Artem Anisimov racked up four points and Patrick Kane scored his 32nd goal of the season as the Chicago Blackhawks throttled the Dallas Stars 5-1 on Saturday night.
The victory puts the Blackhawks five points ahead of the Stars in the Central Division standings, and it also gives the Hawks their seventh consecutive victory over a divisional foe since losing to Dallas in late December.
Marian Hossa also scored for the Hawks in the game, moving him to within just four goals of the 500-goal plateau for his career.
Just over 30 seconds into the game, the Blackhawks got a power play and cashed in quickly. Off a face-off victory, Brent Seabrook skated the puck into the high slot and blasted a slap shot past Johnny Oduya and over Antti Niemi’s glove, beating two former Blackhawks in giving his team a 1-0 advantage.
The Blackhawks continued to rack up chances as the period wore on, and in the late stages they were able to add on another goal. Off a shot rebound in front of the net, Trevor van Riemsdyk picked up the loose puck and shoveled a shot past Niemi to put the Blackhawks ahead 2-0.
A short time later, Dallas struck back. Jamie Benn found the post with a shot for the second time in the period, but this time his high-scoring linemate Tyler Seguin was there to clean up the mess as he rifled a wrist shot past Corey Crawford to pull Dallas back to within a 2-1 margin.
The Stars got a power play late in the period, but it was Chicago that was able to score a goal and reclaim the momentum. Jonathan Toews made the play happen as he collected the puck near the top of Crawford’s goal crease, and the captain flew back up the ice to set up a scoring chance. He was denied by Niemi, but Hossa slid a shot into the back of the cage to give the Blackhawks back a two-goal lead.
Things continued to go wrong for the Stars on the man-advantage in the second period as the Hawks were able to score their third short-handed goal in their last two games. Niklas Hjalmarsson lofted a pass high through the air that skipped down at the feet of Anisimov, and the center was able to corral the rolling puck and shove a shot past Kari Lehtonen to make it a three-goal lead for the visitors.
With two and a half minutes to go in the second period, the Blackhawks added yet another insurance goal. Artemi Panarin fired a cross-ice pass to Anisimov, who was denied on his shot. There to collect the rebound was Kane, who tapped in the easy rebound goal to make it a 5-1 game.