CHICAGO - The Chicago Blackhawks made a dramatic homecoming - and comeback.
Martin Havlat, Jonathan Toews and Dave Bolland scored in the final 5:45 to help Chicago rally for a 4-2 victory over the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday night. The Blackhawks played their first game at the United Center since Nov. 16 following a six-game trip. They started the trip 3-0, but were 0-2-1 in the final three.
Toews broke a 2-2 tie with 1:35 left. He beat goalie Jonas Hiller from the edge of the crease after taking a shot backhand pass from Kris Versteeg.
Set up by Duncan Keith, Havlat scored during a 4-on-4 with 5:45 left in regulation to tie it at 2. Bolland added an empty-net goal with 9 seconds left.
"Steeger and Duncs made a great play on Havlat's goal to tie it up," Toews said. "Right there, we said we can win this game. That was a huge turning point in the third."
The Blackhawks improved to 7-1-4 at home.
"We had a couple of close chances around the net," Toews said. "Then Steeger made a great play. You've just got to get your stick on those."
Chicago came out strong in the first period, but the Ducks, who got goals from Teemu Selanne and Chris Pronger, wrested the momentum away to take a 2-1 lead.
"This was a big win," Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said. "The circumstances turned in the second period. The two points are welcome. Anaheim was playing their game to a 'T."'
The Blackhawks' Patrick Sharp also scored and Verteeg assisted on the tying and winning goals.
Chicago's Cristobal Huet made 30 saves in his third straight start. Nikolai Khabibulin, the Blackhawks' top goalie so far this season, missed his third game because of a groin injury.
Hiller stopped 37 shots in Anaheim's second straight loss.
"He gave us a chance, we couldn't ask more from our goalie," Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle said. "I thought after the first period we were in control of the hockey game and did some things well. We started to play our game. We were in a position to win this hockey game and these are the ones that are tough."
"We played pretty well for a game on the road," Hiller said. "We had the lead until about five minutes from the end, what else do you want? As experienced a group as we have, that (losing) shouldn't happen."
Chicago outshot Anaheim 17-9 in the first period. Sharp's power-play goal - on the Blackhawks' 17th shot - finally opened the scoring with 1:33 left in the frame.
Left wide open at the left hash marks, Sharp one-timed Patrick Kane's centring pass over Hiller's glove.
The Ducks dominated the second and tied it 1-1 midway through the period on Selanne's power-play goal. Selanne drove to the net and beat Huet between the legs after taking Scott Niedermayer's pass from behind the net.
Pronger gave Anaheim a 2-1 lead 48 seconds into the third when his screened wrist shot from the right point slipped between Huet's pads.
Havlat tied it at 2 with 5:45 left in the third during a 4-on-4. He one-timed a shot from the right circle after taking Keith's cross-ice feed.
Notes: Before the game, the Blackhawks observed a moment of silence for former player Pit Martin. He died Monday when his snowmobile fell into an icy lake in Quebec. ... Former Chicago RW Steve Larmer was honoured before the contest and dropped the ceremonial first puck. Larmer played in a team-record 884 consecutive games spanning 11 seasons. ... Chicago RW Adam Burish missed his fourth game because of a foot injury. ... Anaheim C Brian Sutherby sat out his seventh game with a groin injury.