COLUMBUS, Ohio Ugly losses against Vancouver and St. Louis had the Blackhawks stewing, and they needed to put that angst back in their game.
So on Thursday they took their frustrations out on the Blue Jackets.
Jonathan Toews scored two goals and Steve Montador recorded a Gordie Howe hat trick in the Blackhawks 6-3 victory over Columbus at Nationwide Arena. The Blackhawks, who were without center Dave Bolland, stopped their two-game losing streak clicking twice on the power play and re-igniting their offense.
And it started and sometimes ended with the Blackhawks defensemen, who combined for eight points on Thursday night. Brent Seabrook and Nick Leddy each had two assists.
I think that makes a big difference when were part of the attack, said Duncan Keith. It alleviates some of the pressure on our forwards, as far as giving them some room. All of the defensemen were better at that tonight.
That includes Montador, who got his goal his first of the season and his assist on his first night on the Blackhawks power play. As Toews said, he made a good argument to be out there. That, coupled with his first-period fight with former Blackhawks defenseman James Wisniewski, earned him the Howe trick.
Hes the first Blackhawks player to have one since March 27, 2009, when Seabrook did it in a 3-2 overtime victory over the New Jersey Devils.
I wanted to have success. I didnt picture this exactly but its definitely exciting to be part of contributing to the success, he said. Sometimes you get on the score sheet, sometimes you dont. Its just about being in front of the net, so its pretty familiar. You have to be an outlet for someone.
Andrew Brunette scored his third power-play goal of the season. Patrick Kane and Marian Hossa also scored; Corey Crawford stopped 27 of 30 for the victory.
The Blackhawks wanted to get going quick on Thursday night and, for the most part, did that. Scoring five straight goals from Toews late first-period score to Hossas early third-period one didnt hurt their cause, either.
Neither did scoring on that much-maligned power play.
Were not talking about (power-play) rank this or that; were just going to stick with it, Toews said with a grin. It doesnt matter who scores the goals or how. Its just the fact that one of our units can go out there and make something happen. Thats what youre looking for.
The Blackhawks defensive core is deep and experienced. On Thursday, they were also the teams biggest catalysts for breaking out of the mini-slump.
I thought our D was very noticeable tonight, coach Joel Quenneville said. We create so much off that and our team game really picks up. It seemed like we had better rotation (on the forward lines), but I thought the D was spearheading the attack.
Jonathan Toews second goal on Blue Jackets goaltender Steve Mason was from a deep angle, one very similar to the one Patrick Kane had on his Stanley Cup-winning goal two seasons ago.
I dont think Kaner would admit he was shooting for a rebound there, said Toews, who added thats what he was trying to do. I think it just fooled him. It was a tricky shot and it happened to sneak through. I dont think youre going to get that same statement out of (Kane).
Dave Bolland was out of Thursday nights game. Bolland, who blocked a shot off his right foot against the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday, was seen wearing a walking boot on Thursday. His status for Fridays game against the Calgary Flames is unknown.
Daniel Carcillo took an unknown number of stitches in his upper and bottom lip after taking a puck to the mouth. He returned to finish the game, assisting on Kanes breakaway goal.
In honor of Veterans Day, the Blackhawks will sport their camouflage jerseys in warmups when they host the Flames on Friday night.
Nick Leddys eight assists are the most among Blackhawks defenseman.
Marian Hossas goal was his team-leading eighth. Jonathan Toews is next with seven.