Toews and Patrick Kane keyed a four-goal second period with a goal and assist apiece, and rookie goalie Corey Crawford had a strong game for the second straight day in a 5-3 victory against the St. Louis Blues at the Scottrade Center on Monday.
"It was a little frustrating and maybe I got after the boys a little bit too much, but obviously you saw the guys responded to it," Toews said. "The leaders in this locker room held the rest of the team accountable and everyone stepped up to the plate."
Assistant coach Mike Haviland, filling in for ailing Joel Quenneville, said he passed through the locker room when Toews and others were unleashing their frustrations down 2-0 after the first period.
"For sure, he had a lot to say," said Haviland, who improved to 3-1-0 as Chicago's acting bench boss. "He doesn't say a lot, so certainly when he does it means an awful lot. I walked through and I just know he was saying what he needed to say, and a couple of other guys said it, too."
Andy McDonald scored his third goal in two games for the Blues, who had won three in a row. Ben Bishop made his fourth career start and first since Dec. 18, 2008, but was yanked after surrendering four goals on eight shots in the second period.
"I felt good going into the game, felt good in the first. I felt good in the second, too," said the 6-foot-7 Bishop, the tallest goalie in the NHL. "Just a couple of breakdowns there.
"I've got to make one big save there to keep the team in the game."
McDonald, David Backes and Chris Stewart, the Blues' top line, were all minus-3. Stewart had two goals in his St. Louis debut on Saturday.
Crawford made 31 saves a day after thwarting Pittsburgh in a shootout, and won his 20th game.
After his seventh multi-point effort in 11 games, Toews said "There's not much to be said if you're not playing well yourself."
Marian Hossa added an empty-net goal with less than a second to go for the Blackhawks. Chicago is 3-1 without Quenneville, recovering from gastrointestinal bleeding caused by an ulcer and for now participating by long distance.
"We talk about lines, we talk about as much as we can," Haviland said. "He's been real helpful. He was real happy today, I'll tell you that."
The Blues built on momentum from a 9-3 rout over Anaheim in the first period with McDonald's 13th of the season giving them four power-play goals in six chances and Brad Boyes adding his 12th at 16:49.
Goals one minute apart by Victor Stalberg and Dave Bolland tied it early in the second and Kane's 20th rang off the far post and in for the lead at 6:29. Toews scored his 20th at 12:40, poking a rebound past Bishop on a power play only 25 seconds after David Backes was whistled for slashing.
Ten players had at least a point in Chicago's pullaway period.
"To go from down two to up two in the matter of one period, that's huge for us," Kane said. "We knew what we had to do."
Alex Pietrangelo cut the gap to one midway through the third for St. Louis, giving him seven points the last four games. T.J. Oshie and Patrik Berglund each earned their second assist on the play. A potential tying goal midway through the third was whistled off because B.J. Crombeen steered a Blackhawks player into Crawford.
"Obviously in the second period we took our foot off the gas a little and they just took advantage of it," Oshie said. "It's just an unacceptable second period."
The Blackhawks ended a three-game losing streak in St. Louis, took a 3-2 season series lead and moved five points ahead of the Blues and among a group of Western Conference playoff contenders.
"They just turned it up," Blues coach Davis Payne said. "A good team turned it up and we didn't recognize that soon enough."
Material from wire services and team media was used in this report.
1 - 0 STL
2 - 0 STL
2 - 1 STL
2 - 2 Tie
3 - 2 CHI
4 - 2 CHI
4 - 3 CHI