The Blackhawks picked up their first win against the Vegas Golden Knights on Wednesday night to open up a two-game winning streak and now have points in six of their last seven games as they find a rhythm in the month of November.
Corey Crawford made 39 saves and Patrick Kane and Dylan Strome led the way with a goal and two assists each. Kirby Dach, Alex DeBrincat and Zack Smith all had two-point nights as well in the come-from-behind win.
Here are three takeaways from Wednesday's tilt on the Vegas Strip:
The Blackhawks might've gone down early, but they were far from out.
Just 16 seconds after falling into a 2-0 hole, Strome found Kane for a beautiful one-timer to pull within one once again.
Then, in the second, it appeared that Chicago had once again fallen in a two-goal hole as Alex Tuch rang a shot off the crossbar and the post in a play that was originally called a goal on the ice before a swift reversal. Calvin de Haan needed 15 seconds to swing the momentum the opposite direction with a good goal for Chicago. Another 45 seconds after that, Erik Gustafsson gave the Blackhawks their first lead of the game, 3-1, and they never looked back.
"That was a big one. That might've been a turning point," said Smith, who had the primary assist on de Haan's equalizer. "They could've taken over the momentum with that (waived off) goal, but we obviously responded very well with that, scoring right after, so that was a big one."
"Hockey's a weird game and you can feel the momentum swing on the ice sometimes," de Haan said. "It took the wind out of their sails pretty quickly … My tying it up, that doesn't matter, but Gus scoring right after was pretty important and it was definitely a big part of the game."
Head coach Jeremy Colliton said the resilience his side showed down 2-0 is a sign of their progress.
"Maybe five games ago that could've gone south on us, but I really liked how we responded."
It was the second straight game that Chicago struck twice within a minute: Kane scored 10 seconds after Dach in the opening period on Sunday against Toronto.
Dach was all of 7 years old when his fourth-line winger, Smith, made his NHL debut for the Ottawa Senators nearly 11 years ago. After 193 points (94G, 99A) as a Senator - where he spent his entire career until this summer - the 31-year-old had somewhat struggled to find his footing in his new home in Chicago during his first 10 games. No. 11 was a different story.
With his assist on de Haan's second-period equalizer, Smith not only found the scoresheet for the first time as a Blackhawk, it was the 100th assist of his career. He wasn't done there, adding another on Dach's goal in the third.
"I think he's been really good ever since he returned to the lineup (in) the Vancouver game and he's been great," Colliton said of the veteran. "Very, very happy with how he's played and he's a professional with his approach to the game. He finds a way to win puck battles and advance it and goes to the net and I think he's really helping his linemates right now. That's really helps the depth of our team."
The fourth-line duo also had a T-Mobile Arena savant alongside them, as former Golden Knight Ryan Carpenter picked up his sixth assist of the season with the primary helper on Dach's tally and now sits fourth on the team in assists.
"It's huge. As a young guy, you're always trying to find that way to have success in and around the net to produce points," Dach said of finding his confidence offensively. "Obviously playing with two great linemates with Carp and Smitty, they're good in the corners and they get me the puck."
"Just amazed. I can't imagine me playing in that position at his age," Smith said, praising his centerman. "He's a big, strong kid and the sky's the limit with his skill. He's nice to play with because he's a big guy, he can go in the corners and pick pucks out and he's a guy you want to get the puck to because he's going to make plays too. He's come a long way and I'm just enjoying playing with him and Carpenter right now."
Kane will soon etch himself a permanent spot in Three Things if he keeps putting up three things (points) a night. But he's not alone.
For the third time in the last four games, No. 88 scored three points as he pushed a point streak to seven games with 14 points (6G, 8A). Strome had his own three-point night (1G, 2A) and DeBrincat notched two assists alongside Kane the second line. On Sunday, the duo had roles reversed as DeBrincat scored three points (3A) and Strome had two of his own (2A).
The trio sit one, two and three in Blackhawks scoring for the year and in the last four games have combined for seven goals and 17 assists.