Kane, Crawford lead Blackhawks past Wild for 5th straight
By MATT CARLSON
CHICAGO (AP) — Patrick Kane scored two slick goals, Corey Crawford made 27 saves and the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Minnesota Wild 4-1 Sunday night for their season-high fifth straight win.
Ryan Hartman also scored for Chicago, snapping a 17-game drought dating to Oct. 28. Tommy Wingels added a short-handed empty-netter.
Matt Dumba scored at 5:56 of the third, spoiling Crawford’s shutout bid on a screened shot from the right point. The Wild dropped their second straight after a four-game winning streak.
Kane, who has seven points in his last four games, connected on a one-timer and a breakaway to give him 14 goals this season and four in the last three games. The Chicago forward’s 298th and 299th career goals moved him into fifth place in team history, ahead of Dennis Hull.
Alex Stalock made 42 saves his third straight start in place of Minnesota No. 1 goalie Devan Dubnyk, who is sidelined with a lower-body injury.
Dumba, a defenseman, has scored Minnesota’s last three goals to increase his total to six. He scored twice in the Wild’s 3-2 loss at home to Edmonton on Saturday.
The Wild ousthot the Blackhawks 13-9 in the first and had the better chances, but Kane connected at 10:56 for the only goal of the period. Completing a rush and give-and-go with Nick Schmaltz, Kane ripped in a one-timer from the right circle as Stalock slid across the crease.
Crawford came up with several sharp saves to preserve the lead, including a close-in stop on Charlie Coyle with 10 seconds left in the first.
The Blackhawks dominated in the second, outshooting Minnesota 22-6. After Stalock stopped several prime chances, Chicago took 2-0 lead on Kane’s second goal, capping a breakaway with 4:24 left. Kane slipped behind the Wild defense, and just as he reached the Minnesota blue line he took Jordan Oesterle’s stretch pass from deep in Chicago territory. Kane accelerated straight down the slot and fired a low shot between Stalock’s pads.
Hartman made it 3-0 at 1:41 of third with a determined effort. He picked up the puck along the left boards, plowed to the net and beat Stalock with a high shot on the stick side.
Dumba cut it to 3-1 just over 4 minutes later when his drive from the blue line sailed through traffic and over Crawford’s right shoulder.
Wingels backhanded in an long empty-netter to complete the scoring with 4 minutes left — and Stalock pulled for an extra attacker during a Minnesota power play.
NOTES: Minnesota D Jared Spurgeon returned after missing nine games with a groin injury. … Blackhawks D Jan Rutta missed his second game and D Cody Franson missed his fourth, both with upper-body injuries. … Slumping Chicago LW Richard Panik was a healthy scratch for the third straight game. … Struggling Minnesota LW Marcus Foligno was scratched for the second time in three games. … Wild C Mikko Koivu played Sunday, but now has gone 24 games without a goal and 11 without a point.
Wild: At Ottawa on Tuesday night in the second game of four-game trip.
Blackhawks: At Dallas on Thursday night to open a stretch of six straight road games.