That they came back to beat the top team in the league, the unlikely Saint Louis Blues, noted for their defense, with a third-period rally for the second time in a month at home testifies that the Hawks might yet be a force in the playoffs.
But boy, did it look dark there in the first period at the United Center.
The Hawks scored first, but the Blues scored the next three in the first frame. They were pushing the Hawks around, beating them to the puck, and just plain having their way with them.
Yet the Hawks toughened up behind a pair of fights involving first former Blues center Jamal Mayers, then pugnacious rookie Brandon Bollig, brought in to be the enforcer to replace John Scott. In this case he came to the defense of Mayers after a savage shot by the Blues' Ryan Reaves.
Corey Crawford, playing his first game this month, came on in relief of Ray Emery to start the second period and didn't allow a goal—not even in the eventual shootout.
The Hawks crawled back with a goal by Viktor Stalberg in the second, and tied the game in the third on a power-play slap shot by Brent Seabrook.
Leave it to Patrick Kane to win it with the only goal in the shootout, with a little coaching by Marian Hossa.
This was a big win, with but 11 games to go in the regular season, and the Hawks still striving for consistency without captain Jonathan Toews. Now they just to get him back—and settle on a No. 1 playoff goalie.