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Blackhawks score early, often in rout of Red Wings

The SportsXchange

DETROIT -- The Chicago Blackhawks got far more goals than they needed in a combined span of less than two minutes on Sunday.

Brandon Saad had two goals and an assist, Dave Bolland scored twice and Chicago capitalized on goal-scoring spurts early in the first and second periods in a 7-1 win over the Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena on Sunday.

Jonathan Toews added a goal and two assists and Jeremy Morin and Nick Leddy also scored for Chicago (26-5-3). Corey Crawford made 33 saves.

The Blackhawks scored three goals in 1:39 in the opening period and two more goals in eight seconds in the second.

"Contributions from everybody. It certainly helps when you get a quick start like that right off the bat," Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said.

Cory Emmerton scored the only goal for Detroit (17-13-5). Jimmy Howard stopped 10 of 14 shots on Sunday before being pulled in favor of Jonas Gustavsson early in the second period. Gustavsson made nine saves.

"We didn't play hockey tonight whatsoever. It's tough when you spot them a few goals right away from the start," Red Wings' defenseman Niklas Kronwall said. "You did a big hole for yourselves and we couldn't find a way to get back. It was embarrassing at times."

Chicago got going early and scored three times in a 1:39 span in the game's first four-and-a-half minutes on its first three shots.

Morin, who was recalled from the Blackhawks American Hockey League affiliate in Rockford on Saturday, opened the scoring when he put one in from a goal-mouth scramble at 2:33.

Saad capitalized on a breakaway off left wing to beat Howard 48 seconds later and Bolland was credited with his first goal of the game, at 4:12, when Detroit defenseman Jakub Kindl accidentally backhanded the puck into his own net while trying to clear it from the crease.

"Especially these early games, it's nice to get off to a good start." Saad said. "We got a couple of bounces and got a couple of goals and it was nice to play with the lead."

Toews said the team wanted to keep the pressure on.

"We wanted to have a good first period," the Blackhawks' captain said. "We were glad to put up a lot of goals early. But we knew we couldn't let up."

Saad is flourishing offensively on the team's top line with Toews after making his mark as a penalty killer and with his defensive play earlier in the season.

"He's in the right place on the right line and he belongs there," Quenneville said.

The Red Wings didn't manage a shot until 7:15 into the game when Detroit defenseman Brian Lashoff hit the goal post with a little under two minutes left in the first period.

Toews and Saad scored eight seconds apart early in the second period to make it 5-0.

Toews, got his 17th goal at 3:52. That chased Howard and Saad picked up his sixth goal, at 4:00, on the first shot on Gustavsson.

Bolland scored his second of the game and seventh of the season 7:55 into the third period and Leddy got his sixth goal, with 3:39 left.

Emmerton's third goal averted the shutout with 27 seconds left.

NOTES: Sunday marked the 85th birthday of Hall of Fame member and former Red Wing Gordie Howe. The Red Wings wore jerseys with Howe's retired No. 9 during warmups. He was on hand at Joe Louis Arena signing autographs, and fans also could sign a birthday card for Howe. On hand for the occasion were former Detroit defenseman and seven-time Norris Trophy winner Nicklas Lidstrom and two of Howe's long-time former teammates, Hockey Hall of Famers Ted Lindsay and Alex Delvecchio ... Detroit center and captain Henrik Zetterberg didn't play because of a lower-body injury after skating in warmups. He is day to day. ... Chicago forwards Patrick Sharp and Marian Hossa were both out because of lower-body injuries. ... Red Wings forward Mikael Samuelsson returned after missing 19 games with a broken finger. ... Forward Johan Franzen played after leaving the Red Wings' previous game (a 2-0 loss in San Jose on Thursday night) after the second period with a lower-body injury. ... Lashoff was sent to Detroit's AHL affiliate in Grand Rapids after the game.
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