The Blackhawks have made it clear they want to play the postseason after losing their final five games in their bid for a first postseason berth since 2008.
The Hawks defeated the Chicago Blackhawks 4-1 Friday to improve to 12-5-1 and move within a game of the Pacific Division leaders San Jose Sharks.
The Hawks have now won six in a row, their longest streak since winning seven straight from May 24-June 15, 2005.
“I think we’re just trying to keep going, keep playing and trying to find a way to get back to the playoffs,” coach Joel Quenneville said.
Quenneville has called for more consistency in his lineups.
He said the team has gotten off to a slow start and hasn’t played together well.
Teammates were surprised by the Blackhawks’ defensive play.
“[The Hawks] have a lot of great defensemen and we haven’t had any success in the last couple games,” forward David Backes said.
“It’s been hard to find some cohesion and consistency.
[The Blackhawks] have played really good in the defensive zone and [have] been a little bit sloppy in front of goal.
We have to find something in front.”
Chicago has played three games against the league’s top teams and four in which the Blackhawks lost.
The Blackhawks are on a three-game winning streak after losing 3-2 to the Los Angeles Kings on Wednesday.
Cameron Gaunce scored his first goal since Dec. 5, 2015, in the Blackhawks 5-4 win over the Kings.
Backes said his team has been playing well lately.
He said they’ve been getting the better of the other teams.
While they’re not the same team they were two years ago, they’re better players now, he said.
“I feel like the last five games have been better and I think we can be better.”
The Blackhawks lost in overtime of a 4-3 shootout loss to the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday.
Gaunce has been a key player for the Blackhawks this season, scoring four goals and nine assists in 19 games.
Jimmy Hayes scored his third goal of the season for Chicago with 4:31 left in the second period.
The Chicago forwards scored in the third period to take a 2-1 lead.
It was the third consecutive game the Hawks have scored three or more goals.
Jonas Hiller scored for the Hawks in the fourth, adding an empty-netter with 6:04 left.
Both of Chicago’s power plays were stopped by the Flyers.
They’ve scored more goals against the Flyers than any other team in the NHL this season.
Injuries: NoneChicago has lost four of five.