The big news before the game was the return of Game 6 hero Dave Bolland. In addition, Joel Quenneville had shaken up the lines to try to give the offense a jolt of energy. The first period didn’t have much action and no scoring as the Blackhawks had a 9-3 edge in shots.
It was a different type of game in the second period. The Blackhawks would get on the board first when Bryan Bickell made a nice move on a rebound as he skated the puck past a sprawling Jonathan Bernier and then tucked it inside the post at 5:32. However, the Maple Leafs would answer when Nazem Kadri scored his third goal of the season to beat Corey Crawford on the power play at 7:03. But the Blackhawks would answer when Mike Kostka scored his first career goal at 10:28. The Blackhawks would extend the lead at 16:28 on the power play when Brandon Saad found Brandon Pirri for a tap in goal. It was a dominating period for the Blackhawks as they scored three goals and had a 20-6 edge in shots.
The third period featured an 11-11 tie in shots. The Blackhawks locked down defensively and killed two penalties to secure the victory.
What it means
The Blackhawks are now 5-1-2 and are 5-0-1 at home. It was a strong performance for the Blackhawks who put together their most complete 60 minute performance so far.
3 stars of the game
3. Nick Leddy- It was a strong game for Leddy who had two assists. He was a plus two and had two shots on goal. Leddy delivered two hits in 14:11 of ice time.
2. Brandon Saad- Saad made a nice play on the goal by Pirri and had the primary assist. On the night, Saad had one assist, one shot on goal and two hits in 17:46 of ice time. Saad leads the Blackhawks in points with 6 so far this year.
1. Brandon Pirri- Pirri scored one goal and had one assist. Pirri now has two goals and one assist in three games and has a two game goal scoring streak. Pirri was a plus one in 9:37 of ice time.