Blackhawks save their best for last again in overtime win over the Panthers

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CHICAGO – When things were a bit down last week, with the team struggling in the midst of a five-game winless streak, a few of the Blackhawks pointed to a stretch of home games that might help them to reverse the trend.

They haven’t exactly been the easiest contests to get the “Mojo” back, but a win is certainly a win.

After surviving overtime against the Sabres on Friday, then breaking through against the Coyotes to break a scoreless tie in the third period, the Blackhawks once again saved their best moments for the end at the United Center against the Panthers on Tuesday.

Jonathan Toews got the Blackhawks back to even with just over six minutes to go, then Patrick Kane buried the game-winner in overtime to give the Blackhawks a 3-2 victory. With three wins-in-a-row following five winless contests, Joel Quenneville’s team improves their record to 15-11-5, even if they haven’t been the prettiest of games against a trio of teams that haven’t exactly enjoyed success this season.

After a week of being anything but clutch, this team will take a few close wins.

Florida made the Blackhawks work for it after the first period, one in which the home team took the advantage on Brandon Saad’s 11th goal of the season. The Panthers got a goal from Nick Bjugstad in the second then Jamie McGinn a little under four minutes into the third to grab the lead.

As he’s done most of the season, Corey Crawford (35 saves) kept the visitors off the board for the rest of overtime before Toews scored his ninth goal of the season to tie it up with 6:02 to play. In overtime, Crawford made a series of strong saves early in the session before Kane ended the game with a breakaway score.

It’s nice to win those close games for a change, which is exactly what the Blackhawks’ fortunes have done from one week to the next.

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