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game recap

Jonathan Toews hat trick powers Blackhawks past Wild

Center's five-point night helps Chicago to seventh straight road win

by Jessi Pierce / NHL.com Correspondent

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Jonathan Toews scored a hat trick to help the Chicago Blackhawks extend their road winning streak to seven with a 5-3 victory against the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center on Tuesday.

The Blackhawks (37-18-5) are 7-1-0 in their past eight games and five points behind the Wild (39-14-6) for first place in the Central Division and Western Conference.

Toews scored the first of his three goals 58 seconds into the second period to give Chicago a 1-0 lead.

 

WATCH: All Blackhawks vs. Wild highlights

 

"I try and go into every game with no expectation," said Toews, who had two assists to tie his NHL career high for points in a game, and has 20 points (eight goals, 12 assists) in his past 12 games. "It's just building one game after another to try and follow up good efforts and sew all the weeks together, multiple games back to back.

"Then you have nights like tonight, where you might not have another game like that for a little while and you never really know when it's all going to go in like that. …It's nice for us to get some results and definitely changes the way you see yourself and your confidence."

Mikael Granlund scored on the power play at 4:20 of the second to tie it 1-1. He has 24 points (nine goals, 15 assists) in his past 20 games and at least one point in 17 of his past 20.

Richard Panik gave the Blackhawks a 2-1 lead 41 seconds later when he beat goalie Devan Dubnyk with a one-timer.

Nick Schmaltz scored 33 seconds into the third period to increase the Blackhawks lead to 3-1.

Zach Parise deflected defenseman Marco Scandella's shot past goalie Corey Crawford to make it 3-2 at 6:41.

Toews scored his second of the night at 8:23 to give Chicago a 4-2 lead.

Granlund pulled the Wild within 4-3 with his second power-play goal of the night at 13:09, but Toews completed his hat trick with the empty-net goal to make it 5-3 with 1:02 remaining.

Video: CHI@MIN: Toews notches hat trick to lead Hawks to win

"I think we had our chances at the end to tie the game," Granlund said. "But tonight, that wasn't enough. I think the second period, we didn't play good at all there, that got them their momentum."

The win was Chicago coach Joel Quenneville's 400th with the Blackhawks. He has 838 in his NHL career.

Chicago is 19-10-1 on the road.

"It's a tough league, and we had some tough road games in some tough buildings," Quenneville said. "We like the way things are trending, we like our four-line game, and we like the balance in our team. That's the great illustration of when the consistency shows up, what we're capable of."

Crawford made 29 saves, and Dubnyk had 34.

Minnesota, 15-5-1 in its past 21 games and 7-3-1 in its past 11 at home, played its final game before a five-day break.

"They're [39-14-6]. I told them to get some rest and enjoy this break but want to get home to play hockey," Wild coach Bruce Boudreau said. "For four-and-a-half months now, you guys have done a tremendous job and we've got something special going on, potentially. It's great to get away for a couple days, but the desire to play has got to be there. …You've got to want to come back and play, and if we do that, then I think we'll be fine. If not, it might take a day or two."

Video: CHI@MIN: Granlund stuffs home a rebound for PPG

 

Goal of the game

Panik put Chicago ahead to stay when he scored his 16th goal off a pass from Toews from behind the net.

Video: CHI@MIN: Panik roofs Toews' feed from behind the net

 

Save of the game

At 11:18 of the second period, Dubnyk made a sprawling save on Patrick Kane to keep the score 2-1.

Video: CHI@MIN: Dubnyk robs Kane with a diving glove save

 

Unsung performance of the game

Rookier center Tanner Kero blocked Jason Pominville's shot with 1:47 left in the third to keep the Blackhawks ahead 4-3. Kero, who was robbed twice by Dubnyk in the first period, was 5-for-10 on faceoffs.

 

Highlight of the game

Schmaltz made a no-look backhand pass to Toews at the right post while skating right to left behind the net to set up the line's fourth goal of the night.

Video: CHI@MIN: Toews finishes Schmaltz's dish for second

 

They said it

"I think regardless of how big those two points are and where we're at and how close we are in the standings, I think we always look at [the Wild], especially with the way they're playing, as a measuring stick." -- Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews

 

"It makes it tough [when they have so many offensive threats]. That's why they've won the [Stanley] Cup three times. It feels like when one [line's] not going, the other is going. Usually we have that too. We have had that kind of the whole season. Just tonight they were a little better than us." -- Wild forward Zach Parise

 

Need to know

The Wild have scored 15 power-play goals in their past 14 games and lead the NHL in home power-play efficiency (28.9 percent). … Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith has eight points (one goal, seven assists) in his past seven games and is one point away from 500 in his NHL career. … Wild defenseman Matt Dumba returned to the lineup after missing four games with a lower-body injury. He was minus-4 with two blocked shots in 15:54 total ice time.

 

What's next

Blackhawks: Host the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday (8:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CSN-CHI, NHL.TV)

Wild: Host the Los Angeles Kings on Monday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TVA Sports, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Toews' five-point night powers Hawks to 5-3 victory

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