Ray Emery got the call from his coach as the Blackhawks walked off the bench for the first intermission. Corey Crawford was out, he was in.
And over the next two periods, Emery answered that call.
Emery stopped 23 of 24 shots in relief, Patrick Kane had a goal and an assist and Marian Hossa scored twice as the Blackhawks rallied to beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-4 on Wednesday night. The Blackhawks snapped a three-game losing streak and moved back into sixth place with 17 games remaining.
Andrew Shaw, recalled on Monday, scored his sixth of the season. Nick Leddy, who had two assists, took a hit late in the third but coach Joel Quenneville said he was fine.
It looked like the Blackhawks would be down 3-1 to end the first period, but Marcus Kruger scored with 29.5 seconds remaining to cut it to 3-2. The Blackhawks looked at that goal as one of the turning points.
I think it was the goal at the end of the first (that turned the tide), to be honest with you, said Kane, who was stellar on a line with Hossa and Andrew Brunette. You always stress the first minute of periods and the last minute of periods to try to not give up a goal or try and score a goal. It was a huge play, got us back to within one.
Emery took it from there. He was solid throughout and strong in the third period, when the Leafs fired 17 shots at him.
At the end of the day Ray did an outstanding job, Quenneville said. You look back over the year, you get some goalie wins. He was instrumental in us winning tonight.
Emery said it was a tough first for us, and as a guy whos coming off the bench you just want to play solid and give the guys a chance to take games. We played really well defensively the rest of the game and got some goals.
Kane was the catalyst on the other end, tying the game at 3-3 at the time and then later feeding Hossa for his 25th.
I think hes had some games where hes been doing stuff but the puck hasnt gone in. If the goalie makes a save, everybody forgets he had a nice chance and created something for himself, said Duncan Keith, who had an assist, blocked four shots and finished a plus-2. Hes been battling and its nice to see him get rewarded tonight.
Newly acquired defenseman Johnny Oduya got off to a rough start, being on the ice for the Leafs first three goals. But Quenneville switched the pairs, putting Keith and Brent Seabrook together and Oduya with Nick Leddy, and it proved beneficial.
I thought Johnny, the last 40 minutes was excellent, Quenenville said. He did a great job, great gap and had a good stick. I like his patience on the ice. Once we split up the pairs and tried another one, he adapted.
Adapting to the situation; the Blackhawks had to do plenty of that on Wednesday night but they found a way. It wont get easier, but the Blackhawks were reminded that, when necessary, the fight is there.
Were trying to get some wins here, get some points and finish out the season strong. But for sure, were desperate, Kane said. Our goal is to make the playoffs. Once we get in we know we can do some damage.