Feb. 7, 2013; Glendale, AZ, USA; The Chicago Blackhawks celebrate a goal by center left wing Bryan Bickell (29) during the second period against the Phoenix Coyotes at Jobing.com Arena. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
The Chicago Blackhawks demolished the Phoenix Coyotes by a score of 6-2, on Thursday night. The Blackhawks improved to 3-0-2(good for 8 points) on their almost completed 6-game road trip, as they still remain the only team in the NHL without a loss in regulation.
The Hawks got off to a spirited start to the game, when many fans’ questions on how the Hawks will react to their first sighting of Raffi Torres were answered, as Jamal Mayers went right after him as the two dropped the gloves, just a little over two minutes into the first period. The Blackhawks appeared to be fired up, and Viktor Stalberg scored when he and his entire line of Andrew Shaw, Bryan Bickell, and himself contributed to breaking the scoreless tie.
That was just the tip of the iceberg in the first period, as Patrick Kane added a Power Play goal at 14:52 into the first, to make 2-0 Hawks. Less than 3 minutes later, Dave Bolland put a slapper past Coyotes goalie, Mike Smith, to make it 3-0 Hawks. The train kept’ a rollin’ when a minute after the Bolland goal, Patrick Kane added his second Power Play goal, to make it 4-0 Hawks, and the end of the first period!
The second period started off a little slower for the Blackhawks, when Martin Hanzal got Phoenix on the board with a Power Play goal. Jonathan Toews provided the answer to Hanzal’s goal later in the period to make it 5-1 Hawks. Toews goal seemed to take any remaining wind out of the Coyotes’ sails as Bryan Bickell made it 6-1, Blackhawks just minutes later. That goal marked the end of the night for Mike Smith, as Phoenix head coach, Dave Tippet replaced him with backup goaltender, Jason Labarbera. The Hawks took the 6-1 lead into the locker room, to end only the second period!
The third period just kind of acted as a victory lap for the Blackhawks, although the Coyotes began to show some frustration with the embarassing game on their home-ice as Shane Doan added an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. The Coyotes however, did add one more goal before the buzzer, as Raffi Torres added a goal with less than 2 minutes to play, to make the final score 6-2 Hawks.
This game was a microcosm of the Blackhawks season thus far. Overall pure dominance, great team play, great team chemistry, and great special teams.
Patrick Kane continues his phenomenal season as he added 2 goals and an assist. He now has 8 goals and 10 assists (18 points) in 11 games this season.
Brandon Saad got back to his bad luck ways, as he had an excellent game, just no points to show for it.
8 different Blackhawks were credited with at least a point in the first period.
Patrick Sharp quietly added 3 assists, which were his 199th, 200th, and 201st assists in his career.
It’s easy to forget about goaltending in a blowout like tonight’s game, but Ray Emery played a very solid game with 22 saves on the night.
The Hawks really seem to be playing as a real team, as in the last two games, players have started fights as a way of sticking up for teammates. The road trip seems to be building a well-bonded team.
The Hawks are now an NHL best 9-0-2 on the season, and are an outstanding 3-0-2, through 5 games of the 6 game road trip.
The Blackhawks head to Nashville to finish up their longest road trip of the season, with a match-up against the division-rival Predators. Puck drop is set for 7:00 PM Central Time.