The Blackhawks put together an all-around statement win on Saturday night, taking a 7-2 landslide on the road in Nashville over the Predators.
Robin Lehner turned in another strong performance in net, but stood witness to an offensive explosion in front of him as Chicago took their third straight win and at least point for the fifth straight game.
Some 18 days ago, the Blackhawks seemingly hit a low point in their young season. After up-and-down performances throughout the opening month, Chicago fell absolutely flat in their final October contest - a 3-0 loss to the Predators with just eight total shots in the opening two periods.
November, on the other hand, has been a different story - one that came full-circle on Saturday with a resounding win in the very building where it appeared things had fallen apart. The Blackhawks are 5-1-2 since that night two-and-a-half weeks ago and the confidence of the group continues to grow.
"It was a good response tonight. I think we knew coming into this rink was going to be a test for us and we wanted to respond and show that that wasn't our team the last time we were here. I thought we did that," head coach Jeremy Colliton said. "We've had a good stretch where we've been getting points and we want to extend it."
"I thought they were really good the first five minutes of every period and we weathered the storm together," Lehner said. "They're a good offensive team as well, they created a bunch of odd-man rushes which the D did a really good job on and came up with some saves, but it was a nice win. A nice bounce back and kind of shows the progress we've made since last time we were here."
Chicago scored at least five goals for the third straight game and for the fourth time in their last five outings, putting up their highest offensive production this season along the way with seven tallies in Nashville.
With 32 goals so far, no team has scored more goals than the Blackhawks in the month of November.
"We have a great team, we just had I guess a rough start in the beginning," Alex Nylander said after finding the net twice late in the third. "We're coming together now and we're creating chances and we're shooting the puck more, so we've just been doing a really good job the last couple games and we just need to keep going like this."
"I thought it was a good performance, especially the first two periods. We scored on our chances and we got some really timely saves, too," Colliton said "(We) scored some timely goals and obviously the guys have some confidence and had some fun out there. It's nice, everyone feels good."
Six different Blackhawks found the net on Saturday and 13 of the 18 skaters found the scoresheet as the offensive wealth spread further than in any previous game to date this season.
Two of the opening three goals from Saturday's win came from the back half of Chicago's lineup, including Erik Gustafsson's opening wrister to break a Nashville-dominated start to the game. Brent Seabrook added his second of the year in the second period funneling a puck towards the net on his backhand, beating Pekka Rinne over the shoulder.
"We have some guys who can jump in and produce," Colliton said. "Gus' goal was big. They had some chances and then all of the sudden we're up 1-0. He can provide that and obviously showed he can do it last year, so hopefully he's got more in the tank."
Over the last two games, four of Chicago's 12 goals have come from defenseman after having just three goals from blueliners in the first 17 games combined.