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Three takeaways from Blackhawks’ 5-3 win against Avalanche

Chicago won for the first time when trailing after the second period, early goals continue and the penalty kill is actually good.

Chicago Blackhawks v Colorado Avalanche Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

The Blackhawks scored four goals in 7:59 minutes in the third period to rally for a 5-3 win against the Avalanche on Saturday at the Pepsi Center in Denver. Chicago is 3-1-0 in its past four games, all against Central Division opponents.

Finally a late comeback

No NHL team likes being the only team in the League to not have accomplished something positive. That’s where the Blackhawks sat Saturday as the only team not to at least get a point when trailing after two periods with an 0-14-0 record. Chicago’s win also handed the Avalanche their first regulation loss when leading through two periods for a 17-0-1 mark.

Early period goals continue on the road

The cliche phrase of needing to start a period on time hasn’t been issue lately for the Blackhawks. With Jonathan Toews’ goal 21 seconds into the second period, they have scored five goals in the first minute of a period in their past three road games.

  • Dec. 14, 4-3 loss at St. Louis: Brandon Saad 19 seconds into second and 30 seconds into third
  • Dec. 19, 4-1 win at Winnipeg: Alex Nylander 59 seconds into the first and Dominik Kubalik 37 seconds into third
  • Dec. 21, 5-3 win at Colorado: Toews 21 seconds into the second

Toews had the primary assist on both of Saad’s goals, while Patrick Kane had the primary helper on the past three goals.

Strong penalty kill (for real)

The Blackhawks’ penalty kill has quietly becoming strong suit in December. Chicago has gone 28-for-33 (84 percent) in 11 games this month, including 20-for-22 (90 percent) in seven road games and 7-for-7 in their past three games overall. During this surprising stretch, the Blackhawks have blocked more shots than usual, broken up passing lanes, been able to push play to the perimeter at times and seen strong play from goaltenders Corey Crawford and Robin Lehner.