Hawks rookie Patrick Kane scored twice and added an assist as his team held Vancouver to a season low 10 shots to win their 4th straight home game in a 4-1 decision over the Canucks at the United Center Sunday.
The win moved the Blackhawks to within 6 points of the final Western Conference playoff spot.
The 19 year-old Kane regained sole possession of the NHL rookie scoring lead with his 15th and 16th goals, including the game-winner, while picking up an assist on the first goal of the game in the opening period.
Kane has 55 points (16-39) as he collected the third multiple-goal game of his career. The league's #1 overall draft pick entered the contest tied with Washington's Nicklas Backstrom.
Chicago set a strong physical tone in the game, dishing out 15 hits in the first and wound up the game with 26 to 13 for Vancouver. At the same time, the Hawks snapped a five-game winless streak (0-3-2) on home ice to the visitors while beating them for the first time in four games this season.
Hawks goalie Patrick Lalime had a relatively easy time facing only 10 shots while his teamamtes fired 28 at Roberto Loungo and Curtis Sanford.
Lalime lost his bid for a second straight shutout at home in the final 89 seconds of the middle period when Hawks defensemen got tangled up at the blue line and Ryan Kesler got a partial breakway to beat Lalime over his left shoulder for his 17th goal.
The Hawks took the lead 17 minutes into the 1st period when newcomer Andrew Ladd got Kane's rebound shot just outside the crease to beat Luongo with a backhander. It was Ladd's 11th goal and his second in three games with the team after being obtained last week in a trade with Carolina.
In the 2nd period on a power play, Kane rifled a 30-footer, helped by a screen from Dustin Byfuglien, to make it 2-0 at 4:19.
Going into the final period ahead 2-1, Patrick Sharp added his team high 32nd goal at 5:26 when he deflected Duncan Keith's long shot past Luongo.
Kane rounded out the scoring at 9:26 when he picked Ben Eager's rebound out of mid-air to beat Luongo and make it 4-1. It was Eager's first game since February 10, coming off the effects of a concussion.
Chicago's other top rookie, Jonathan Toews, was cut in the mouth at 5:51 on a high stick from Matt Pettinger and left the game. His status is will be evaluated Monday.
Hawks coach Denis Savard said his team had a great effort with very few turnovers. The large matinee crowd of nearly 20,000 had a chance to see a lot of the team's young players.
Chicago is 7-3-1 in their last 11 starts and heads to Minnesota Tuesday night to face the Northwest Division leaders and then returns home Wednesday night to battle the defending Stanley Cup champion Anaheim Ducks (7:30 pm).
AP Notes: With Khabibulin out, Lalime was backed up by Corey Crawford. Including Khabibulin, six Chicago regulars sat out with injuries: LW Martin Havlat (shoulder, second game); C Robert Lang (back, third game; D Brent Sopel (wrist, fifth game; C Yanic Perreault (wrist, eighth game); and C Kevin Adams (knee surgery, 51st game). Adams has resumed skating. ... The Blackhawks will determine this week whether Havlat's injury is season ending. ... Chicago recalled forwards Bryan Bickell and Jacob Dowell from Rockford of the AHL in time for Sunday's game. ... Out for Vancouver were C Brendan Morrison (wrist, 34th game) and D Lukas Krajicek (shoulder, 14th game). Veteran Canucks C Trevor Linden was a healthy scratch.
Head coach Alain Vigneault: "I think for tonight's game you have to give credit where credit is due. They came to play; they played hard. They were very physical and without a doubt were the better team on the ice and they deserved to win. I think obviously tonight we got outplayed and we got outworked; that's an easy conclusion to come to and if our intentions are to win games, we're going to have to ... one thing I've always been able to say about this team is that we come to play and we compete hard and we work. Tonight I don't think I'm able to say that, and I can tell you that I really believe in this group and we're going to be fine and etc... But what really matters is our actions on the ice. That has to be our words, that has to speak for ourselves and obviously tonight our actions didn't speak well."
Goaltender Roberto Luongo: "It's best we forget about this one and get ready for the next one. It's unfortunate but you don't need to think about it now. They scored some key goals and drove [to] the net, created some scrambles and that's how they got their goals."
Left wing Markus Naslund: "I think a lot has to do with the way we came out. We didn't respond to their work ethic. They came out and played us hard. We didn't play our game."