In what has otherwise been a dismal season, the one thing that can be said about the Blackhawks is that they have seldom packed it in.
They've had plenty of opportunities, the latest being Friday night. They fell behind by two goals but stormed back with four straight goals in the last 23 minutes 20 seconds to beat the Calgary Flames 5-3.
The victory snapped a franchise-record 19-game road losing streak. It also was the first time in 28 games that the Hawks won a game after trailing after two periods.
"There was a different feeling in the dressing room tonight after the second period," Hawks winger Steve Sullivan said. "It wasn't a hang-your-head quiet room that it's been in the past. It was very positive, everybody giving their advice and their encouragement."
One reason for the optimism was a goal late in the period by Tuomo Ruutu that cut the deficit to 3-2. It was Ruutu's second goal of the nightthe first two-goal game in his NHL career.
"It's good to score at the end of a period, especially when we were down two goals," Ruutu said. "It was a big goal."
It proved to be the springboard the Hawks needed to completely control the third period.
Tyler Arnason tied the game four minutes into the period, pouncing on a rebound from a Bryan Berard shot with the Hawks on the power play.
That opened the floodgates.
Mark Bell made a perfect pass to Sullivan, who was alone at the side of the net and beat Flames goalie Roman Turek to give the Hawks the lead.
Bell then capped a three-point period for himself when he converted a pass from Sullivan.
All throughout this road losing streak, the Hawks have said that it didn't matter where they won, as long as they won somewhere. But they're glad this story is now dead and buried.
"You hear [about the streak] from your friends, your family, everybody," Bell said. "It's not just [the media] talking about it. It's everyone talking about it, especially here in Canada."
The Hawks got off to strong start thanks to a misplay by Turek. He fumbled the puck behind the net to Kyle Calder, who found Ruutu in the slot to give the Hawks the lead 57 seconds into the game.
But like Thursday night in Edmonton, when the Hawks scored in the opening minute, the strong start didn't last.
Jarome Iginla scored the first of his two goals at the seven-minute mark off a perfect pass from Craig Conroy to tie the game 1-1, and the Flames went on to lead 3-1 late in the second.
Iginla's second goal came when he beat Steve Passmore from the blue line.
"Iginla's second goal is a carbon copy of how every game has been going lately," Sullivan said. "We could have easily hung our heads and say it's bad luck and we're cursed. ... Tonight the guys just bore down."
The Hawks know one win won't completely erase all the bad memories this season, but it will make Saturday's flight to Montreal much more pleasant. They also know that they'll enter Sunday's game against the Canadiens with a new streakone win on the road.
"We've been through a lot as a team," Bell said. "It's just one game, but it means a lot not to hear about this streak anymore."Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times