Chicago Blackhawks finally snap losing streak
Apparently, the Chicago Blackhawks had enough.
Enough of blowing leads. Enough of not being able to score. And enough of losing.
They took out their frustrations in a dominating 7-1 victory over Washington on Saturday night at the United Center, snapping an ugly eight-game skid in the process.
As Jack Brickhouse used to say, here are "the happy totals" for some beleaguered forwards:
Jonathan Toews scored for the second time in 17 games; Brandon Saad scored in back-to-back games for the first time since November; Nick Schmaltz snapped a six-game goal drought; Patrick Kane scored for just the second time in 13 games; Ryan Hartman snapped an 18-game skid; and Artem Anisimov scored for the second time in 19 games.
The final goal came from Alex DeBrincat, who has 8 goals in the last 11 games.
"It certainly feels 100 times better than coming in and trying to explain how we had a lead and were unable to sustain it," coach Joel Quenneville said. "(We had) way more pace than we've seen recently, a lot more composure with the puck and with our shooting and around the net.
"So it was fun. But that's one and let's see how we respond to this because there's a lot of hockey left."
Kane registered his 500th career assist and joined Bobby Hull, Stan Mikita, Steve Larmer and Denis Savard as the only Hawks with 500 assists and 300 goals. He also is just the eighth American-born player to reach those milestones.
"Growing up all I wanted to do was play hockey," Kane said. "So it means a lot, especially when you're talking about American-born players."
Anton Forsberg (19 saves) improved to 6-11-3. The Hawks outshot the Capitals 44-20.
"It only reinsures everything that you're doing when you score 7 goals in a game," Toews said. "Against a good team, too."
Washington still leads the Metropolitan Division with a 33-18-7 record.
Four fans were ejected from the United Center on Saturday night for taunting Devante Smith-Pelly in the penalty box. Smith-Pelly, who is black, had been penalized for fighting with Hawks defenseman Connor Murphy.
According to a Washington spokesman, fans said "basketball, basketball, basketball."
"There's absolutely no place in the game of hockey or in our country for racism," Capitals coach Barry Trotz said. "I think it's disgusting, and there's no place for it. The athletes in our country don't deserve that. It just shows ignorance."
The Hawks responded with a statement that read, in part: "The fans were immediately removed and we apologize to Smith-Pelly and the Washington Capitals organization. We are committed to providing an inclusive environment for everyone who attends our games and these actions will never be tolerated."
Corey Crawford was not on the ice during Friday's optional morning skate, but he did work out. Crawford hasn't been on the ice since Monday when the Hawks played at Arizona.
Coach Joel Quenneville is still hoping Crawford can play again this season.