GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The Chicago Blackhawks' annual circus trip carries dual meaning now that the club has won two Stanley Cups in the past four seasons.
Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey's circus still occupies Chicago's United Center for about two weeks, forcing the team to the road, but wherever the Blackhawks travel, they play before a circus-like atmosphere.
Chicago didn't disappoint on the last stop of its western trek, scoring three first-period goals to beat the Phoenix Coyotes 5-2 on Saturday night at Jobing.com Arena for its sixth straight win.
The win also gave the Blackhawks a 6-1 mark on their now-concluded road trip and kept them atop the NHL's overall standings with 44 points.
Road-weary Chicago got exactly the start it wanted when the Coyotes took two penalties in the game's first 1:14, giving the Blackhawks a five-on-three power play.
Right winger Patrick Kane scored his team-leading 16th goal of the season off a deflection of Marian Hossa's shot from the point to give Chicago a quick 1-0 lead.
The goal also gave Chicago momentum. Center Andrew Shaw corralled a loose puck in front of Phoenix goalie Mike Smith and somehow slid a weak backhand past Smith for a 2-0 lead at the 9:18 mark. Defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson widened it to 3-0 less than two minutes later when he took a feed from Kane in the corner and blew a shot under Smith's arm.
The deficit looked daunting, but this was standard operating procedure for the Coyotes, who have been outscored 28-16 in the first period this season.
Phoenix got on the board when defenseman Michael Stone intentionally shot a puck wide of the net to create a bank off the end boards. Wing Rob Klinkhammer was positioned perfectly to collect the puck at the side of the net and slip it past Blackhawks goalie Antti Raanta (31 saves) to cut the lead to 31 at 5:52 of the second period.
Right winger Radim Vrbata then feathered a perfect pass to center Martin Hanzal in the slot on a power play and Hanzal knocked it in while falling down to cut the lead to 3-2 with 4:04 left in the second.
That was all the Coyotes could get, however, as the Hawks clamped down in the third period. Left winger Brandon Bollig beat Smith up high off an odd-man rush for a 4-2 lead with 9:11 remaining in the game, and Hossa scored into an empty net for the final margin.
NOTES: Blackhawks backup G Antti Raanta made his second career NHL start against the Coyotes. ... D Derek Morris played his 500th game in a Phoenix uniform. ... Coyotes D Zbynek Michalek (lower-body injury) and LW Lauri Korpikoski (upper body) missed the game. ... Saturday's game featured two of the NHL's four worst penalty-killing units. Chicago was ranked 29th (74.3 percent); Phoenix was ranked 27th (76.7 percent). ... Entering Saturday's game, the Blackhawks scored just 22 first-period goals in 27 games this season. They scored three against Phoenix. ... Chicago D Duncan Keith extended his point streak to eight games with a first-period assist on RW Patrick Kane's 16th goal of the season. Keith had two assists in the period. ... Keith has at least a point in 17 of his last 20 games. ... Coyotes C Rob Klinkhammer scored a goal in the second period, giving him at least a point in all three games against his former team.