Jonathan Toews had two goals and two assists for the Blackhawks in a 6-2 win against the Maple Leafs on Saturday at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto.
Patrick Kane got his 999th NHL point with an assist on Brandon Saad’s first-period goal that gave Chicago a 3-0 lead. It was Saad’s first game in almost month after missing the past 12 games with a right ankle injury.
Dominik Kubalik had two goals and an assist for the Blackhawks (23-20-6), who matched their season high with their fourth straight win. Corey Crawford made 31 saves.
The Blackhawks opened up the scoring on the first shift of the game. Toews got the puck on the right wall and passed it to Connor Murphy at the blue line. Murphy rifled a low shot toward the net that Kubalik deflected just wide of the net. The puck bounced to Drake Caggiula, who banked it off Frederik Andersen from behind the goal line for a 1-0 lead 21 seconds into the game.
On a delayed penalty at 5:32, Toews received a neutral zone regroup pass from Erik Gustafsson and zoomed past Adam Brooks at the offensive zone blue line. Toews then drove the net and fired a shot through Anderson’s five-hole to extend his point streak to five games and give Chicago a 2-0 lead.
As expected, the Maple Leafs pushed hard after Toews’ goal, but Crawford made a handful of quality high-danger saves on Auston Matthews and William Nylander.
Then at 11:02, Ryan Carpenter and Brandon Saad forced a turnover from Andreas Johnsson near Chicago’s offensive zone blue line. Kane read the play, picked up the puck and passed it between Travis Dermott’s legs to Saad, who drove the net and snapped it past Andersen’s blocker for a 3-0 lead:
Early in the second period, Toronto converted on Kane’s hooking penalty after Nylander sniped a low shot past Crawford to cut Chicago’s lead to 3-1. Toronto’s power play goal ended the Blackhawks’ streak of 14 straight successful penalty kills.
Kane just missed his 1,000th point with a high-danger scoring chance from slot that was blocked and then tried a spinning backhand from the low slot that Andersen fought off.
At 3:19, Toews continued his strong effort with his second goal of the game on a wraparound through Andersen’s five-hole to make it 4-1:
Following a successful penalty kill by Chicago, Toews picked up his third point of the game at 10:58. Slater Koekkoek snapped a stretch pass to Toews, who made a nice backhand pass to spring Kubalik on a breakaway. Kubalik converted with a shot off the inside of the post to give the Blackhawks a 5-1 lead:
Toronto got one back at 15:17 when Alexander Kerfoot tipped Pierre Engvall’s shot at the top of the crease.
Like earlier in the period, Chicago struck right back. Toews drove wide on a 2-on-2 rush into the offensive zone and made a high backhand saucer pass to Kubalik, who batted the puck out of mid-air over Anderson’s blocker at 17:42.
A highlight reel goal for Kubalik’s 20th goal of the season. It was also his ninth goal in the past seven games. He’s the first rookie with three multigoal games in a four-game span in Chicago history.
With 14 minutes remaining in the third, Alex DeBrincat missed a one timer from the left slot after Kirby Dach made a nice zone entry and pass to DeBrincat. The Cat usually buries that type of opportunity:
Just misses have piled up for the Cat this season. He's had a crazy decline in his shooting-percentage from a two season average of 17.1% to 8.8% this season— Second City Hockey (@2ndCityHockey) January 19, 2020
Kane noticeably picked it up a notch on a shift with 10 minutes to go. He fired a couple scoring chances on Michael Hutchinson, who replaced Anderson at the start of the period.
Chicago defended well in the third period and only allowed two high-danger chances against. It was an overall great road effort from the Blackhawks, especially Toews, who had one of his best games all season.
1. Jonathan Toews (CHI) - Two goals, two assists, four scoring chances, 16:06 TOI
2. Dominik Kubalik (CHI) - Two goals, one assist
3. Drake Caggiula (CHI) - One goal, one assist, three hits, two blocks