Blackhawks 6, Coyotes 1
Now that was fun to watch.
The Blackhawks came out last night with a ton of energy and never gave the Phoenix Coyotes a chance, scoring five goals in a 10:30 span to begin the game, burying them early and never giving them a chance. Dustin Byfuglien had a had trick in the 1st, scoring 3 goals in a span of 5:29, including the last two which were just 16 seconds apart, giving the Blackhawks an easy 6-1 blowout victory over Phoenix on Friday.
The 'Hawks got started early and never looked back in this one. Just 1:15 into the 1st period, they would get on the scoreboard quickly. On a rush into the Coyotes' zone, Martin Havlat made a nice move around a defenseman and dished it off to Tuomo Ruutu, who let a wrister go that got past Phoenix goalie Ilya Bryzgalov to give the Hawks an early 1-0 lead.
Just under 3 minutes after the Ruutu goal, the Blackhawks would dent the net again. With some sustained pressure in the Phoenix zone again, the puck was sent to the front of the net, and although Patrick Sharp couldn't pick it up, it rolled over to Jonathan Toews, who had an empty net due to Bryzgalov losing sight of the puck, and Toews made no mistake burying it into the open net. This gave the Hawks a 2-0 lead and plenty of momentum early on in this one.
Just over a minute later, the Hawks continued their domination by picking up another tally. With a lot of hard work done by Sergei Samsonov, who had another game but no goal to show for it again, Sammy did some nice stickhandling and made a nice pass to Dustin Byfuglien at the point, who sent a wrister that got through some traffic and beat Bryzgalov, giving the Hawks a 3-0 lead just five minutes into the game.
Five minutes later in the game, the Hawks were on a 5-on-3 advantage. While moving the puck around nicely, Patrick Kane found Byfuglien with a nice pass, and Dustin put a one time snap shot off the post and into the net, putting the Blackhawks up with a commanding 4-0 lead, barely halfway through the 1st period.
About 16 seconds later, I thought I was watching an instant replay, because the Hawks scored almost an identical goal to the fourth one. Patrick Kane again found Byfuglien at the point, who one timed it at the net and Bryzgalov again had no chance, so the Blackhawks took a 5-0 lead with still 9:30 to go in the 1st, and Dustin Byfuglien had his first NHL hat trick. At this point, it was pretty hard to believe the Hawks were dominating the play as much as they were. The 1st period ended with a large 5-0 lead for Chicago.
In the 2nd the Coyotes tried to at least get back in the game but the 'Hawks just really didn't give them any opportunity to even score a goal or even have too many good shifts. Five minutes into the 2nd, the Blackhawks get scored again when Jim Vandermeer's shot from the point was tipped by Ruutu in front and got past goalie Mikael Tellqvist, who had replace Bryzgalov after the 5th goal, giving the Hawks a 6-0 lead.
There would be no more scoring until there was about 8 minutes to go in the 3rd, when the Blackhawks were probably already looking forward to Saturday's tilt with St. Louis, and Phoenix winger Peter Mueller moved in pretty much alone and made a nice deke to roof it over Nikolai Khabibulin, breaking up the shutout and making it 6-1. That would be your final score as well.
Just an incredible 1st period for the Hawks, who never gave Phoenix a chance in this one. They executed so well on the power play and pretty much did anything they wanted offensively, with the Coyotes having pretty much no answer on defense. Byfuglien really showed how good his shot is and his offensive potential, I think he can definitely be a PP quarterback some day. Toews, Kane and Ruutu also had great games, and Havlat also looked tremendous with the puck as always. If the Hawks keep playing like this, they're going to make it real hard for anyone to beat them.
SCH Hawks Player Of The Game: Gotta give it to Dustin Byfuglien, who picks up his first NHL hat trick and showcased his booming shot tonight.