Blackhawks explode for 5 goals in third, win fifth straight
In a stunning turn of events, the Blackhawks turned a 2-1 third-period deficit into a 5-2 lead in less than three minutes and went on to defeat the host Edmonton Oilers 6-2 at Rogers Place on Tuesday.
John Hayden, Dylan Strome, Patrick Kane and Drake Caggiula scored for the Hawks in a two-minute, 48-second span. Erik Gustafsson and Dominik Kahun also scored, and Cam Ward made 25 saves for a Hawks (21-24-9) squad that has now won five straight.
Edmonton, which has lost six straight and fell to 23-25-5, got a pair of power-play goals from Leon Draisaitl.
The Hawks are now 3 points behind Vancouver for the second wild-card spot in the Western Conference. The Canucks will be at the United Center on Thursday.
Hayden scored at 3:50 of the third period after taking a pass from Marcus Kruger and whipping a shot past Cam Talbot. It was just his third goal of the season and first since Nov. 29 at Winnipeg.
Strome gave the Hawks a 3-2 lead when he accepted a pass from Kahun, took a couple of strides to get a better angle on Talbot and then ripped a shot into the net at 5:23.
Kane made it 4-2 just 28 seconds later -- extending his point streak to 12 games -- and Caggiula made it 5-2 at 6:38.
The victory had to be particularly sweet for Caggiula, who played his first 156 games for Edmonton before being traded to the Hawks for Brandon Manning on Dec. 30. He talked Monday about wanting to make a good impression on a franchise that "kind of gave up on a player."
"Obviously an exciting feeling," said Caggiula, who now has 9 goals in 40 games overall. "It's a little bit weird. I've never been in a situation like this. I know I'm looking forward to playing against some old teammates and some old friends. ...
"You want to show that you're capable of doing some good things and just make sure you do your best."
Caggiula has been a key part of the Hawks' success while skating with Kane and Jonathan Toews during this five-game winning streak.
Coach Jeremy Colliton loves what the hard-nosed, rugged forward brings to that top line.
"Part of why I like him there is he provides a different element," Colliton told reporters before the game. "He's not afraid to get his nose dirty. He's scrappy. He'll go to the net. That line needs a presence like that, so it's important that he continues to do that.
"It's not so much how many plays he makes -- he'll make enough. He's got some skill. But does he get pucks back? Does he win battles … so that we get to stay in the offensive zone? Does he go to the net so that maybe a perimeter chances becomes a better one?
"That's the key for him."
Ward is now 10-8-4 overall and has won four of his last five starts. He somehow kept the Hawks within one late in the second period with a spectacular save of a Ty Rattie one-timer. As Connor McDavid backhanded a pass across ice, Ward managed to lunge to his right and got his leg on Rattie's attempt from point-blank range.