No Marian Hossa?
No Patrick Sharp?
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No Andrew Shaw?
No problem for the Blackhawks.
Even without Hossa (a late scratch with an upper-body injury) or Sharp and Shaw (who left the game with injuries), the Hawks extended their various streaks with a dramatic 3-2 victory over Colorado on Wednesday night at the United Center.
The Hawks trailed 2-1 entering the third period, but Jonathan Toews scored short-handed at 2:19, then Daniel Carcillo got the most dramatic goal of the night with 50 seconds to play.
"Tonight might have been a good example of finding ways to win to a different level," Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said.
The Hawks reached the shortened season's halfway mark with at least 1 point in every game (45 of a possible 48), extending that streak to 24 games (21-0-3).
It was their 30th straight game without a loss in regulation, dating to last season, and 11th win in a row, extending their franchise record.
But the win might have come at a cost with the loss of Sharp, whose upper-body injury might be serious.
Sharp was drilled into the glass by Avs defenseman Ryan O'Byrne early in the third period and headed straight to the dressing room holding his left shoulder.
"He may miss some time," Quenneville said, adding he didn't think it was a season-ending injury. "We'll know more (Thursday)."
Carcillo's goal capped a comeback that started with Toews' shorty.
"We've shown a lot of maturity and great qualities as a team," Toews said. "We put a lot of pressure on the other team and make them survive that pressure. We never go away. We never give up. We keep coming at them.
"A lot of people might think that we're pulling that game out of our you-know-where, but really we're working for it."
Carcillo hopped on a Viktor Stalberg rebound in the slot and backhanded the puck past goalie Semyon Varlamov for his first goal of the season.
"Just staying around the net, we knew he gives up some rebounds," Carcillo said. "It seems like forever. It's a big weight off my shoulders. I want to be more than an enforcer on this team. Just to be able to step in after some key guys go down and help the team is what we play for."
The Hawks got a power-play goal from Shaw at 9:51 and almost got out of the first period with the lead, but John Mitchell scored at 18:20 to tie it.
Shaw's goal was his sixth and came when he deflected a point shot by Brent Seabrook past Varlamov.
It was 2-1 for the Avs when Toews scored short-handed early in the third period. Toews went around center Ryan O'Reilly, playing defense, and deked Varlamov down and out before tucking a backhander in off the post.
"That reminded me of the goal he scored short-handed in Vancouver in Game 7 (two years ago)," Quenneville said.
Hossa took the warmup but decided he couldn't go.
"He was close to playing there," Quenneville said. "Hopefully he'll be ready for the next game (Friday at Colorado)."
At 21-0-3 there was no need to have Hossa play if he wasn't 100 percent. That's a luxury Quenneville will have the rest of the way thanks to their huge lead in the standings.
"I know that the guys that are playing right now, they want more," Quenneville said. "They're hockey players and they want to play. We'll recognize when it's too taxing for them and we'll rest them by staying away from the rink on nongame days."
Shaw didn't come out for the third period after taking a Paul Stastny elbow in the chops. "He's not too bad," Quenneville said.
The Hawks finished the game with nine forwards -- eight if you don't count defenseman-turned-forward Sheldon Brookbank, who played just 2:31.
"The guys were working hard, down to three lines, sometimes eight forwards," Quenneville said. "We were short on the bench, but guys don't mind getting extra ice time. They were very good when the game was on the line."
•Follow Tim's hockey reports on Twitter @TimSassone and check out his Between the Circles blog at dailyherald.com.