The Dallas Stars came into Chicago on a roll, but the Hawks were able to put together just enough offense to skate away with an overtime victory on Sunday night.
Dallas got on the board first as Jamie Benn knocked a rebound past Corey Crawford for his 12th of the season only four minutes into the game. Only 75 seconds later, Jonathan Toews fed the puck through traffic in front of the net to find Brandon Saad waiting to tip it home.
The second period opened with an offensive flurry, as the teams combined to score three goals in the opening five minutes. Jordie Benn joined what became a 4-on-2 rush to score his first of the season, but the Hawks bounced back as Patrick Kane tied the game less than two minutes later.
Eric Cole scored his eighth of the season only 45 seconds after Kane’s tally to give Dallas the lead back. This time, it took the Blackhawks more than 13 minutes to tie the game. Bryan Bickell redirected a Brad Richards shot past Kari Lehtonen for a power play goal to tie the game inside two minutes remaining in the period.
Cole and Richards made an impact in the third period as well. Cole scored his second of the night to cap a three-point effort at 4:05 to give Dallas the lead once again. Richard countered nearly 12 minutes later with a shot eerily similar to the one from Kane that won the 2010 Stanley Cup.
In the third period, coach Joel Quenneville threw his lines into the blender again as he looked to find combinations that clicked with Kris Versteeg missing from the lineup. He appeared to like what he saw from Richards with Patrick Sharp and Marian Hossa, and was rewarded with Richards tying the game late in regulation.
Overtime began with a flurry as Toews, Kane and Johnny Oduya spent most of the first minute putting pressure on Lehtonen and the Stars. At the other end, Crawford nearly gave the game away before flopping on the puck to get a whistle. Sharp ended the game moments later, finishing a fabulous dish from Duncan Keith for his eighth of the season.
Hossa and Keith finished with two assists each, while Sharp was credited with an assist and the game-winner. Bickell led the way with six hits in addition to his goal, while Niklas Hjalmarsson blocked a team-high four shots and bailed out Crawford in overtime. Hossa was strong all over the ice, tying Richards with a team-high two takeaways with his two assists on the night.
Keith and Brent Seabrook may have been voted to the All-Star Game this weekend, but they have had better nights at the office than Sunday evening. They were on the ice for the last three Dallas goals.
Star prospect Teuvo Teravainen made his season debut and floated with different lines for his 15 shifts, most of which came in the first two periods. He finished the night with three shots, all in the first period, and won two of five faceoffs with one blocked shot and one hit.
Neither netminder had a great night. Crawford made 30 saves in the victory, while Lehtonen made 33 in defeat.
The Hawks are back at the United Center on Tuesday night when the Colorado Avalanche visit Chicago.