The Blackhawks did it again — they collected another win Friday night, beating the Stars 6-1 at the United Center. If the NHL switched to the Gold model — how many points an eliminated team collects — the Blackhawks might have better chances at Jack Hughes.
It’s Chicago’s first win in a regular-season home finale since 2014, when they defeated Montreal 3-2 in overtime.
As it stands, both Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane added to their career season totals. Kane now has 44 goals and 109 points, and Toews has 81 points. Dylan Strome also added to his three-game point streak. Corey Crawford left the game in the second period after making nine saves on nine shots, but Cam Ward picked up where he left off, making 25 saves on 26 shots.
The Stars failed to secure the first wild card with this loss. They’re just one point up on the Avalanche, and both teams have one game left.
Patrick Kane scored 16:45 into the first period with a hell of a snipe to put Chicago up 1-0.
Dominik Kahun followed up a Brandon Saad rebound to make it 2-0, scoring lucky goal No. 13 at 11:11 in the second. Chris Kunitz followed that up with a goal less than two minutes later, scoring from the right of the crease. The goal was confirmed after a brief video review showed it crossed the goal line.
Dylan Strome made it 4-0 at 17:51, getting the puck in the crease and putting it past Khudobin. Slater Koekkoek scored 44 seconds into the third with a shot from the left circle for his first goal as a Blackhawk.
Joel L’Esperance scored on the Stars’ power play to make it 5-1, to end Crawford and Ward’s combined shutout bid. Nikolai Khabibulin had the last shutout win in a Chicago home finale when he made 37 saves in a 3-0 victory over the Red Wings on April 12, 2009.
Kane iced the Stars’ dying hope with a breakaway tally at 16:11 in the third to make it 6-1.
Kane’s 44 goals this season are tied with Tampa Bay’s Steven Stamkos for fourth in the league. Alex DeBrincat is at 41 goals, good for eighth. The last time the Blackhawks had two players in the top 10 in goal scoring was 1971.
This game probably screwed up the Blackhawks’ lottery odds even more, but beating a Central Division rival with something to actually play for is rather hope inducing, one would think.
The Blackhawks play their season finale Saturday when they head to Bridgestone Arena in Nashville to play the Predators.
SCH’s 3 Stars of the Game
- Patrick Kane (CHI) — 2 goals
- Drake Caggiula — 2 assists
- Chris Kunitz — 1 goal