CHICAGO - Highly-touted rookie forwards Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews dazzled early for the Blackhawks against the Colorado Avalanche on Friday night.
But after Chicago gave up a three-goal lead, it needed a down-and-dirty goalmouth tip-in from Tuomo Ruutu with 1:25 left in the third period to snap a tie and beat Colorado, 5-3.
Ruutu deflected Magnus Johansson's shot from the point past Jose Theodore. Robert Lang added an empty-net goal with 50 seconds left to complete the scoring.
"It was a good shot from Johansson and I was lucky enough to tip it," Ruutu said. "The last couple of seasons, we've been losing by one goal. Now we're winning by one goal. It gives us a lot of self confidence."
The Blackhawks, especially Kane and Toews, seemed confident in the first period and Chicago raced to a 3-0 lead.
Kane scored his first NHL goal in the opening period. He added two assists, including one on Ruutu's winner. The 18-year-old Kane was the first overall pick in the 2007 draft.
"It was just a matter of time and it's nice to get that one, get rolling and do it in a win," Kane said.
Toews scored his second NHL goal after making a series of spectacular moves to open the scoring. The 19-year-old Toews was chosen with the third overall pick in the 2006 draft.
"It happened so fast," Toews said. "I was lucky their D-men were a little flatfooted. I don't think they expected me to come in with that much speed. I was pretty pumped."
Chicago coach Denis Savard, who scored dozens of electrifying goals as a Blackhawks centre, was impressed.
"We've haven't seen a goal like this in a long time," Savard said. "It was the highlight tape goal of the week, highlight goal of the year."
The Blackhawks' Patrick Sharp recorded a goal and two assists, while Chicago's Nikolai Khabibulin stopped 37 shots.
Colorado's Ryan Smyth scored on a tip-in on a power-play with 12:25 left in the third to tie it 3-3. Smyth redirected Andrew Brunette's feed past Khabibulin as he cut across the top of the crease.
Wojtek Wolski and Marek Svatos also scored for the Avalanche, who got 22 saves from Jose Theodore.
Colorado's Brunette and Joe Sakic each had two assists.
Despite the comeback, Sakic said the Avalanche lost the game early.
"We got off to a terrible start," he said. "They were flying in the first period. They have some young, skilled guys and you definitely have to pay attention to them."
Toews opened the scoring with a highlight-reel goal seven minutes into the game.
Skating at full speed through the neutral zone, Toews took Kane's feed. He then sped into the slot, stickhandled around Colorado defencemen Scott Hannan and Brett Clark, and beat Theodore.
Sharp made it 2-0 a minute and a half later. Following a Colorado turnover, Sharp took a cross-ice pass from Jason Williams and fired a shot past Theodore from the low edge of the left circle.
Kane scored his first career goal by completing a two-on-one break with Sharp with 5:24 left in the first. After taking Sharp's pass, Kane, who was skating down the left side of the slot, beat Theodore with a high shot on the glove side.
Wolski cut it to 3-1 with 4:39 left in the second period. After taking Brunette's feed from behind the net, he scored from the right circle on Colorado's 32nd shot.
Svatos scored from the left edge of the crease just 40 seconds into the third to trim it to 3-2. He was set up by Paul Stastny following a Chicago turnover.
Notes: Although Kane's goal was his first, he had scored in a shootout on Oct. 6 against Detroit to give the Blackhawks a 4-3 win. ... Colorado's Stastny has five goals and nine assist in seven games. ...Chicago LW Rene Bourque missed his second game because of a groin strain. Blackhawks RW Martin Havlat missed his sixth game due to a right shoulder injury and will be out four-to-six weeks. ... Colorado RW Milan Hejduk re-aggravated a back injury in the second period and didn't return. ... Avalanche RW Brad Richardson missed his seventh game with wrist injury suffered in training camp.