The Blackhawks offense is streaking so well right now Will Ferrell would be proud.
Patrick Kane’s goal just two minutes into the third period extended his point streak to a career-high-tying nine games, and the also pushed the Hawks’ team streak to eight consecutive games with a power play goal as the Blackhawks blew the doors off the United Center again, defeating the visiting Wild 4-1.
Also on a roll is Marian Hossa, who scored two more goals on Tuesday night. The tallies give Hossa 10 goals and 20 points in only 21 games with the Hawks this season after joining the roster in late November. Brian Campbell and Kris Versteeg also had two points, each being credited with two assists, as the Hawks exceptional depth was too much for the Wild.
The first goal of the night for the Blackhawks was scored late in the first period by John Madden and was his ninth of the season. Madden had seven goals and 23 points in 76 games for New Jersey last year, but already has 16 this year in only 43 games in Chicago. Madden took a gorgeous pass from Versteeg that somehow slid completely across the crease, banked it off the post, corralled the puck and put it into the net to tie the game. Versteeg played a strong game handling the puck and was efficient in 97 seconds of shorthanded play.
Jonathan Toews, among the NHL leaders in faceoff win percentage, had an overwhelming night in the circle for the Blackhawks as well. In just under 21 minutes of ice time, Toews had an assist and won 17 of 22 faceoffs. Overall, the Blackhawks won 29 of 51 faceoffs on the night.
Cristobal Huet had another strong performance, holding off a number of strong rushes from Minnesota in a back-and-forth first period before the Hawks offense took over. the defense in front of Huet was as good as it usually is, allowing only 20 shots and killing all three of the Wild power plays. A key member of the defense was Niklas Hjalmarsson, who returned from missing a few games after taking a puck to the ear on New Year’s Eve. Hjalmarsson played 19:40 and was credited with a blocked shot.
In the first period, Brent Seabrook made an incredible block of a shot attempt by Andrew Brunette. Brunette had a wide-open backside of the net until Seabrook went to his knees and blocked the shot with the shaft of his stick.
The Blackhawks have now won four straight games and are 8-2-0 in their last ten, including an undefeated start to 2010.