Kane scores twice as Blackhawks beat Stars 5-2
DALLAS (AP) — This time, the Chicago Blackhawks got off to a fast start and held on for the victory.
Kane had two goals and an assist, and the Blackhawks beat the Dallas Stars 5-2 on Thursday night for their first win streak in two months.
Alex DeBrincat had a goal and two assists for Chicago, and defenseman Erik Gustafsson scored for the second straight game. Brendan Perlini had an empty-netter, and Cam Ward made 26 saves.
“I think we’re playing better,” said coach Jeremy Colliton, who took over when Joel Quenneville was fired on Nov. 6. “Nice for the team. Nice for the mood to get a little positive reinforcement. Hopefully that gives us the energy, the motivation to keep going.”
Chicago has been hurt by slow starts all season long, but it jumped out to a 3-0 lead against Dallas and then held off a rally by the Stars.
The Blackhawks are 3-1-1 in the last five games after a seven-game losing streak.
“It seems like we’ve kind of got our structure down and our style of how we want to play,” Kane said. “I think everyone’s OK in here kind of playing defense first, trying to capitalize when we get those chances.”
The Blackhawks matched a season high with their second straight win. They hadn’t won two in a row since Oct. 23 and 25 against Anaheim and the New York Rangers.
Ward has won both games since starting goaltender Corey Crawford went on injured reserve with a concussion.
“Corey’s obviously a big part of the team and a guy that you really can’t replace,” Ward said. “I’ve just got to go out there and try to give our team an opportunity to win. I thought these two have been really good.”
Tyler Seguin and Taylor Fedun scored for Dallas, which lost for the fifth time in six games. Ben Bishop had 24 stops.
The Blackhawks grabbed control in the first period.
DeBrincat scored on Chicago’s first shot on goal 1:12 into the game. David Kampf won a faceoff in the Dallas zone. The puck went to Dylan Sikura, who dropped it back to DeBrincat at the top of the left circle for a wrist shot that sailed inside the right goalpost.
The Blackhawks opened a 2-0 lead on their only power play. DeBrincat set up Gustafsson, who drove a slap shot from the right circle past Bishop at 17:23.
Dallas’ offense continued its season-long trouble in the first period. The Stars have only 19 first-period goals in 35 games.
“In general, we’re looking to score more goals in every period,” Dallas coach Jim Montgomery said. “It seems we were not able to do it. Tonight, I thought we did a better job of putting more pucks at the net, but we didn’t get rebounds.
“We played pond hockey tonight, especially in the first 30 minutes. It cost us. We were down 3-0 for a reason.”
Kane got his 16th goal 1:56 into the second period, skating down the slot and lifting a backhand into the net.
Dallas got on the board at 8:15 when Seguin converted a wrist shot off a pass from Jamie Benn.
In the first minute of the third period, Benn hit the left post with a shot. He helped get Dallas within one at 6:16 by chipping the puck away from Ward after Alexander Radulov left it on the doorstep. The puck went to Fedun with the right side of the net open.
But Chicago put it away on empty-net goals for Kane and Perlini after Bishop left for an extra skater.
NOTES: D John Klingberg returned to the Dallas lineup after missing 18 games because of a broken left hand. “My timing was a little bit off,” he said. ... Stars F Jason Spezza (illness) missed his second straight game. ... Chicago D Connor Murphy caught an elbow and left with 2:52 to play. “He feels good now,” Colliton said.
Blackhawks: Complete a two-game trip on Friday at Colorado.
Stars: Travel to Minnesota for a game on Saturday before returning home to play the Islanders on Sunday.