Circle Saturday night’s loss to the Minnesota Wild at the United Center as a potential wake-up call for the 2013-14 Blackhawks.
On Monday night, the Hawks exacted some sweet revenge with a dominant 5-1 victory in Minnesota. Finally, the Blackhawks produced a dominant, 60-minute victory.
Brandon Saad had himself a game to remember the day after his 21st birthday, making the highlight reel pass to Patrick Kane less than three minutes into the third period and then scoring a sensation goal of his own just under six minutes later to blow the game wide open.
The new-look second line of Saad, Kane and Brandon Pirri worked out pretty well. All three players had a two-point night, with Pirri registering two assists while Saad and Kane had a goal and an assist each. Pirri won only five of 15 faceoffs, but played well between the two experienced stars.
Chicago also mixed up the top line on Monday night, and saw dividends there as well. Patrick Sharp finally put the puck in the net off a gorgeous play behind the net by Marian Hossa to open the scoring in the first period. Jonathan Toews had a strong night with an assist and winning nine of 15 faceoffs.
Sheldon Brookbank led the team with four hits and scored the game-winning goal in the second period, his first of the season.
After a rough night in the box score on Saturday night, Corey Crawford bounced back with a strong performance. He stopped 29 of 30 Minnesota shots to earn the victory.
The Hawks’ penalty kill was perfect in three short-handed opportunities, thanks in large part to the performance of recently-signed forward Brad Mills. Mills skated 2:08 on PK duty in the game and won four of seven faceoffs in the game, but looked very comfortable next to Marcus Kruger in a primary penalty killing role.
Nick Leddy scored the Hawks’ third goal of the night, a missile on the power play.
The Hawks come home to face the Senators at the United Center on Tuesday night.