Three games, three time zones, three victories.
The Blackhawks continued their strong play during their annual six-game circus trip Saturday night when they overcame a three-goal deficit to post a 5-4 overtime victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs in an Original Six matchup.
After winning in Phoenix and Dallas earlier in the week, the Hawks stormed back against the Leafs with two goals in the second, two in the third and Dave Bolland's winner in overtime to improve their record away from home to 4-3-1 and 10-4-5 overall before a crowd of 19,474 at the Air Canada Centre.
After Toronto opened a 3-0 lead midway through the second period, the Hawks reeled off five of the next six goals, including two by Ontario native Patrick Sharp, to claim the victory.
"Between the first and second [periods], we knew we had to go hard and not give up," said Bolland, another Ontario native who scored the game-winner on a backhand shot off a pass from Duncan Keith just 49 seconds into overtime. "Between the second and third the guys came in here yelling and screaming, 'Let's go, let's go, let's go.' "
Patrick Kane's goal in the opening minute of the third sparked the offensive explosion. The second-year winger took a backhand pass from Kris Versteeg from behind the net and fired a one-timer from the right circle past Toronto goaltender Vesa Toskala for his 11th of the season. Teammate Ben Eager's goal with 7:33 left in the third tied it 4-4 and set up Bolland's heroics.
"We've played well in the third period of a lot of games, and it was a good comeback win," said Sharp, whose two goals gave him a team-leading 12. "You get on the road and you're stuck with each other all day long. Winning is contagious and winning is fun, so right now we're all having a great time."
When Pavel Kubina, Matt Stajan and Dominic Moore scored to give Toronto its lead, the Hawks' road success looked stymied.
But goalie Nikolai Khabibulin played a solid third and the offense did the rest to extend the Hawks' streak and put them a victory away from matching the 1990-91 team that won the first four games during the annual November trip.
"That third period, we had a great period," Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said. "We had a lot more energy. We felt we had a chance to get back, and [Kane] scoring right off the bat certainly helps. You could argue about some of our better periods all year, [but] that was a special third for us.
"We've had a couple of stretches in our last two games where we haven't been our best, but weathering those two storms shows we're capable of a lot of things."
The Hawks head back home Sunday for a couple of days before the next leg of the trip beginning Wednesday night in San Jose.
"These are some tough buildings," Quenneville said. "It was an emotional win. [But] we can do a lot of things when we play like that in the third."