The Blackhawks don't miss capitalizing on too many second chances.
Two days after being drubbed on home ice by the Minnesota Wild in their worst loss of the season, the Hawks quickly gained revenge Monday night at the Excel Energy Center.
Getting goals from Patrick Sharp, Sheldon Brookbank, Nick Leddy, Patrick Kane and Brandon Saad, goalie Corey Crawford took it from there in what turned into an easy 5-1 win over the Wild.
Crawford was sensational in the second period when it was 1-1, making at least two four-star stops.
Saad beautifully set up Kane's seventh goal at 2:47 of the third period to make it 4-1. Saad split the defense before making a nifty, spinning, backhand pass to Kane, who had a wide-open net.
"I had a half breakaway and was thinking shooting the puck the whole way, but then Kaner was yelling in the background, so I gave it back to him and he made a nice finish," Saad told reporters.
Saad returned the favor later in the third period when Duncan Keith sent him in alone for his third goal of the season.
It was 1-1 in the second period when Kane set up Brookbank's goal at 13:21 with a patient pass from behind the net. Nick Leddy made it 3-1 with a power-play goal at 16:43 of the second period.
Wild goalie Niklas Backstrom, so good Saturday at the United Center, had a tough night. Backstrom was swimming in goal all night and actually lost the net on several occasions.
"I liked the results of everybody tonight," Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said. "I thought we had a businesslike approach to the game, played with a purpose and got some contributions across the board.
"In all zones and in all areas, we didn't play like we did the other day. We were loose, I thought, in our last couple, three games. I thought the approach today was good and the consistency in our team game is what we're looking for. I thought we might have had the most consistent game we've had."
Brandon Pirri started the game at center on the second line with Kane and Sharp and finished with 2 assists. He has 2 goals and 3 assists in seven games.
"Pirri was good," Quenneville said. "That line, I didn't mind it. We'll see how it evolves and how it goes, but certainly offensively you don't have to worry about them. They can play if they're scoring goals. How they play without the puck and in their own end is how you really measure that line."
Pirri figures to have the second-line center job at least until Michal Handzus returns from his lower-body injury.
"Handzus did a great job for us last year, and this year I don't think he's at that level," Quenneville told reporters before the game. "We've been trying to get him healthy to get back to that level he was at.
"We still don't know who's going to be that guy, but certainly this is an opportunity (for Pirri) to hopefully grab that. We certainly feel he can play there."
Pirri feels like this is one long audition process. "Every game is an audition," he said.
Sharp opened the scoring at 17:33 of the first period with his second goal of the season.
Jason Pominville tied it at 11:27 of the second period.
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