|- Photo Gallery|
|Post-Game Comments: Denis Savard|
|Opponents Video: M. Schwarz / A. Murray|
The NHL's top rookie scorer, Patrick Kane, tallied twice and goalie Patrick Lalime turned away 32 shots as the Blackhawks whipped division rival St. Louis 6-1 for their second straight win Wednesday at the United Center.
The Blues suffered their third loss in a row (0-2-1).
The 19 year-old Kane broke a nine-game streak without a goal as he added his 10th and 11th of the season. He also added an assist for his 11th multiple point game of his young career. The NHL's #1 draft pick now has 43 points (11-32) and earlier in the week was named to the Western Conference YoungStars team for All-Star Weekend in Atlanta.
Lalime won his second straight start and Hawks coach Denis Savard said he earned the nod again when the Hawks begin a three-game road trip Friday in Colorado.
He lost his bid for a shutout in the last minute of the 2nd period when Blues winger Lee Stempniak banged in a rebound shot just outside the goal crease.
St. Louis outshot Chicago 33-21, but the Hawks had the better opportunities in the scoreless opening period. Blues starting goalie, Manny Legace, made big saves twice on Robert Lang from point-blank range and then denied scoring chances by Duncan Keith and Patrick Sharp.
Legace, who was named to the Western Conference All-Star team, was injured at 15:22 when Sharp drove to the net while fighting off a check by Barret Jackman. Sharp crashed into Legace but wasn't injured. Legace finished the period, but suffered an arm injury and was replaced by Marek Schwarz in the 2nd frame.
|Blackhawks goalie Patrick Lalime, left, celebrates with teammate Yanic Perreault after the Blackhawks beat the St. Louis Blues, 6-1, on Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2008, in Chicago. Lalime contributed 32 saves to the win. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)|
In the middle period, Lalime made two tremendous saves on veteran Paul Kariya, who led all shooters with six shots on goal.
The Hawks took the lead at 9:19 with rookie Jack Skille scoring his second NHL goal. Tuomo Ruutu battled for the puck behind the net and Skille took a pass and drove to the goal to beat Schwarz with a short backhander.
Rene Bourque made it 2-0 at 15:19 when he whistled a 35-footer into the upper left corner for his 4th goal.
The Hawks began the 3rd period on a power play and Kane iced a 15-footer after taking a pass from Dustin Byfuglien in the first minute to make it 3-1.
St. Louis peppered Lalime with 13 shots in the final period, but the Hawks made it 4-1 at 12:37 when Byfuglien broke his 12 game goal scoring drought with his 9th goal after a pass from Skille.
Blues coach Andy Murray pulled his goalie for an extra attacker with nearly seven minutes left in regulation, but it backfired when Kane added his second of the night into an open net at 14:38.
Veteran Yanic Perreault got his 4th of the campaign, and his first since mid-November, deflecting a pass from Kane at 17:19.
Savard said his best players -- Kane, Lang and Martin Havlat -- led the way and Lalime was solid in the nets.
Veteran Martin Lapointe missed his first game as a Hawk in three seasons because of the flu and rookie Kris Versteeg suffered a shoulder injury in the 2nd period.
The Hawks begin their three-game western road trip Friday in Colorado and play Saturday in Phoenix and Tuesday in San Jose before closing out the month at the United Center next Thursday against Columbus (7:30 pm).
AP Notes: Wisniewski has resumed practicing and may play in the Blackhawks' next game, Friday at Colorado. Williams has resumed skating. ... St. Louis LW Martin Rucinsky missed his eighth game with a shoulder injury, while Blues RW Mike Johnson underwent season-ending shoulder surgery Wednesday.
Head coach Andy Murray: "I think we had a number of players that did not play at the level we needed them to play at. It's a 2-1 game going into the third period. They got a power play goal and we got caught in a bad rotation and they scored a power play goal to go up 3-1. At that point, probably for the next seven or eight minutes we had some tremendous chances and failed to score. Then we're pressing and they end up getting a fourth goal. They're deserving certainly of the win tonight. They earned every one of the goals and we didn't get it done. We were pressing when it was 3-1.
"When it was 4-1 you have a decision to make as a coach. You can play it out and maybe hope you get another one and get back in it or you can try and change the momentum. I thought at that time that we needed to get a little bit of a spark, so I wanted to let the players know that I was going to continue coaching and they needed to continue playing and that's why we used our six-minute faceoff strategy."