The offensive juggernaut that is the Toronto Maple Leafs scored a season-high seven goals and chased rookie Antti Raanta after two periods, and the Chicago Blackhawks suffered one of their ugliest losses of the season on Saturday night.
Patrick Kane scored twice to lead a Blackhawks offense that never had the momentum in the game. Chicago was called for three penalties in the first eight minutes of the game, and the teams exchanged power play goals, with Peter Holland and Kane each scoring with the advantage. Kane’s goal was tipped in by Toronto defenseman Dio Phaneuf.
But a second period meltdown handed a big victory to the Leafs.
Four goals from four different player on 14 shots put the game out of reach. Jerry D’Amigo scored only 42 seconds into the middle frame, but it appeared the Hawks tied the game moments later when Phaneuf bunted a puck off Marian Hossa’s hand past Jonathan Bernier.
The goal was disallowed. Any brief taste of momentum the Hawks might have captured was short-lived, and the Leafs poured it on.
Holland scored his second of the game – his fifth of the season – at 12:09 to put Toronto up 3-1. That goal sparked a barrage of goals, with Kane answering 81 seconds later and Nikolai Kulemin adding Toronto’s fourth goal only 66 second after Kane’s tally.
Joffrey Lupol added Toronto’s second power play goal of the season less than two minutes after Kulemin’s tally to close the second period at 5-2 Leafs.
Kent Simpson entered the game to begin the third and allowed a soft goal on the first shot he faced in the NHL. He would allow one more, to Phil Kessel less than one minute after Brandon Saad scored for Chicago, to close the scoring for the night.
Raanta allowed five goals against 25 shots. Simpson allowed two against seven.
The blame could be passed around the Chicago dressing room in the wake of the disaster. Mike Kostka was bad, but he wasn’t alone. The Hawks struggled to clear their zone throughout the game.
Mayson Raymond had four assists and Lupol had two goals and two assists for Toronto.
Brent Seabrook was credited with seven hits, but was minus-three in the game. His partner, Duncan Keith, was minus-four with one assist, three hits and a team-high three blocked shots.
The Hawks return to the United Center to face the Los Angeles Kings on Sunday afternoon.