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THREE THINGS: Kubalik Still Scoring, Saad Story and Slater's Score

Three takeaways from Chicago's comeback win over Tampa Bay on Thursday night

by Chris Kuc @ChrisKuc /

TAMPA BAY, Fla. - The Blackhawks waited until the third period to strike lightning.

Dominik Kubalik scored three of the Blackhawks' five goals in the third as the visitors roared back to defeat the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-2 on Thursday night at Amalie Arena.

Trailing 2-0 early in the third, the Blackhawks exploded for five goals with Kubalik notching his first career hat trick and Brandon Saad and Slater Koekkoek also finding the back of the net.

"That sure was a good job by the team of sticking with it," said Saad, who got the Blackhawks rolling with his 20th goal of the season. "That's a good hockey team. You get down in a game and it's easy to quit but for us, we had a resilient group (Thursday night). We got around the net, got some bounces and we are feeling good about ourselves. The energy is high and we have to keep this rolling."

Corey Crawford made 37 saves and was the deserving recipient of the offensive explosion to earn the victory in goal for the Blackhawks.

Brayden Point and Nikita Kucherov scored for the Lightning but it wasn't enough as netminder Curtis McElhinney couldn't hold the lead.

With their first regular-season victory in Tampa since Feb. 17, 2009, the Blackhawks improved 1-2-0 on their current four-game road trip and 28-28-8 on the season.

 Video: Kubalik nets first hatty, Blackhawks rally for win

Here are three takeaways from the Blackhawks' win:


Kubalik hasn't slowed down in the goal-scoring department and now leads the Blackhawks with 29 on the season.

What's been the secret to his success in finding the back of the net?

"I have no idea-that's a good question (and) I would like to know, too," Kubalik said with a smile. "I'm just trying to do the same thing, be around the net because lots of goals are just laying there. I've been lucky so I'm really happy."

So is Blackhawks coach Jeremy Colliton.

"(Kubalik) is playing with a lot of confidence," Colliton said. "Confidence is a big part of his game and he's a guy who can be a little up and down depending on how he feels about his own game. But recently he's been able to smooth that out and find an extra level of consistency and that's great. It's great for us, great for him."

Kubalik was especially pleased to record his first career hat trick after missing out on chances earlier this season.

"It feels amazing," Kubalik said. "It's something special. The first night when I scored my two goals and then I missed it I was kind of in my head, I'm not going to lie. I was trying to do it as quick as possible and I'm really happy that it happened."

Video: Kubalik, Koekkoek, Crawford and Colliton on comeback


Saad reached the 20-goal mark for the fifth time in his career when he scored off a scrum in front of the Lightning goal.

The 27-year-old Saad has been among the Blackhawks' most consistent players this season despite missing a month with a right ankle injury. The winger's 20 goals rank third on the team behind Kubalik's 29 and Patrick Kane's 28.

"That's something I want to contribute every year," Saad said of reaching the 20-goal mark. "Not that that's a mark for me but it just so happens that I hit 20 every year. To have that consistency as a player is something you can tip your hat on."

Saad said that contributing to a character win "makes you feel good."

"It gives you a little bit of relief where when times are tough and you're losing games you never feel good about yourself but coming into a tough building and to beat a good hockey team, that's got to make you feel good," Saad added. "We just want to continue that momentum."

Video: CHI@TBL: Koekkoek sneaks point shot through traffic


Koekkoek picked the perfect time and place for his first goal of the season as it was the game-winner against his former team.

"When you get to this point in the season you don't know if you're going to get one," Koekkoek said. "It's like you're getting shots and opportunities but you need one to find the back of the net and that's what happened."

Not only was it Koekkoek's first goal in a Blackhawks uniform, it came against the Lightning for whom the defenseman played from 2014-19.

"It was huge, especially to get the win against a good team like that," Koekkoek said. "It was a special night for sure."

Said Colliton: "Good spot for it to happen, no question. Everyone's happy for him. He's a soldier for us, works hard and in the beginning of the year he was in and out, mostly out, for a lot of the year. I think his game has improved and he's a big part of the group in there as far as mentality and just willing to do the dirty work and play for his teammates."

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