Facing one of the worst teams in the league, the Blackhawks had a golden opportunity to pick up two points Saturday night at the United Center.
Dominik Kubalik made sure it didn’t go to waste.
Kubalik scored twice as the Blackhawks defeated the Anaheim Ducks 4-2.
After a slow start, Chicago turned it on in the second period and — other than a brief period of discomfort in the third — cruised to its fifth win in the last eight games.
Anaheim scored first, though, with Max Jones putting Anaheim ahead 1-0 at the 3:37 of the first period.
Five minutes later, Jonathan Toews tied it 1-1 by firing a wrist shot through the five-hole of Ducks goaltender John Gibson during a 2-on-1 rush.
The second period was the Kubalik show.
He put the Blackhawks ahead at the 4:20 of the second, jumping on a rebound and flipping it into the net.
A similar situation unfolded eight minutes later, when Connor Murphy’s shot from the point was stopped by Gibson but Kubalik was there to score on the rebound and the Blackhawks had a 3-1 lead.
It wasn’t just Kubalik, though. The Blackhawks completely owned the second period. According to Natural Stat Trick, Chicago had a 29-12 CF advantage and a 14-8 advantage in scoring chances.
In the third, Rickard Rakell provided some drama when he made it a 3-2 Chicago lead with his 11th goal of the season. But those concerns lasted only 90 seconds, as Olli Maatta blasted a one-timer from the left point for the 4-2 final.
The Blackhawks mustered more scoring chances in the third to keep the Ducks from staging a comeback, while goaltender Robin Lehner made enough saves to keep the Hawks firmly in front.
In a game the Blackhawks absolutely should have won, they did. We’ll take it!
- Dominik Kubalik (CHI) — 2 goals
- Robin Lehner (CHI) — 35 saves
- Jonathan Toews (CHI) — 1 goal, 1 assist
The Blackhawks drop the puck on a three-game road trip through Canada by facing the Senators at 6:30 p.m Tuesday at the Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa.