The Blackhawks are doing their best to erase that recent ugly eight-game losing streak.
With Saturday night's 2-1 victory in a shootout over the Phoenix Coyotes before a crowd of 18,073 at Jobing.com Arena, the Hawks won their fourth consecutive game — three of them in shootouts — to ease the pain of the skid.
"It's a huge victory," said Brent Seabrook, who scored the Hawks' only goal in regulation with a power-play score at the 15-minute-56-second mark of the second period. "We've been playing great lately. Even when we were losing we were playing great, and now we're just getting some results."
Patrick Kane and Martin Havlat scored in the shootout and goaltender Patrick Lalime made two stops to help the Hawks improve to 23-21-4.
"Whatever we need to win, especially on the road [because] it's never easy," Lalime said. "For us it's playoff hockey now. We have to win. Every game is big and everybody has to show up, and it was a great effort again."
Lalime allowed only a power-play goal to Phoenix's Peter Mueller at 12:08 of the second period to record his fourth straight victory. Mueller made it 1-0 when his shot from the point deflected off the stick of Hawks defenseman Duncan Keith.
"He has been phenomenal," coach Denis Savard said of Lalime. "Patrick's seeing the puck very well. I can see that even from the bench when shooters are coming down [ice] on him. He's big in goal."
Seabrook scored his sixth goal of the season off a cross-ice pass from Kane while the Hawks were on the power play to tie it 1-1.
Kane led off the shootout with a terrific move and beat Coyotes goalie Ilja Bryzgalov, and Martin Havlat followed to give the Hawks a 2-0 edge. Then Lalime shut the door on Mueller. Kane has led off all five of Hawks' shootouts this season and has scored on four of them.
"It's a good feeling," Kane said. "It's nice to be on a little winning streak, especially after that eight-game losing streak. Hopefully we can turn it around and catch up on the points. We let some slip from us during the losing streak, but we have to catch up now."
Said Savard: "It was a pretty gutsy effort from our group. Give our guys a lot of credit, playing [Friday night] in a tough game. I liked our effort.
"For the rest of the year every game is important and every inch you gain is going to be tough. I'm proud of our guys."
Net increaseSavard credits Lalime with helping the Hawks turn things around following their bad stretch.
"He deserves all the credit," Savard said. "He got us back in this race. We were in a bit of a hole, and he got us out of it."
Lalime's play has kept regular Nikolai Khabibulin on the bench.
"[Khabibulin] is part of our team, and he's going to play some games," Savard said. "But right now Patrick's playing tremendous, and I'm going to continue to go with the hot hand."
One-timersJames Wisniewski, who played forward for the Hawks in Friday night's 2-1 shootout victory over the Colorado Avalanche, moved back to defense, pairing with Brent Sopel. … Bobby Hull dropped the ceremonial first puck. … Martin Lapointe sat out his third straight game and Savard said he's having problems with his kidneys but added, "He's going to be fine." … David Koci and Andrei Zyuzin were healthy scratches.