DALLAS – The last time the Chicago Blackhawks faced the Stars, it was a close contest in which they worked overtime – literally – to get to Dallas goaltender Kari Lehtonen.
On Saturday, the Blackhawks quickly made it no contest.
Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa each scored twice, as the Blackhawks pummeled the Stars 8-1 at the American Airlines Center. The Blackhawks have won two in a row to start their four-game road trip.
“We got some nice bounces right on our stick that gave us the lead,” coach Joel Quenneville said. “We were very pleased with all areas of our game: puck possession, playing a sound game system-wise and everyone contributed.”
It was a dominating performance for the Blackhawks, who sent Lehtonen packing after Johnny Oduya’s goal gave them a 4-0 with 11:59 left in the second period. Lehtonen, who stopped 38 of 41 shots in the teams’ last meeting on Jan. 24, allowed four on 17 shots tonight.
“It was two different games,” said Hossa, who now has six points in his last five games. “We felt like we had the energy and the jump since the first shift. We played two really strong periods. In the third we got a little too cute, but it was a great performance by everybody.”
Indeed, the score-sheet was riddled with many Blackhawks names. But it went beyond scoring. The Blackhawks were aggressive, dominated puck possession, drove on Lehtonen early and pounced on rebounds. Toews capitalized on two of those, giving the Blackhawks a 2-0 lead, scoring his goals within 1:35 of each other.
“The fact we were able to distance ourselves early and not let them back into the game maybe took the wind out of their sails,” Toews said. “As the game went along, it just seemed pucks were bouncing our way and we were drawing penalties. We worked for our success and the bounces went our way. Whether you score eight goals or not, we did what we had to do to win; we played a full 60 minutes.”
Nick Leddy, Duncan Keith and Patrick Kane also scored for the Blackhawks. Hossa scored his first off a beautiful pass from Patrick Kane; his second was with 42 seconds remaining on a 5 on 3 in the final minute of the second period to make it 6-0. Kane would later score on a spin-o-rama that’s already on NHL.com.
Corey Crawford got the victory, allowing just a Trevor Daley power-play goal with 13:30 remaining in the third period.
“I don’t think you could ask for much more,” Crawford said. “Just everyone was rolling, we had four lines going, all the D, it was just a solid game for us.”
The Blackhawks couldn't have asked for much more on Friday night. They've had plenty of tight tussles this season. This one was just dominating.
“It was a game we probably needed because we’ve been in so many tight games, to give some guys some confidence in scoring goals,” Kane said. “You’ve got to be happy with a start like that against a goalie that big, a guy who never really gives up on a play. It was a great all-around effort for the team.”