CHICAGO — Whenever anyone mentions “17 seconds” to a Blackhawks fan, they’ll know exactly what they are taking about.
The phrase refers to Game 6 of the 2013 Stanley Cup Final in Boston, where a pair of goals in that time frame by Bryan Bickell and Dave Bolland helped the Blackhawks to a 3-2 championship-clinching victory over the Bruins.
Certainly “2:48” won’t carry nearly that kind of weight for this current Blackhawks’ team, but certainly it’s the highlight of the best stretch of their current season.
It was in that time span against the Oilers on Tuesday night that the Blackhawks scored four-straight goals to turn a one-goal deficit into a three-score lead in the third period in Edmonton. John Hayden’s score 3:50 seconds into the period tied the game, and Dylan Strome’s goal 1:33 later gave the Blackhawks the lead.
Red hot Patrick Kane extended his scoring streak to 12 games with his 32nd goal of the year 28 seconds later, and Drake Caggiula’s nine score of the year 47 seconds later ended the barrage.
It marked the fourth-fastest time in which the Blackhawks have ever scored four goals, and the shortest since they pulled off the feat on December 20, 1989. They would add another later in the third to finish off a 6-2 victory.
It came after a frustrating first two periods where Jeremy Colliton’s team generated chances but only got a single goal. Thanks to a Cam Ward highlight save late in the second, the Blackhawks were able to finally break through in the third in memorable fashion.
“Probably deserved better the first two periods. Really liked our first, got in penalty trouble at the end and they scored. Like our second, they didn’t get much at all before the end of the second – Ward made a huge save there. Could have changed the game if they scored there,” said Colliton. “I thought we just kept playing. We stuck with it. You know it’s tough to win on the road, tough to come from behind on the road, but I think guys did a good job of just sticking with it.”
In the process the extended their season-long winning streak to five games, and is arguably the highlight of the year to date, considering the major changes that occurred in the first half of the season. They’ll host the Canucks on Thursday, the team that holds the last Wild Card position in the Western Conference, who currently sit three points and four teams ahead of the Blackhawks.
While that race will take time to sort out over the next two months, the team continues to gain confidence in Colliton’s system as the season goes along. It’s shown up in the last five victories and moments like the one in the third period.
“It’s nice for our team to win games in different ways. It’s just adding to our confidence,” said captain Jonathan Toews. “I don’t think we’re looking at it as a high right now, because I think that just implies that at some point you’re going to drop off.
“So for us, we’re playing well. We’re just climbing,” Toews said.