When the Blackhawks took the ice in Los Angeles on Jan. 19, the goal was merely to spoil the Kings' Stanley Cup banner-raising ceremony. Chicago won decisively, 5-2... and then they kept winning. Their six straight victories to begin the campaign set a franchise record, and it wasn't until Jan. 30 that the team dropped their first point in a shootout loss at Minnesota. Whispers about the NHL record started once the Blackhawks crossed the 10, 11, 12-game mark without a regulation loss, and history was made on Feb. 15 when Chicago claimed a 2-1 victory against San Jose for their 17th consecutive game with a point gained in the standings.
And still that was not enough. The team finished a seven-game homestand earning 13 of 14 possible points, then kept going strong—20, 21, 22. Another record approached on the horizon: the team's mark of nine straight wins, set in December 2008, with many of the same core players that were driving this current streak. That one fell on March 5 with an emphatic 5-3 victory over the Wild at home.
There were miracles along the way: Ray Emery's career-high 47 saves on Feb. 2 at Calgary was as fine an example of a goaltender win as one might ever find. There were last-minute heroics: Marian Hossa's goal in that same game with just 3 seconds left; Patrick Kane's equalizer on March 3 in Detroit, followed by another jaw-dropping shootout maneuver to secure the second point; and Daniel Carcillo's last-minute game-winner in game no. 24, followed by a joyous celebration in front of an ecstatic home crowd. Oh, and there were shutouts—three of them, in fact, befitting a goalie tandem that was the best in the league over the course of the streak.
In the infograph below, we looked at the numbers and stats that defined the Blackhawks' amazing run and celebrated the workhorses and the difference-makers that helped make history.
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