play, with the possibility of Toews being offsides when Richard Panik brought the puck into the Avalanche zone.
Despite the play being clearly offsides, it was declared a good goal, with the review not being conclusive. According to Rule 78.7, if a review is not conclusive, the On-Ice Official(s) will be instructed to confirm their original call.
The Blackhawks continued their comeback, with the Toews line scoring its second goal in 17 seconds, as Richard Panik tied the game at 3-3. Panik tallied his 19th of the season. Hayden and Brent Seabrook were credited with the assists.
The Hawks certainly weren’t done yet, as just 17 seconds after Panik’s tally, Artemi Panarin hit the puck off the crossbar, which went off of Smith’s back into the net. With three goals in 34 seconds, the Blackhawks took the lead with under 10 minutes remaining on the clock.
Toews’ second of the night came within just three minutes of his first goal of the night, to put Chicago ahead by two. Niklas Hjalmarsson and Trevor van Riemsdyk were credited with assists on the tally.
With two seconds remaining, an empty-netter from Marcus Kruger ended the Blackhawks comeback with a final score of 6-3.
SCH 3 Stars
- Jonathan Toews, Blackhawks (2 goals)
- Artemi Panarin, Blackhawks (1 goal, 1 assist, 7 shots on goal)
- Mikhail Grigorenko, Avalanche (2 goals)
The Blackhawks continue their three-game home stand as they host the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday night at United Center.