Top priority for the Hawks was to take care of business with Raffi Torres. Jamal Mayers answered the bell two minutes in and fought Torres. It was an even fight and both players landed several good shots but it cut the tension inside Phoenix. Getting back to hockey it was all Hawks in the first period. The Hawks would get on the board when Andrew Shaw bounced a pass off the boards to himself. Shaw found Viktor Stalberg in the slot and he ripped one past Mike Smith. Then the parade of Coyotes to the penalty box started for the rest of the period. The Coyotes took 6 straight penalties in the first period. The Hawks would convert on a 5 on 3 power play when Patrick Kane slammed home a loose puck in front with five minutes to play in the period. But the Hawks weren’t done as two and half minutes later Kane on a fake spin move found Bolland all alone in the slot and fed him for a one timer to make it 3-0. A minute later the Hawks would be on another 5 on 3 power play. Patrick Sharp passed the puck across the crease to Kane who beat Smith on a one timer. At the end of the first period, the Hawks were up 4-0 and had outshot the Coyotes 17-4.
In the second period the Coyotes would find score on the power play. Martin Hanzal would tip a Radim Vrbata shot past Ray Emery. But the Hawks would answer back seven minutes later. Jonathan Toews would get on the scoreboard as he undressed Oliver Ekman-Larsson and beat Smith five hole for his fifth goal of the season. Stalberg would strip the puck behind the net and found Bryan Bickell in front as he one timed it past Smith. For the second time this season Mike Smith was pulled early against the Hawks. The third period was just an exercise through the motions. Torres would score with just over a minute left to cap the scoring.
What it means
The Blackhawks are now 9-0-2 and remain the only team undefeated in regulation in the NHL. It has been a successful road trip as the Hawks have gone 3-0-2 gaining 8 points in the 5 games so far.
3 stars of the game
3. Jamal Mayers- Mayers didn’t do anything spectacular on Thursday. All Mayers does is what he is supposed to do. He knows his role and doesn’t try to be anything else. He stepped up and fought Torres early to ensure the situation wouldn’t simmer for any longer. Mayers is a great teammate and did exactly what was needed.
2. Patrick Sharp- Sharp had numerous chances to score a goal. He hit the crossbar or post at least three times. But Sharp had 3 assists on the night and the goals will come. His cross ice pass through the slot to Kane is a familiar play that is usually reversed with Kane finding Sharp on the power play.
1. Patrick Kane- Is there anybody who has gotten off to a hotter start than Kane? Kane had a three point night as well. He scored 2 goals and had 1 assist. Tonight’s game was the 7th multi point game for Kane of the season so far. Kane now has 8 goals and 10 assists on the season.