Toews, Burish lead offense as Huet blanks Coyotes

GLENDALE, Arizona (Ticker) — As long as the Detroit Red Wings
are not on the other side of the ice, the Chicago Blackhawks are
proving to be invincible.

Captain Jonathan Toews scored two goals and set up another and
Adam Burish notched a tally and two assists as the Blackhawks
posted a 6-0 triumph over the Phoenix Coyotes on Tuesday behind
a 22-save performance from Cristobal Huet.

Rookie Kris Versteeg, Colin Fraser and Ben Eager also scored
while Dave Bolland and defenseman Duncan Keith each recorded two
assists for the Blackhawks, who have won six straight meetings
with the Coyotes, including all four this season.

“Since the last time we’ve seen them, they’re a different team,”
Toews said of Phoenix. “They’ve climbed up a little bit in the
standings and they’re hungry, too, considering what happened in
Chicago about a month ago (7-1 Blackhawks win on December 7).
We knew they were going to come at us hard.”

“It was a good game,” Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said. “I
thought we did a lot of good things, particularly the great
start we had. A lot of pucks were going in for us and I still
thought we checked well the last two periods. Huey made some
key stops that preserved the shutout. I liked their game in all
aspects of it.”

Huet turned aside seven shots in each of the first two periods
and eight in the third en route to his second shutout of the
season and 19th career.

“A couple of the guys were talking and we said, ‘They can’t buy
one,'” Burish said. “They couldn’t do anything to get a goal.
Huey was making saves he wasn’t even seeing. One of those
nights when things were going well.”

The French goaltender was happy with the offensive support he

“Obviously, it’s good to have a team like that who can score
that many goals,” Huet said.

With the victory, Chicago improved to 12-2-1 over its last 15
games, with all three losses coming at the hands of Detroit.
The Blackhawks’ last setback against a team other than the Red
Wings came on November 29, when they dropped a 5-2 decision to
the Los Angeles Kings.

Mikael Tellqvist allowed four goals on 13 shots in the first
session before being replaced by Ilya Bryzgalov, who made 26
saves over the final two periods.

“They had a couple of goals that maybe shouldn’t have went in
and we got behind,” Phoenix coach Wayne Gretzky said. “We have
to regroup. We got beat fair and square by a pretty good hockey

The Coyotes have been held scoreless over their last two games
and blanked in each of their last three losses.

“We’re all choked about tonight and there’s no excuses,” Phoenix
rookie Kyle Turris said. “We didn’t score a goal the last two
games. We have to come out on a mission next game and make sure
that come first period, we’re ready and we’re going to score.
If somebody has to eat a post to put it in the net, then that’s
what we’re going to do.”

With the setback, the Coyotes fell to 8-3-1 in their last 12
home games.

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“It’s embarrassing,” Phoenix captain Shane Doan said of
Tuesday’s defeat. “I don’t know what else to say. Give them
all the credit in the world. They beat us bad three times.”

Celebrating his 26th birthday, Burish ignited a burst of four
goals in less than five minutes with 8:14 remaining in the first
period, beating Tellqvist with a high wrist shot from the bottom
of the left faceoff circle for his first tally of the season.

“That was fun. It’s nice to get your first one, and on your
birthday’s pretty neat,” Burish said. “The guy I feel bad about
right now is Kaner (Patrick Kane). Not sure how he’s going to
get his spot back. He’s going to have to fight me for it.”

Kane missed his second straight game with an ankle injury.

Versteeg doubled the lead with 5:38 to go with his fifth goal in
six games. After Toews’ snap shot from the top of the slot
trickled behind Tellqvist, the 22-year-old Versteeg grabbed the
puck and buried it into a vacant net.

“They just outworked us,” Coyotes defenseman Derek Morris said.
“We didn’t come out to play tonight. We didn’t have a
forecheck, we didn’t have a backcheck and they were hitting us
with 3-on-2s all night.”

“They scored on us early and kept scoring,” Doan added. “It was
the same as the last time we played them.”

Fraser made it 3-0 just 38 seconds later, when Burish’s
cross-crease pass caromed off his skate and past Tellqvist, and
Eager capped the onslaught with 3:38 to go in the first by
converting a rebound from the right hash marks.

“All our lines are contributing and we’re getting production
from a lot of different areas,” Quenneville said.

“When we can get up early like that, we can play well with the
lead,” Toews said.

Toews completed the scoring with a goal in each of the final two

After knocking in a rebound from the doorstep with 74 seconds
remaining in the second, the 20-year-old intercepted a clearing
attempt in the offensive zone and fired the puck between the
pads of Bryzgalov from the left circle with 5:12 to go in the
third to complete his third two-goal effort of the season.

The game was the opener of a three-game road trip for the
Blackhawks, who improved to 10-6-3 away from home this campaign.

“It was a game that we wanted to get off on a good start on this
trip,” Quenneville said. “Guys have been really diligent in
their preparation for this trip. No matter who the opposition
is, we want to make sure we’re consistent in our game, and
today, we were.”

“I think you always want to start these type of road trips on a
good note,” Toews added. “I think we’re mature enough to take
it one game at a time and not get ahead of ourselves. We went
out there and took it one period at a time and got the win. Now
it’s time to build on that win.”