Hawks fall flat against Leafs
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The Blackhawks didn't have much going Saturday night at Air Canada Centre.
Not even a national television audience watching across Canada could light a fire under the Hawks, who let the Maple Leafs score 4 goals in the second period en route to a 7-3 victory.
Patrick Kane scored both goals for the Hawks, who saw their three-game winning streak snapped. Kane's goals were his 18th and 19th of the season.
"We let our guard down tonight and we got what we deserved," Hawks coach Joel Quenneville told reporters.
Leading 2-1, the Maple Leafs caught a huge break at 4:44 of the second period when an apparent goal by Marian Hossa was disallowed by referee Tim Peel.
Peel ruled Hossa batted the puck out of the air before it hit the shaft of Dion Phaneuf's stick and went into the net past Jonathan Bernier. Replays clearly showed Hossa did not bat the puck out of the air, but the rule book states the play cannot be reviewed by video.
Antti Raanta allowed more than 2 goals for the first time in eight appearances and was pulled by Quenneville after the second period.
Kent Simpson made his NHL debut in the third period and allowed a goal on the first shot he faced from Joffrey Lupul in the first minute.
It was Lupul's second goal of the game. Peter Holland also scored twice and linemate Mason Raymond had 4 assists for Toronto, which snapped a three-game losing streak.
"We've been kind of challenged lately to get scoring throughout our lineup," Toronto coach Randy Carlyle said. "Peter Holland, we know he's a skilled guy, and we know he can score, so it was nice to see him get his."
Tied 1-1 after the first period, Toronto outscored the Hawks 4-1 in the second to pull ahead for its first win in regulation time since Nov. 19.
Jerry D'Amigo, Nikolai Kulemin and Phil Kessel also scored for Toronto.
It was a big offensive night for the Leafs, who have had to count on their top line of Kessel, Nazem Kadri and James Van Riemsdyk in recent weeks. They netted a season-high 7 goals against the Stanley Cup champions.
During the Hawks' three-game winning streak, they had outscored the opposition 19-6. The Hawks were also 9-0-2 against Eastern Conference opposition.
Raanta had to be sharp on the Leafs' first 2 shots, close-range efforts from Nazem Kadri and Raymond.
It was a poor start for the Hawks, who drew 3 straight penalties in the period.
Holland made the Hawks pay for the Andrew Shaw tripping call, tapping in a Lupul pass across the crease after a nice pass by Raymond at 7:14.
The Hawks scored 29 seconds later during a 5-on-3 when a sprawling Phaneuf redirected Kane's pass from the side of the net past Bernier into the goal at 16:14.
D'Amigo made it 2-1 on the Leafs' 13th shot 42 seconds into the second period when he tucked in a Kulemin rebound that dropped out of Raanta's glove. It was the first goal of his six-game NHL career.
Holland scored his second of the game at 12:09 of the second period, left to finish all alone after taking a nice pass from Raymond. Kane replied at 13:30, snapping a wrist shot past Bernier after Niklas Hjalmarsson forced Toronto turnover in the neutral zone.
But Kulemin restored the Leafs' 2-goal advantage at 14:36, on a low shot from a Jay McClement pass, to make it 4-2.
•Follow Tim's hockey reports on Twitter @TimSassone and check out his Between the Circles blog at dailyherald.com.
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