The battle of the two worst defenses in the NHL did not disappoint Monday night at the United Center.
Patrick Kane and Dylan Strome each had a goal and two assists, while Brandon Saad and Jonathan Toews had a goal and an assist. Gustav Forsling also scored.
The Blackhawks (25-26-9) tallied five first-period goals for the first since the 2016-2017 season opener to pull within one point of Minnesota for the second wild-card spot in the Western Conference.
How did it happen? Settle in... this one was a doozy.
Bobby Ryan scored a power-play goal 2:06 into the game between the wickets of Collin Delia. Rudolfs Balcers made it 2-0 just 34 seconds later on a tic-tac-toe passing play from Chris Tierney and Mikkel Boedker.
DeBrincat tied the game with two goals in 1:16, with a picture perfect power-play goal assisted by Toews and Kane, and another tap-in goal on a feed from Dominick Kahun. Kane extended his assist streak to 18 straight games on the play, which is the third highest streak behind Adam Oates (18) and Wayne Gretzky (23).
Colin White gave Ottawa (22-32-5) the lead once again after tapping home a rebound to chase Delia after allowing three goals on 10 shots in the opening eight minutes of the game. Veteran Cam Ward entered in relief.
Kane’s goal with eight minutes left in the first period tied it again, 3-3. His goal marked the 12th time in the last 18 games he’s posted a multi-point game.
Strome followed less than a minute later when he poked the puck past Anders Nilsson and the left goal post to give Chicago a 4-3 lead. Saad added another tally 1:31 later to chase Nilsson for Craig Anderson, who was drafted by his hometown team in 2001.
Mark Stone brought Ottawa within one to close the first period.
Believe it or not, the second period started even faster than the first as White scored his second goal at 1:32 to tie it 4-4.
DeBrincat capped his hat trick on a great feed from Strome at 8:19. DeBrincat is now one of 21 players in franchise history with at least four hat tricks.
Forsling added a goal of his own 2:12 later to give Chicago a 7-5 lead heading into the final frame.
Career regular season hat tricks— Christopher Kamka (@ckamka) February 19, 2019
career NHL games
6 Jonathan Toews 851
5 Patrick Kane 881
4 Alex DeBrincat 142 (Hat trick tonight)#Blackhawks
The third period saw DeBrincat repay Toews for an earlier feed when he set up the captain for an insurance goal 3:51 into the period. DeBrincat’s assist was his fifth point of the night, and the goal marked Toews’ fifth goal in the last six games.
Holding onto their two-goal lead, the Hawks would face an onslaught of Ottawa offense late in the game when the Senators surged back near the midway point of the third period. Thomas Chabot found some space over Ward’s shoulder to bring the Senators back to within two goals, and followed with another tally with six minutes left to pull Ottawa to within one.
Chicago held on in the end despite having to kill off a Slater Koekkoek penalty in the last 90 seconds.
The Blackhawks look to sweep the season series against the Red Wings on Wednesday night at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit.
CHI Goals: DeBrincat (3), Kane, Strome, Saad, Forsling, Toews
OTT Goals: Ryan, Balcers, White (2), Stone, Chabot (2)
SCH’s Three Stars:
1) Alex DeBrincat (CHI) - 3 goals, 2 assists
2) Patrick Kane (CHI) - 1 goal, 2 assists
3) Thomas Chabot (OTT) - 2 goals