The Chicago Blackhawks kept downplaying the return of Raffi.
It was about winning the game, they said. That was the best revenge against the Phoenix Coyotes and forward Raffi Torres, who injured Marian Hossa last spring. So instead of getting in the Coyotes’ faces, the Blackhawks just got the puck in their net.
Patrick Kane scored twice and Patrick Sharp had three assists as the Blackhawks beat the Phoenix Coyotes 6-2 at Jobing.com Arena on Thursday night. The Blackhawks are now 9-0-2 this season and 3-0-2 on this road trip, which wraps up Sunday in Nashville.
It was the first time Torres faced the Blackhawks since his concussion-inducing hit on Marian Hossa last April. But the Blackhawks weren’t focused on engaging fists as much as they were their offensive firepower. And they had plenty of the latter.
Jamal Mayers was on good-teammate duty early in the first period, fighting Torres to a draw.
“I realize what my job is at this point,” he said. “It still doesn’t excuse what happened, but I give (Torres) credit: he was willing to go.”
Kane said that the fight “gave me chills. He pumped up everyone on the bench and got everyone going.” Indeed, after that, the Blackhawks’ offense took over, helped in part by the Coyotes’ penchant for penalties. Two of the Blackhawks’ goals came on 5-on-3 power plays, and both of those were via Kane.
Dave Bolland, Jonathan Toews, Viktor Stalberg and Bryan Bickell also scored for the Blackhawks, who sent goaltender Mike Smith packing on Bickell’s goal with 4:52 remaining in the second period. Smith allowed six goals on 22 shots. Defenseman Nick Leddy took a puck to the face in the waning minutes on Thursday. His condition is unknown.
“We got a great start,” coach Joel Quenneville said. “Whether it was (Mayers’ fight with Torres), the energy, the guys played the right way. We responded to a poor start in San Jose, and scoring first certainly helped us. It was a great effort across the board and I’m pleased with the contributions of each guy.”
Kane, Blackhawks dismantle Coyotes, move to 9-0-2
CSN Chicago | Feb 8