Score Strip

  1. League: NHL
  2. Pittsburgh vs. Columbus
    7:00 PM
    1 PIT
    4 CLS
  3. Anaheim vs. Dallas
    8:00 PM
    1 ANH
    4 DAL
  4. St. Louis vs. Chicago
    9:30 PM
    2 STL
    3 CHI
  5. View All

Blackhawks 3, Maple Leafs 1

The SportsXchange

CHICAGO -- After scoring just 20 goals in their first seven games, Chicago Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said after Thursday's shootout loss against St. Louis that he wasn't happy with his team's meager scoring to date.

While it wasn't necessarily a resulting explosion, Quenneville's message got through to the defending Stanley Cup champions, who bounced back from Thursday's defeat to beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-1 Saturday at the United Center.

It was the first time since the season opener that the Blackhawks had ended a game not on either end of a one-goal difference.

The Blackhawks have now won the last eight meetings vs. the Maple Leafs, the last loss being more than a decade ago -- Feb. 12, 2003.

Bryan Bickell, Michael Kostka and Brandon Pirri each scored as Chicago improved to 5-1-2 on the season and also won their eighth straight game against the Maple Leafs. Goalie Corey Crawford stopped 19 of Toronto's 20 shots.

Toronto's lone goal came from Nazem Kadri as the Maple Leafs lost their second straight game and fell to 6-3-0. Losing goalie Jonathan Berrier stopped 37 of Chicago's 40 shots.

Although it took more than 25 minutes to do so, the Blackhawks scored first on Bickell's first goal of the season at 5:32 of the second period.

That advantage didn't last long, as Kadri scored his third goal of the season 91 seconds later on the power play to tie the game at 1.

Chicago went back ahead at 10:28 on Kostka's first career NHL goal. Kostka broke into the NHL last season, playing 35 games for the Maple Leafs, before signing with the Blackhawks as a free agent this season.

But the Blackhawks weren't done yet. Pirri, who scored his first career goal Thursday in a loss to St. Louis, tallied his second goal as a pro, this time on a power play, on a tip-in of a perfect pass through the crease from Brandon Saad.

The key for Chicago during the first two periods was puck control and shooting. The Blackhawks out-shot Toronto 29-9 during the first 40 minutes, including a 20-6 margin in the second period.

A potential fourth goal by the Blackhawks early in the third period was nullified when Bickell was penalized for goaltender interference.

NOTES: Attendance was 21,801. ... The Blackhawks still have not lost any man-games to injury thus far this season. The Maple Leafs, on the other hand, came into the game having lost 22 man-games due to injuries. ... Thursday's 3-2 shootout loss to St. Louis was RW Marian Hossa's 250th career game in a Blackhawks uniform. ... Saturday marked the return of C Dave Bolland to the Windy City. Bolland played 332 games with the Blackhawks from 2006-2013, scoring 70 goals and 98 assists, before joining the Maple Leafs as a free agent during the offseason. During a stop in the action early in the first period, Bolland was introduced and received a classy and lengthy standing ovation from the Blackhawks faithful. ... D Brent Seabrook came into Saturday's game one point away from 250 in his career. Backup G Nikoali Khabibulin, who has played in just one of the Blackhawks' first seven games coming into Saturday, is four games away from 800 in his NHL career.
View Comments