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game recap

Panarin, Toews lift Blackhawks past Coyotes

Chicago wins third straight, trails Dallas, St. Louis by four points for Central lead

by Brian Hedger / Correspondent

Toews' slick breakaway SHG

ARI@CHI: Toews breaks away to net beautiful SHG

4/5/16: Jonathan Toews steals the puck and breaks up ice all alone, using a pretty move to put it past Louis Domingue for the shorthanded goal

  • 00:47 •

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Blackhawks have ignited their offense and turned a hot spell into a three-game winning streak.

Andrew Ladd scored two goals, rookie left wing Artemi Panarin had two assists, and the Blackhawks defeated the Arizona Coyotes 6-2 at United Center on Tuesday.

The Blackhawks (47-26-7, 101 points) have scored at least five goals in each game during the winning streak and six in each of the past two. Their power play is suddenly clicking, and their penalty kill is a perfect 17-for-17 in six games since center Marcus Kruger returned from a wrist injury.

"I think we're trying to remind ourselves of what motivates us to play well in these games," said captain Jonathan Toews, who had a goal and two assists. "We want to get our game together and play the complete game that we're going to need in the playoffs, but at the same time, it's a lot easier to play at the highest level when the playoffs come around and that motivation's right there in front of your face."

Video: ARI@CHI: Kane nets Panarin's feed for PPG

Patrick Kane, whose 102 points lead the NHL, had a goal and an assist for the Blackhawks, who are four points behind the Dallas Stars and St. Louis Blues for first place in the Central Division. Each team has two games left, and Chicago plays St. Louis at home Thursday (8:30 p.m. ET; FS-MW, CSN-CH, NHL.TV).

The Blackhawks must win out and have the Stars and Blues each lose their final two games to win the Central.

"[We'll] keep playing the same way we are right now and we'll remind ourselves that these points matter [and] can make a difference in where we finish at the end of the year," Toews said. "We'll use [the Blues] as another game to prepare ourselves for the playoffs. We'll get up for it because we know they will be."

Panarin, the NHL's First Star of the Week, has 10 points in Chicago's past three games (three goals, seven assists).

Video: ARI@CHI: Ladd fires one from slot for second of night

His line with center Artem Anisimov and Kane has combined for nine goals, 13 assists and 22 points during the winning streak. The top line, centered by Toews, has four goals, eight assists and eight points in those games.

"The one line's been dynamic in the three games, as far as generating off the rush or on the power play or in [the offensive] zone," Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said. "They've really been dangerous. I like the way we played for the most part tonight, did some things in the last three games when you look at the offense, 5 [goals], 6 [goals], 6 [goals] ... we know we can score, and that'll be the ongoing challenge, is to check."

Scott Darling made 29 saves in his 10th straight start for Chicago, which played without suspended defenseman Duncan Keith, goalie Corey Crawford (upper-body injury) and forwards Marian Hossa (lower body) and Andrew Shaw (upper body).

The Blackhawks went 3-for-6 on the power play and 6-for-6 on the penalty kill. They're 6-for-12 with the man-advantage in the past three games after going 0-for-26 in their previous nine.

Video: ARI@CHI: Ladd extends the lead with great deflection

Connor Murphy and Brad Richardson scored for the Coyotes (35-38-7), who lost their second straight game and fourth in the past five. Louis Domingue allowed six goals on 32 shots.

"It's tough because you get excited," Murphy said. "It's a unique building with the [loud anthem] and the excitement behind every home game they have. We want to have a good challenge against top teams, and we came [up] way short tonight. It just came down to will and effort, and we were kind of lackadaisical on pucks. It's frustrating, but we still have two games left."

Arizona, which has been eliminated from playoff contention, finishes its season on the road with games Thursday at the Nashville Predators and Saturday at the San Jose Sharks.

The Blackhawks jumped out to a 2-0 lead on goals by Richard Panik and Toews 7:24 apart in the first period, then padded it in the second, just as they did in a 6-4 win against the Boston Bruins on Sunday.

After expressing frustration about his season at the morning skate, Toews set up Panik before scoring a shorthanded goal with a forehand-backhand deke off a breakaway that he created with a stolen pass. It was Toews' 250th NHL goal and fourth shorthanded goal of the season.

Video: ARI@CHI: Panik gets loose puck, wrists it by Domingue

Kane scored Chicago's first power-play goal of the night at 6:24 of the second, and Andrew Ladd scored two more in the period to make it 5-0.

Anisimov left in the second after being driven into the boards by former Blackhawks center Antoine Vermette, who received a boarding major and game misconduct. Anisimov is day-to-day with an upper-body injury.

"Obviously, I don't mean to hurt anyone," said Vermette, who received a standing ovation in the first period for his contributions to the Blackhawks' 2015 championship. "From what I understand, I look over there and [Anisimov] seems fine, which is good news. I thought he was going to keep going on the weak side. He made that fake, and at that point, I tried to catch him at the last second, but the move was already initiated. I feel bad. I hope he's OK, but he seems to be OK."

Ladd scored twice on the resulting power play, tipping a shot from the point by Trevor Van Riemsdyk on the first and sliding the puck between Domingue's pads for the second one.

Murphy and Richardson scored for Arizona in the third, and Andrew Desjardins scored the Blackhawks' sixth goal.

Video: Ladd, Panarin led Blackhawks to win against Coyotes

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