Talk about a dominating performance.
After playing 18 games decided by 1 goal, the Blackhawks finally got in a laugher. Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa led the way with 2 goals each as the Hawks embarrassed the Dallas Stars 8-1 Saturday night at American Airlines Center.
The Hawks (23-2-3) won nearly every battle and came up with most loose pucks in easily dismantling the Stars.
Toews got his 2 goals 95 seconds apart midway through the first period. The rout was on when Nick Leddy got his third goal of the season at 17:54 of the first. Leddy also assisted on Toews' first goal with a slap shot that was tipped in by the captain.
"It was a good play by Leddy," Toews said. "He knew where my stick was."
Toews' second goal came on a rebound past goalie Kari Lehtonen, who was so good the first time the two teams met Jan. 24 in a game won 3-2 by the Hawks in overtime.
"Just getting those loose pucks," Toews said. "We talked about getting a lot of traffic in front of him because he's such a big goalie."
Johnny Oduya made it 4-0 at 8:01 of the second period with his second goal in as many games, chasing Lehtonen.
Hossa got his first goal at 12:18 with the teams playing 4-on-4, taking a pass from Patrick Kane and beating relief goaltender Richard Bachman.
Hossa got his second goal a few minutes later during a 5-on-3 power play.
It was the second victory in a row for the Hawks coming off their modest two-game losing streak that earned them two days off after playing seven games in 11 nights.
"It seems like the team is playing with more energy," Hossa said. "We're rolling four lines just like we did early in the season and nobody is extending shifts. I think we played great for two periods. In the third, I think we tried to play too cute."
The Stars had 8 shots through two periods while the Hawks put up 20. Dallas finished with 19 shots on Corey Crawford.
The Hawks made it 7-0 early in the third period on a goal by Duncan Keith set up by Bryan Bickell, who had 3 assists.
Viktor Stalberg also had 3 assists in the win, while Leddy and Kane each had a goal and 2 assists.
Kane closed the scoring with a highlight-reel goal. He skated down on a Dallas defenseman, spun to the right and put a backhander in off the post past Bachman.
The Hawks are 2-0 on their four-game road trip that continues Monday in Colorado against an Avs team that ended their record 24-game point streak on March 8.
"I'm sure they'll be ready," coach Joel Quenneville told reporters. "They played well against us both games. They're a good hockey team, and I'm sure they're going to be aware and anxious after what they did last week."
•Follow Tim's hockey reports on Twitter @TimSassone and check out his Between the Circles blog at dailyherald.com.