Sharp, Saad each score twice in Blackhawks’ 6-2 win over Stars
BY MARK LAZERUS Staff Reporter December 10, 2013 10:07PM
Updated: December 10, 2013 11:27PM
DALLAS — A little more than halfway through the second period of Tuesday night’s game against the Stars, Blackhawks goaltender Antti Raanta had faced six shots. It’s actually not easy for a goalie to play in that type of game, to stay loose and mentally sharp. But considering the Hawks were up 5-0 at the time, Raanta wasn’t complaining.
“It’s not the best thing for the goalie to play those games, but if the forwards want to score points, that’s fine for me,” Raanta said following the Hawks’ 6-2 rout of Dallas. “It’s pretty nice to be a goalie on this team.”
The Hawks offense made it easy on Raanta in his first start as the team’s temporary No. 1 goalie. Patrick Sharp and Brandon Saad each scored two goals, and Patrick Kane added a goal and two assists as the Hawks won at American Airlines Center for the third time in a month.
Raanta made 27 saves in the victory, and the Hawks’ beleaguered penalty-killing unit was 5-for-5 for the second straight game, once again taking advantage of a lousy power play. The Stars are now a staggering 1-for-47 on the power play at home this season.
“We’ll say ‘baby steps,’” Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said of the PK. “But hopefully we get some confidence off it and turn it the other way.”
The Hawks were all over Dallas from the opening faceoff. Michael Kostka, in his first game since Oct. 19, scored 2:03 into the game. Then, after the Hawks came up empty with a nearly two-minute two-man advantage, Kane scored on a breakaway to make it 2-0. Kane has a point in 18 of his last 19 games, including six straight.
“Things could have maybe went the other way after that penalty kill for them,” Sharp said. “But Kaner scoring that breakaway goal was pretty big.”
Saad scored 2:46 into the second, and the rout was on. Sharp scored a power-play goal at 8:20, then turned a tremendous stretch pass from Duncan Keith — a slapper from his own goal line to the far blue line — into a breakaway goal to make it 5-0. Jonathan Toews, who appeared to hurt his hand during the game (Quenneville said he was OK) had the secondary assist on the goal, the 400th point of his career.
Antoine Roussel sandwiched two goals — including one with 18.7 seconds left in the game — around Saad’s second tally to break up Raanta’s shutout bid, but they barely made a dent in one of the Hawks’ best efforts of the season.
“Did a lot of good things,” Quenneville said. “And across-the-board contributions. It was a very good night.”