|CHI||1||0||5||(0 - 0)||6|
|TOR||2||1||1||(0 - 0)||4|
TORONTO (AP) -Denis Savard would have thrived playing with the group he's coaching now.
Savard, whose offensive flair earned him a place in the Hockey Hall of Fame, finally has the attacking talent to build a winner in Chicago.
"That's where we're heading," he said after the Blackhawks' 6-4 comeback victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday night.
"We're not quite there yet. We've still got lots of things to improve on, but our organization has done a great job acquiring the veteran guys we've got and the kids we drafted. We've got more to come, too."
This dynamic mix of savvy veterans and fast youngsters improved to 5-3-0, which puts them near the top of the Central Division in the NHL's Western Conference.
It's a great start for a franchise that hasn't had a playoff spot since 2002 and in eight of the last nine seasons. Savard is hoping it'll fill some of those empty seats in the United Center.
"Chicago fans will be back," Savard predicted. "They've got a lot to look forward to."
Against the Leafs, the Blackhawks were trailing 3-1 when the third period began, but they rallied for five goals in the last 20 minutes to win for the second time in two nights. They beat Colorado 5-3 at home Friday night.
Jason Williams, Andrei Zyuzin, Duncan Keith, Robert Lang, Patrick Sharp and Tuomo Ruutu, with an empty-netter with 25 seconds left, scored for the Blackhawks. Patrick Lalime, the fifth consecutive backup goalie to be used against the Leafs, earned the victory.
Mats Sundin scored twice and Tomas Kaberle and Chad Kilger once each for the Leafs.
Chicago was 4-for-7 on power plays, and took only one minor penalty all night in preventing Toronto similar extra-man opportunities.
First-line center Jonathan Toews, 19, earned one assist and first-line winger Patrick Kane, 18, got two. They didn't score goals, but their speed, agility and craftiness set the tone, and their older teammates followed.
"Their will is so huge and you can't teach that," Savard said. "They're great players but, more important, their will is huge."
It was Chicago's first game outside the United States this season.
"It was awesome to play that first game in Canada," said Toews, a native of Winnipeg who was the third overall pick in the 2006 entry draft out of the University of North Dakota. "I had it marked on my calendar. I was definitely looking forward to it."
He's far from midseason shape, he said, although the highlight reel goal he scored Friday still has fans talking.
"Compared to the college level, everyone knows it's an adjustment," he said. "The speed of the game obviously is different."
Kane also is making a quick adaptation to the big league. The native of Buffalo, N.Y., was the first overall draft pick out of the OHL's London Knights last June.
"We said special teams was going to win the game and we got four power-play goals," Kane said. "That was obviously the difference in the game. It worked for us and we're glad it did."
Speed is quickly becoming their trademark.
"We're a fast team," Kane said. "We pride ourselves in that. Speed and puck possession - we always want to have the puck."
Notes: Sundin upped his career total to 528 goals. That's only five behind Frank Mahovlich, who is 27th on the career NHL list. ... Chicago's Martin Havlat remains out with a shoulder injury. He was hurt Oct. 4.
|PPG - Jason Williams Wrist shot - ASST: Jonathan Toews , Patrick Kane|
1 - 0 CHI
|SHG - Mats Sundin Backhand shot - ASST: NONE|
1 - 1 Tie
|Tomas Kaberle Wrist shot - ASST: Jason Blake|
2 - 1 TOR
|Mats Sundin Backhand shot - ASST: Jason Blake|
3 - 1 TOR
|PPG - Andrei Zyuzin Wrist shot - ASST: Patrick Kane , Jason Williams|
3 - 2 TOR
|Duncan Keith Wrist shot - ASST: Brent Sopel , Sergei Samsonov|
3 - 3 Tie
|Robert Lang Wrist shot - ASST: Jason Williams , Jim Vandermeer|
4 - 3 CHI
|PPG - Patrick Sharp Tip-in - ASST: Brent Sopel|
5 - 3 CHI
|Chad Kilger Wrist shot - ASST: Darcy Tucker|
5 - 4 CHI
|PPG - EN - Tuomo Ruutu Snap shot - ASST: Robert Lang , Jason Williams|
6 - 4 CHI
|John Pohl Holding the stick against Kevyn Adams|
|Alexei Ponikarovsky Holding against Brent Sopel|
|David Koci Fighting (maj) against Wade Belak|
|Wade Belak Fighting (maj) against David Koci|
|Tuomo Ruutu Interference against Jason Blake|
|Alexei Ponikarovsky Hooking against Robert Lang|
|Andy Wozniewski Tripping against Tuomo Ruutu|
|Hal Gill Delaying Game-Puck over glass|
|John Pohl Hooking against Sergei Samsonov|
|Alexei Ponikarovsky Hooking against Brent Sopel|