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Looking back at Chicago's historic streak

by John Kreiser

The greatest start in NHL history has come to an end.

The Chicago Blackhawks came into Friday's game at Colorado having gotten points in each of their first 24 games, by far the longest streak from the start of a season. But two nights after edging the Avalanche 3-2 in Chicago, the Blackhawks were overwhelmed in the return match in Denver. Colorado scored five unanswered goals on the way to a 6-2 victory, handing Chicago its first regulation loss since last March 25.

Chicago's streak was formed from equal parts balanced offense, big games by big players, solid defense and excellent goaltending. For the first half of this season's 48-game schedule, the Blackhawks were unbeatable in any game not decided in a shootout.

This was a streak for the ages. Here's a look at some of the numbers that were part of it:

1 -- Empty-net goals by Chicago during the streak. The only game in which the Blackhawks hit the empty net was a 5-3 victory at San Jose on Feb. 5.

2 -- Games in which Chicago had to overcome a two-goal deficit to win. The Blackhawks trailed 2-0 in Dallas on Jan. 24 but rallied for a 3-2 overtime victory. San Jose grabbed a 3-1 first-period lead on Feb. 5, but Chicago scored four unanswered goals for a 5-3 victory.

3 -- Victories against San Jose and Columbus, the only teams to lose three times to Chicago during the streak. San Jose dropped all three meetings in regulation; Columbus lost twice in regulation and once in overtime.

4 -- Most goals allowed by the Blackhawks in any game during the streak. Phoenix scored four times in a 6-4 loss on Jan. 20, Chicago's second game of the season.

5 -- Games in which the Blackhawks scored five or more goals. That includes a pair of six-goal performances, both of them against the Coyotes in Phoenix.

6 -- Games during the streak that went to a shootout. The Blackhawks split those games, losing to Minnesota, Vancouver and Anaheim while beating Calgary, Vancouver and Detroit.

7 -- Victories for Chicago in games decided after regulation. Chicago won all four games during the streak that were decided in overtime and went 3-3 in six contests that were decided in shootouts.

8 -- Games decided by more than one goal during the streak. The Blackhawks were 3-0 in games decided by two goals and 5-0 when the margin was three or more goals.

9 -- Power-play goals surrendered by the Blackhawks. Chicago did not allow a power-play in 16 of the 24 games during the streak and surrendered as many as two just once -- in a 3-2 win against Los Angeles on Feb. 17.

10 -- Road games played by the Blackhawks during the first 12 games of the streak. Chicago won eight of those games and lost the other two in shootouts.

11 -- Consecutive victories by the Blackhawks before losing Friday night at Colorado. It's the longest winning streak in the history of the franchise, which entered the NHL in 1926. The previous record was nine, set in 2008.

13 -- Players who had at least one game-winning goal during the streak. The 13th was Daniel Carcillo, who scored in the final minute on Wednesday to give the Blackhawks a 3-2 home victory against Colorado. Marian Hossa was tops with four.

16 -- Games during the streak in which Chicago outshot its opponent. The Blackhawks were 14-0-2 in those games; they also went 6-0-1 when they were outshot and 1-0-0 when the shots were even.

27 -- Points for Patrick Kane during the streak, the most on the team. Kane is the only Blackhawk among the NHL's top-25 scorers entering the weekend.

30 -- Games between regular-season regulation losses for the Blackhawks. They lost 6-1 to Nashville last March 25 and went 24-0-6 before losing at Colorado on Friday. The 30-game streak of getting at least one point is the second-longest in NHL history.

32 -- Chicago's non-shootout goal differential during the streak. The Blackhawks scored 75 times during the 24 games (3.13 per game) while allowing 43 (1.79).

367 -- Days since the Blackhawks' last road loss in regulation before being beaten in Denver on Friday. The Hawks hadn't gone home empty-handed in a road game since a 5-1 loss to St. Louis on March 6, 2012.

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