DALLAS – Flashing the form that propelled them on their record streak, the Chicago Blackhawks got rolling early and never looked back.
Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa each scored twice in leading the Blackhawks to an 8-1 rout of the Dallas Stars on Saturday night.
Nick Leddy and Patrick Kane each had a goal and two assists as eight Blackhawks scored two or more points and Chicago boosted its road record to 12-1-2 with a dominant win on the second stop of a four-game road trip.
“A great effort all-around by the team,” said Kane, whose 15th goal of the season was a highlight-reel beauty in the third period. “It was a game that we probably needed, since we’ve been in so many close games, to get some guys some confidence scoring some goals. It was good to see a lot of guys step up.”
Corey Crawford made 18 saves for his 13th victory, and Johnny Oduya and Duncan Keith had the Blackhawks’ other goals.
“We had all areas of our game with us, puck possession, playing a sound-game system-wise. Everybody contributed,” Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said.
The Blackhawks are 2-2-0 since their record 21-0-3 streak to start the season.
Defenceman Trevor Daley scored for the Stars, who have been outscored 16-3 in losing four straight (0-3-1). Three games into a stretch in which the Stars play nine of 11 at home, they have lost all three and are 2-5-1 in their last nine in Dallas.
“If this wasn’t an alarm clock, I don’t know what is,” Stars coach Glen Gulutzan said.
The return of offensive catalyst Jamie Benn, who missed two games with a wrist injury, wasn’t enough to help the Stars, although he assisted on Dallas’ only goal, feeding Daley for a one-timer on a power play at 6:30 of the third period to spoil Crawford’s shutout bid.
Kari Lehtonen took the loss in goal for Dallas, surrendering four goals on 17 shots before he was pulled midway through the second period. Richard Bachman made 13 saves in relief.
“We dumped on our first goalie and we dumped on our second goalie,” Benn said. “We left them to hang out to dry and it’s unacceptable. We need to do something within this room to change that. It’s an unacceptable effort tonight. These guys gave us a wakeup call tonight.”
Toews struck twice within 1:35 to propel Chicago to a 2-0 lead in the first period and the Blackhawks never looked back.
At 9:05, Toews cruised through the top of the crease and his nifty deflection of Leddy’s slap shot from the left point beat Lehtonen.
His second goal came seconds after he won an offensive zone face-off, and set up in front of the net, where Duncan Keith’s point shot ricocheted off Daley right to him for an easy tap-in into the open side of the net at 10:40.
“I think maybe the fact that we were able to distance ourselves early and not let them back into the game maybe took the wind out of their sails,” said Toews, who has 13 goals. “And as the game went along, the puck just seemed to keep bouncing our way. We worked for our success. I think whether you score eight goals or not, we did what we had to do to win and played a full 60 minutes.”
The Blackhawks extended their lead to 3-0 on Leddy’s third goal of the season at 17:54. Lehtonen stopped Viktor Stalberg’s point-blank shot, but Leddy managed to jam home the rebound.
Chicago continued to control the action in the second, nearly going up by four at 7:30 when a turnover by Dallas rookie defender Brenden Dillon gave Jimmy Hayes an uncontested wrist shot from the slot, but he fired it over the crossbar.
Oduya made it 4-0 at 8:01 when his slap shot from the blue line sailed past a screened Lehtonen, pinged off the left post and dropped in for his second goal in as many games.
That goal prompted Gulutzan to pull Lehtonen in favour of Bachman.
The Blackhawks scored on their first shot against Bachman, taking a 5-0 lead at 12:18 while the clubs were skating four aside, on Hossa’s one-timer from in front off a nifty backhand pass from Kane.
“We were talking about it before the shift,” Hossa said of the play, “and I knew as soon as he went on the right side, he’d throw it in the middle and I tried to just try to find a way to best position myself to score the goal.”
Skating with a 5-on-3 advantage, Chicago struck again with 50.8 seconds left in the period when Hossa launched a blistering snap shot from the right circle that beat Bachman over his glove.
Keith’s second goal of the year, off a wrist shot that glanced off Benn’s stick in front, beat Bachman at 2:06 of the final period.
Two minutes after Daley snapped the shutout in the third period, another Dallas goal was wiped out. Eric Nystrom’s wrist shot found its way over Crawford’s shoulder, but the officials ruled that Vernon Fiddler interfered with Crawford on the play.
“We certainly got humbled,” Stars captain Brenden Morrow said. “We knew they were a good team coming in. We’d like to think we were prepared for it and expected it, but obviously we weren’t. This was deflating for us. We’ve got some work to do.”
Kane made it 8-1 on the ensuing power play with a spin move in the right circle for a backhander that beat Bachman past the glove at 9:59.
NOTES: Daley’s goal snapped an 0-for-10 power play drought for the Stars over the past three games. … After a 2-for-6 showing with the man-advantage, Chicago is 5 for 21 over its last nine contests on the power play. … The Stars honoured their general manager, former C Joe Nieuwendyk, as part of their all-time team. Nieuwendyk played in Dallas from 1995-2002, winning the Conn Smythe Trophy in 1999 while helping the Stars earn the franchise’s only Stanley Cup.