Jonathan Toews scored the game-winner in overtime to lift the Blackhawks to a 3-2 victory over the Blue Jackets on Friday night at the United Center.
Alex DeBrincat added a goal and an assist, Drake Caggiula also scored and Patrick Kane had two assists to provide the offense for goaltender Robin Lehner (37 saves).
"That's a hard-working team," Toews said of the Blue Jackets. "They have some skill. They play well as a team and they didn't give us much room out there. It's probably not our best start, there are a lot of things that we know we can do better, but … you have to find ways to win those games. You can't let them slip so it's nice to get two points."
The Blue Jackets controlled play for much of the game but the Blackhawks rallied to tie it at 2-2 on DeBrincat's power-play goal midway through the third period. They later won it on Toews' first goal of the season.
"It wasn't perfect but I think it's also positive that we found a way to win anyway," coach Jeremy Colliton said. "Sometimes it's nice to learn some lessons when you win. We have a little momentum and hopefully we can continue that."
The Blackhawks second win in a row extended their points streak to three games and upped their record on the season to 2-2-1.
The winner came when Kane fired the puck on goal and the rebound deflected off Toews' shin pad past Blue Jackets goaltender Elvis Merzlikins. Toews said he isn't stealing teammate Andrew Shaw's favorite way to score.
"I ain't stealing anything from Shawzy," Toews said with a smile. "I guess if that's the way I have to score to get things going then I'll take it."
The goal was a relief to Toews, who hadn't scored this season. The captain said he can build off the score and keep the offense coming.
"For sure, for sure," Toews said. "Just being around the net and trying to get your stick on pucks, it's definitely nice to get one any way you can."
DeBrincat's game-tying goal came off a one-timer from the left circle following a cross-ice pass from Kane.
"A lot of teams want to block that play and it's my job to find the open space and the open lane," DeBrincat said. "We obviously have one more guy than them so one guy should be open. I need to do my best to either draw a guy to me or find an open space."
The goal was reminiscent of the many scored by Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin, who sets up shop in the left circle, often referred to as "Ovi's Office." DeBrincat said he has studied Ovechkin's tactics on the power play.
"I think I'm a little bit lower (in the circle) than him," DeBrincat said of Ovechkin. "He's got one of the best shots - maybe the best shot ever - and he can just rip it from wherever. For me, I think I try to get a little bit closer to the net. I have scored from out there but it's not ideal. I'm just trying to find that open lane for either 'Kaner' or (Erik) Gustafsson (each had an assist on the goal) to get it to me and see where he goes from there."
DeBrincat added that one-timers are "something I work on a lot. Any time you get a seam pass you almost have an empty net so it's a really good opportunity to score and in these tight games you need to score when you get a chance."
The Blackhawks penalty kill was impressive. After allowing at least one goal while shorthanded in each of their first four games, Chicago blanked the Blue Jackets on four power plays.
"That's work ethic," Toews said. "That's something that we can really focus on using as momentum. PK is one of those things that was a major issue in our game last year so it's nice to see some early success right now. There's always room for improvement but it's nice to see."
Said Colliton: "I thought the penalty kill was excellent. At any point if they score - they had multiple chances - it really changes the game. It allowed our power play in the end to come through and make a difference for us. That was big."