WINNIPEG, Manitoba -- Jonathan Toews preached urgency this morning, and with 30.8 seconds left in Sunday night's game, he defined its meaning.
After battling back from being down a goal on two occasions, the Chicago Blackhawks stole all the spoils on a goal from their captain with a half-minute left in regulation. The 4-3 Chicago win over the Winnipeg Jets boosted the Blackhawks back into third place in the Central Division, with a game in hand on idle Minnesota.
"It was big considering the difference it makes, getting two points instead of just one more than them," Toews said. "It was nice for us to scrape our way back into that one and find a way to win at the end. I think we did a lot of good things, made a few mistakes that ended up in the back of our nets, but for the most part we didn't give up much."
"To score in the last minute of the game and to steal both points and to keep them from getting any was really big for us," added Patrick Sharp, whose third-period marker tied the game.
Sharp said the Blackhawks knew the position they were in when they woke up this morning, and knew they needed to fix it.
"You've seen your name where it was for the most part of the season, and when it slides down it should be a bit of a wake-up call. We responded well," he said.
The Blackhawks left the ice down 3-2 after 40 minutes, a spot from which they'd managed to win only five out of 17 attempts this season.
"We stuck with it … we had some more zip tonight," said Corey Crawford, who made 31 saves for his 31st win of the season. "It was nice to see our guys creating that much offense. We were definitely feeling it tonight."
"I don't think anyone panicked; no one lost their cool," Toews added. "We've all been in situations like that before, whether it's playoffs or regular season. We talked this morning on relying on our experience, and I think we did that here."
Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said the team regrouped during the second intermission.
"The attitude going out to the third period was, 'Hey, we've got a lot of good things, let's go for 20 and see what happens,'" Quenneville said. "We scored two gigantic goals and got through a kill. [At] the end of the day, you look back at some of the big wins we've had, this will probably be at No. 1."
Quenneville was more than happy to beat a team that has beaten his to a pulp this season. But he was also more than willing to heap praise on the fight Winnipeg gave his team on Sunday night.
"They're a hardworking bunch, there is not a lot of time," Quenneville said. "They press, they're physical, they are on you, they're at you. I got to commend them -- they are probably the hardest-working team there is in this league."