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Blackhawks score early and often in rout of Coyotes

CHICAGO (Ticker) -- Ben Eager netted a pair of goals as six

different players scored to propel the Chicago Blackhawks to

their fifth straight victory with a 7-1 triumph over the Phoenix

Coyotes on Sunday.

Andrew Ladd had a career-high four points with a goal and three

assists as the Blackhawks scored a season-high seven times with

four in the first period and three in the second.

"It was a night where I just seemed to be on the puck all night,

and had the time and space and was lucky to make some plays,"

Ladd said. "Things seemed to be clicking."

Jonathan Toews, Dustin Byfuglien, Patrick Sharp and Dave Bolland

also tallied for Chicago.

Chicago goaltender Cristobal Huet won for just the second time

in six games, stopping 20 shots.

Bolland beat Ilya Bryzgalov to open the scoring at 11:38 of the

first period with his fifth goal of the season. Toews scored

just 29 seconds later and Byfuglien and Sharp also tallied late

in the period for a 4-0 lead after the opening 20 minutes.

Sharp's power-play goal was his fourth consecutive game with a

tally, tying him with Phil Kessel of the Boston Bruins for third

in the NHL with 16 goals this season.

"We needed the two points," Sharp said. "You look at the

standings and while we have played well all year, we are just

hanging on to the eighth spot. It looks like it will be a tight

race all season."

Bryzgalov allowed seven goals on just 28 shots to fall to 1-6-1

in his last eight games.

"There isn't much to react to, we were outplayed, outscored and

out hit," Phoenix coach Wayne Gretzky said. "They took it to us

pretty well. We handled the first 10 minutes OK, then a couple

of turnovers and a penalty and it was 3-0 very quickly."

The four first-period goals tied a season-high for Chicago,

which also scored four times in the third period against the

Colorado Avalanche on November 3.

Eager's tallies came 2:55 apart in the first half of the second

period and Ladd also scored in that span for the Blackhawks, who

improved to 3-0-0 against the Coyotes this campaign. The teams

conclude their season series on January 6 in Phoenix.

A scrum between Chicago rookie Kris Versteeg and Phoenix rookie

Kyle Turris in the final seconds of the third left Gretzky

fuming after the game.

"I am not happy to see an 18-year old kid (Turris) get pulled

out of a pile in the last five seconds of a 7-1 hockey game and

take a beating (by Versteeg)," Gretzky said. "There is no room

for that and I don't think I have seen that before. We will see

what happens the next time we play them."

Enver Lisin got the Coyotes on the board with 43 seconds left in

the second with his fifth goal of the season.

Martin Havlat and Colin Fraser recorded two assists apiece as 13

players notched at least one point for Chicago.


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