This time, Martin Brodeur was left watching a celebration.
After getting a firsthand look at history and the festivities that followed the last time they faced the New Jersey goaltender, the Blackhawks were determined not to let it happen again.
The Hawks were victims No. 552 when Brodeur set the all-time record for victories March 17 in New Jersey and wanted no part of being No. 554 on Friday night.
Martin Havlat had a goal and two assists, and Brent Seabrook scored the game-winner in overtime to help the Hawks rally to a 3-2 victory over Brodeur and the Devils in front of a crowd of 21,617 at the United Center.
The win was the Hawks' third in a row and their fifth game in a row with at least one point. The win kept them two points ahead Vancouver in the bid for fourth in the West, as the Canucks beat Colorado 4-1.
Trailing 2-1 late in the second period, Havlat scored to tie it, and Hawks goalie Nikolai Khabibulin was strong throughout the third period and overtime as he outdueled his New Jersey counterpart.
"Brodeur is such a great goaltender that you don't want to fall behind," said Seabrook, who fired a slap shot from just inside the blue line that eluded a screened Brodeur. "They're pretty good in their own zone. We just kept coming at them and made some great plays. I thought the team did a great job.
"We need these points. Every point is valuable from now to the end of the season. They were looking at it the same way. We have to keep doing our job, and everything will fall into place."
Kris Versteeg's goal 5 minutes 51 seconds into the game gave the Hawks an early lead against the future Hall of Famer. Versteeg took a pass from Havlat, spun and beat Brodeur with a shot into the top right corner of the net.
After Zach Parise and Paul Martin scored opening-period goals, Khabibulin (28 saves) and Havlat took over to send the game into overtime.
Havlat extended his goals streak to four games when he fired a wrist shot from between the circles over Brodeur's right shoulder at 14:23 of the second.
After a scoreless third, Seabrook ended it with 1:24 remaining in overtime.
"I didn't see much," Brodeur said of Seabrook's long shot, which sailed past the goalie who was screened by his own defenseman. "When … Havlat made the pass across, I had [ Dainius Zubrus] in front of me, and after that a defenseman was right in front me. It went right through them, and I never saw it."
After their five-game losing skid, the Hawks have now defeated Los Angeles and two NHL powerhouses, San Jose and New Jersey.
"It was a heck of a hockey game," Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said. "They're a dangerous team in a lot of ways. We kept hanging in there. We played a real good game in all aspects. It was a real battle most shifts. We came out of that first period down 2-1 and the guys stuck with it so it ended up being a huge win and very important for us."Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun