After an ugly first few minutes, the Blackhawks veteran leadership had a huge third period and got Chicago out of the loss column.
The offensive outburst was exceptional, and the key players that need to carry this team did so in a big way.
Patrick Sharp had his second career hat trick, and Jonathan Toews had a career-high five point night (two goals, three assists) in the victory. Today marked the first time Sharp and Toews each had multi-goal games on the same day.
The last Blackhawks player with five point game was Jeff Hamilton, who had three goals and two assists on March 10, 2007 against Phoenix. Oddly enough, Sharp had two goals in that Hawks victory.
Toews was in beast mode the entire game, playing his heart out on every shift. He won 12 of 21 faceoffs and was plus-three for the afternoon. Viktor Stalberg also had a fantastic game, with assists on the Toews and Sharp goals that were scored 28 seconds apart to begin the third period. He was only on the ice for 11:40, but was noticeably effective on each shift he took with Toews and Marian Hossa.
Brent Seabrook returned to the ice for Chicago and tied with Niklas Hjalmarsson for the team high with three hits; Hjalmarsson also got hammered into the boards a couple times early as the Ducks established a physical edge early in the game.
Marcus Kruger had an interesting night, winning all eight of his faceoffs and registering one assist. He spent most of the third period at win on the third line with Dave Bolland and Andrew Brunette, as Bryan Bickell once again found himself at the end of the bench. Only Dan Carcillo (6:24) had less ice time on Friday afternoon than Bickell (6:48).
In total, four Blackhawks had a multi-point game. Sharp, Toews, Stalberg and Duncan Keith all had at least a second point, with Stalberg and Keith both getting two assists in the game.
The win broke a three game losing streak for the Hawks and was just another in a long line of losses for the Ducks, who have been awful in November. Jonas Hiller fell apart in the third period, and was removed for Dan Ellis for the final 16 minutes of the game.
There are now 21 players in the NHL with at least 22 points, and four of them – Toews, Hossa, Kane and Sharp – are Blackhawks. With 24 points, Toews is now tied for seventh in the league, six behind Toronto’s Phil Kessel. Toews’ 12 goals are tied for third in the NHL, just four behind Kessel as well.