Khabibulin helps Blackhawks edge Ducks

ANAHEIM, California (Ticker) — The Chicago Blackhawks began
their season-high road trip in impressive fashion.

Nikolai Khabibulin made 36 saves and captain Jonathan Toews
scored the winning goal as the Blackhawks began their eight-game
trek Wednesday with a 3-2 triumph over the Anaheim Ducks.

Adam Burish and All-Star Patrick Kane also scored for Chicago,
which halted a two-game slide.

“It’s nice to contribute in a win,” Kane said. “It’s a good
start to the trip. We have to keep going and look forward to LA
(on Thursday).”

“I liked the energy in the room going into the game,” Blackhawks
coach Joel Quenneville said. “I liked the enthusiasm we played
with from start to finish. It was kind of a response to our
last two games going into the break. We’ve got a big trip ahead
of us, and we wanted to get off to a strong start. I really
liked the response.”

Rookie Bobby Ryan and former Blackhawk Travis Moen tallied and
All-Star defenseman Scott Niedermayer notched a pair of assists
for the Ducks, who were coming off a 2-3-0 road trip.

“We created lots of chances for ourselves,” Anaheim coach Randy
Carlyle said. “We probably made a couple of mistakes, too many
in critical areas that cost us, but I thought our work ethic was
strong. … I don’t think we were rewarded for the hard work
that we put in.”

In a game in which all six of the starters for the Western
Conference in Sunday’s All-Star Game were in uniform, one of
those players helped get Chicago on the board first.

Defenseman Brian Campbell unleashed a slap shot from the blue
line that was stopped by Jonas Hiller. But the Swiss goaltender
was unable to control the rebound, allowing Burish to bury the
puck from the doorstep at 3:07 of the first period.

Anaheim forged a tie during a power play with 7:07 remaining in
the session. Blue-liner Chris Pronger fired a rising slap shot
from the right point that was deflected past Khabibulin by Ryan
for his 17th goal of the season.

It marked the seventh consecutive game in which the Ducks have
netted a man-advantage tally and also extended Ryan’s
goal-scoring streak to five contests, a franchise record for a

Last season’s Calder Trophy winner answered with a power-play
goal of his own less than four minutes later. With Anaheim
defenseman Steve Montador serving a questionable roughing
penalty, Kane received a pass from Martin Havlat behind the net
and walked out near the right goalpost before depositing the
puck into the vacant side with 3:19 left for his 17th tally and
a 2-1 edge.

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“Havlat’s such a great player, he found me there and the goalie
was on the other side of the net, so I just took what I had and
put it in the open net,” Kane said.

Toews doubled Chicago’s advantage at 3:13 of the second,
one-timing a pass by defenseman Duncan Keith past Hiller from
the left hash marks for his 14th goal.

“I just planned to put it on net, and as you see the goalie’s
style, you kind of see where the net is,” Toews said. “It
happened to go in, so I’m happy about it.”

The goal halted a three-game pointless drought for the
20-year-old All-Star.

“You want to step up and score a big goal, but it’s not going to
happen every night, as much as you try,” Toews said. “I just
want to get better, and obviously my scoring and goals-per-game
is just going to get better and better.”

After going 40 games without a goal, Moen netted his second in
as many nights to draw the Ducks within 3-2.

Skating down the left wing on a shorthanded 2-on-1 rush, Moen
blasted the puck inside the right post from the left faceoff
circle with 70 seconds to go in the middle period for his fourth
of the season.

“I was too far back and couldn’t pass, so I just put my head
down and shot it,” Moen said.

That was all Anaheim was able to get past Khabibulin, however,
as the 36-year-old Russian turned aside all 11 shots he faced in
the third to preserve the victory.

“He was outstanding,” Quenneville said. “Khabibulin was solid
all game. … He was big and he was quick and took away a lot of
their plays. He had good rebound control on a lot of their
point shots. … He stood his ground all night and did a great

“Khabibulin played great for us,” Kane added. “He’s a great
goaltender, as you can see by some of the big saves he had

Making his second straight start in place of All-Star
Jean-Sebastien Giguere, Hiller stopped 24 shots.

Anaheim All-Star Ryan Getzlaf was kept off the scoresheet after
recording two assists in Tuesday’s 7-3 win at Phoenix.