How it happened: A tight, 2-1, game entering the second period turned into a laugher as the Hawks exploded like they have only a handful of times this season. Five second-period goals chased former Blackhawks netminder Antti Niemi to a chorus of cheers. The Hawks did it with two power-play goals by Marian Hossa -- both assisted by Patrick Sharp -- and three even-strength tallies, including Jonathan Toews’ 30th of the season. Patrick Kane and even Niklas Hjalmarsson scored as the Hawks added two more goals against Antero Niittymaki. Sharp had four assists in the period.
What it means: While the gaudy offensive numbers will take center stage, it was hard work that turned the momentum. The Hawks created power-play chances for themselves when San Jose was called for hooking and holding penalties in the second. The five goals were the most for the Hawks in any one period this season. Toews set a career-high with his 70th point while Kane’s goal was his 100th. The Hawks jumped back into the No. 4 seed-spot in the Western Conference, sporting a 38-24-8 record. They have earned at least one point in 15 of their last 17 games.
Best of season? Was the second period their best of the season? Numbers-wise it would say so. The Hawks had the five goals and 17 shots on net. And consider the opponent as well. The Sharks were the more rested team and came into the game with a gaudy 18-3-3 record in their last 24 games. Each of those six losses were by a single goal. That was not the case on Monday.
What’s next: The Hawks go back on the road for two crucial games in Dallas and Phoenix, but not until Thursday. It gives them a chance to possibly get a couple players back from injury, although there is no timetable on Dave Bolland, who is suffering from concussion-like symptoms.