Patrick Kane carries Chicago Blackhawks to win over Toronto Maple Leafs

By Tom Musick, The Sports Xchange  |  Feb. 16, 2016 at 12:29 AM
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CHICAGO -- After tallying a goal and three assists, Chicago Blackhawks right winger Patrick Kane heard the "M-V-P" chants booming through the United Center on Monday night.

"It's special," Kane said a few minutes after hearing the postgame chants. "It kind of takes you back a second just to listen to it and enjoy it. But I don't even know if I'm the MVP of our team."

No player was more valuable than Kane as Chicago rolled to a 7-2 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs. Kane matched a season high with his four-point performance, which gave him 82 points in 60 games.

Seven players scored for the Blackhawks, including left winger Andrew Shaw, defenseman Brent Seabrook and left winger Brandon Mashinter. Chicago (37-18-5) went 4-for-7 on the power play and snapped a three-game winless streak on home ice.

"We've kind of been waiting for a game like this," Kane said. "We had some depth scoring tonight, too. It was good to have everyone get in on the action."

Center Mark Arcobello and right winger Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau scored for Toronto (20-26-9). The Maple Leafs fell behind 7-0 before cutting the deficit with two goals in the final 12 minutes.

Toronto coach Mike Babcock heaped much of the blame on shoddy special teams.

"Our penalty kill wasn't near good enough, and we took too many penalties," Babcock said. "We weren't in the game, basically, from the start. We turned the puck over right away, early in the first, ... and they just buried us on the power play."

Chicago goaltender Scott Darling stopped 35 of 37 shots to improve to 6-4-2.

The Maple Leafs struggled to generate offense against Darling for most of the game. Maple Leafs center Nick Spaling had a point-blank opportunity from the low slot early in the second period, but Darling sprawled across the crease to make a glove save.

"You've just got to do whatever you can to get across the crease," Darling said.

After scoring four goals in their past three games, the Blackhawks erupted against Toronto goaltender James Reimer for seven goals on 32 shots. Chicago scored twice in the first period, once in the second period and four times in the third period to match a season high in scoring.

"They have so much talent, every line is coming at you," Parenteau said. "As soon as you turn the puck over, you make a mistake, they're going to make you pay in this league. They're that good."

Chicago grabbed a 1-0 lead when Mashinter scored 2:33 after the opening faceoff. Mashinter snapped a rising wrist shot from the right circle for his third goal of the season and his first since Jan. 10.

A power-play goal by Shaw increased Chicago's lead to 2-0 with 8:21 remaining in the first period.

Chicago scored again on the power play to make it 3-0 with 18:05 to go in the second period. Seabrook fired a slap shot from the top of the right circle for his fourth goal in the past five games.

Left winger Artemi Panarin increased the Blackhawks' lead to 4-0 on a power-play goal with 17:53 to go in the third period. Kane fed a pass to Panarin, who slipped a shot between Reimer's leg pads.

Kane made it 5-0 less than three minutes later when he scored on a wrist shot from the right circle. The performance marked Kane's 21st multi-point game, which leads the NHL.

Chicago increased its lead to 6-0 on a power-play goal by right winger Teuvo Teravainen with 11:21 remaining in the third period.

Less than two minutes later, defenseman Viktor Svedberg made it 7-0 with a one-timer from the low slot.

Arcobello ended the Maple Leafs' drought by punching in a rebound with 8:54 to go in the third period.

Parenteau finished the scoring with a wrist shot for his 14th goal with 4:52 remaining.

"I still think we can be better, but there were some real positives tonight," Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said.

NOTES: Blackhawks RW Marian Hossa missed his first game since sustaining a lower-body injury Saturday against the Anaheim Ducks. Hossa, 37, could be sidelined for several weeks. ... Maple Leafs C Nazem Kadri returned to the lineup after missing two games because of a lower-body injury. ... Blackhawks RW Vincent Hinostroza earned a spot on the fourth line one day after he was recalled from Rockford of the AHL. Hinostroza, 21, led Rockford with 10 goals and 17 assists in 41 games. ... Maple Leafs C Shawn Matthias missed his fourth straight game because of a whiplash injury. ... Blackhawks D Erik Gustafsson was a healthy scratch for the second consecutive game. ... Maple Leafs LW Brendan Leipsic was a healthy scratch two days after making his NHL debut against Vancouver.

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