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game recap

Hawks win in Havlat's return to Chicago

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:51 AM

NHL.com

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Hawks win in Havlat's return to Chicago
Minnesota Wild 1, Chicago Blackhawks 3

Martin Havlat had a quiet return to the United Center, but Patrick Kane was able to electrify the crowd.

Kane scored the 50th goal of his NHL career in spectacular fashion and Cristobal Huet made it back-to-back strong starts with a 20-save performance as the Chicago Blackhawks skated off with a 3-1 win and sent the Minnesota Wild to their eighth straight road loss to begin the season.

Dave Bolland and Troy Brouwer scored first-period goals for Chicago (7-3-1), which finished off a four-game homestand with its second win in a row and extended its lead in the Central Division to three points over Columbus.

Havlat, who led the Blackhawks in scoring last season before joining the Wild via free agency, was stopped by Huet on the game's first shot. He didn't have another one and finished minus-2 in just over 20 minutes of ice time.

''It was strange playing against the same guys you were with the last three years,'' said Havlat, who was unhappy that the Blackhawks didn't re-sign him. ''They got the first goal, and Huet played well. We just couldn't put anything in, and that was it.''

Andrew Brunette's team-leading seventh goal brought the Wild to within a goal at 3:29 of the third, but Kane responded at 6:54 with an unassisted goal, his fourth of the season.

Kane stole the puck from Eric Belanger in the right corner and skated behind the net, looking to pass to an open teammate in front. Unable to find one, he weaved his way out to the lower left circle, wheeled around and with a precision shot beat Niklas Backstrom over his right shoulder and just under the crossbar.

''It's got to be a perfect shot,'' said Kane, who has worked on it during practice. ''It's lucky, too -- kind of shoot and pray it goes in.''

To say his teammates were impressed would be an understatement.

''A pretty sick shot,'' Bolland said. ''There was only an inch or two.''

"It was strange playing against the same guys you were with the last three years.  They got the first goal, and Huet played well. We just couldn't put anything in, and that was it."
-- Martin Havlat

It was the fourth goal of the season for Kane, who doesn't turn 21 until Nov. 19.

''(Team media relations director) Brandon Faber made me feel real good,'' Kane said. ''He said I've got 560 more to catch Bobby Hull.''

Bolland opened the scoring at 9:23 and Brouwer struck on the power play with 2:47 remaining.

Huet, coming off a 27-save shutout against Nashville on Saturday, improved to 4-2-1 with consecutive wins on home ice.

Backstrom stopped 32 shots for Minnesota (3-8-0), which is unbeaten on home ice but has spent most of October away from the Xcel Energy Center, with disastrous results. The Wild are the first team since the 1996-97 Penguins to lose their first eight road games.

''If we want to make the playoffs, we have to play about .500 on the road, so there are a lot of things we have to catch up on,'' Backstrom said. ''It doesn't matter if the system is new. You have to find a way to win … and pretty soon. Time is running out.''

-- Brian Hunter, NHL.com


scoring summary
1st Period
09:23
CHI
Dave Bolland (2) ASST: Andrew Ladd (4), Jordan Hendry (1)
1 - 0 CHI
17:13
CHI
PPG - Troy Brouwer (3) ASST: Tomas Kopecky (1), Duncan Keith (5)
2 - 0 CHI
2nd Period
NONE
3rd Period
03:29
MIN
PPG - Andrew Brunette (7) ASST: Antti Miettinen (3), Mikko Koivu (6)
2 - 1 CHI
06:54
CHI
Patrick Kane (4) ASST: NONE
3 - 1 CHI
penalty summary
1st Period
04:54
CHI
Patrick Sharp  Hooking against  Cal Clutterbuck
12:13
MIN
Shane Hnidy  Fighting (maj) against  Jake Dowell
12:13
CHI
Jake Dowell  Fighting (maj) against  Shane Hnidy
15:35
MIN
Chuck Kobasew  Hi-sticking against  Patrick Sharp
19:34
CHI
Duncan Keith  Tripping against  Andrew Brunette
2nd Period
03:23
MIN
Niklas Backstrom  Slashing against  Dustin Byfuglien
09:08
CHI
Cam Barker  Hi-sticking against  James Sheppard
14:24
CHI
Tomas Kopecky  Boarding against  Kyle Brodziak
17:17
MIN
Cal Clutterbuck  Boarding against  Andrew Ebbett
3rd Period
01:36
CHI
Dave Bolland  Cross checking against  Mikko Koivu
10:02
CHI
Brian Campbell  Hi-sticking against  Brent Burns
14:54
MIN
Benoit Pouliot  Diving against  Cam Barker
14:54
CHI
Cam Barker  Interference against  Benoit Pouliot
15:52
MIN
Marek Zidlicky  Interference against  Brent Sopel
goalie stats
Niklas Backstrom
SA: 35TOI: 58:48
Saves: 32EV: 25 - 27
PIM: 2PP: 6 - 7
SV%: .914SH: 1 - 1
Cristobal Huet
SA: 21TOI: 59:54
Saves: 20EV: 15 - 15
PIM: 0PP: 5 - 6
SV%: .952SH: 0 - 0