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Blackhawks stay hot, coast past Blue Jackets

Saad scores fourth of season in first game against Columbus since trade in June

by Brian Hedger / NHL.com Correspondent

CHICAGO -- Brandon Saad is making the Chicago Blackhawks look wise for their decision to reacquire him from the Columbus Blue Jackets this past offseason.

Saad, who was brought back in a trade that sent left wing Artemi Panarin to Columbus on June 23, scored his fourth goal in two games to help the Blackhawks defeat the Blue Jackets 5-1 at United Center on Saturday.

"We were saying he's not a man-child anymore, he's just a man," Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane. "I mean, you look at him, I think he's 24, turning 25 this year, so he's still fairly young. He's got a lot of prime years left in him. Be nice to have him around here for a while."

 

[WATCH: All Blue Jackets vs. Blackhawks highlights]

 

It was the second win in a row for the Blackhawks (2-0-0), who defeated the defending champion Pittsburgh Penguins 10-1 in their season opener on Thursday.

Kane and Jonathan Toews each had a goal and assist, and Corey Crawford made 32 saves for Chicago.

"We've had some good pace to our team, and I think the guys are excited about their linemates and the possibilities of scoring [and] making plays," Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said. "We manage the puck without it the right way. Guys are doing a lot of good things with it." 

Panarin was held without a point in his first game against the Blackhawks since the trade, but rookie Sonny Milano scored his second goal in as many games for the Blue Jackets (1-1-0). 

Video: CBJ@CHI: Kane fires top-shelf goal to open scoring

Joonas Korpisalo allowed five goals on 29 shots in his first start of the season.

"That's the learning curve for us," Columbus captain Nick Foligno said. "We're a young team. That's not an excuse. We expect to be better, but that's the battle we're going to fight this year, is thinking we're a good hockey team [and] knowing we're a good hockey team. That team, they've done it a lot longer than we have, but we're a good hockey team, and we have to start thinking like that and knowing that every time we step on the ice, we have to instill [it] our game a little more." 

Kane made it 1-0 1:33 into the game with a rising wrist shot from the right face-off circle. Saad, who had a hat trick against Pittsburgh, scored a power-play goal to make it 2-0 at 6:04 of the first period.

Toews made it 3-0 at 10:14 of the second with his first goal of the season, assisted by Saad. Milano scored 31 seconds later to make it 3-1. 

Kane set up Jan Rutta's first NHL goal at 12:51 with a backhand pass to make it 4-1.

Richard Panik scored at 14:05 of the third period to make it 5-1.

Video: CBJ@CHI: Milano cashes in on rebound

 

Goal of the game

Milano was called for hooking at 5:33 of the first period. Patrick Sharp's shot from the right point led to a loose puck, and Saad scored past Korpisalo. 

Video: CBJ@CHI: Saad slides in puck for power-play goal

 
Save of the game

Panik got to a loose puck and nearly made it 3-0 at 11:06 of the first period, but Korpisalo stopped him to keep Columbus within two goals.

Video: CBJ@CHI: Korpisalo denies Panik's wraparound shot

 
Highlight of the game

Panik's check kept Seth Jones off a loose puck, which slid to Saad for a quick pass to Toews for a shot from the slot that beat Korpisalo over his glove.

Video: CBJ@CHI: Toews beats Korpisalo with huge one-timer

 

They said it

"We're going to face teams like that. We've got to find a way to stop the momentum and try to chip away. I thought for some minutes, we started getting our game. The third goal knocked us down a bit, but we didn't have many people going tonight." -- Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella

 

"I know we scored a ton of goals but our [defense] has been great moving the puck up, getting in the rush, ending plays quick in our zone. Every aspect of our game right now is looking good. We just have to keep that momentum going." -- Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford

Video: CBJ@CHI: Crawford doubles down on Atkinson's wrister

 

Need to know

Blackhawks center Nick Schmaltz was injured on a check by Columbus defenseman Jack Johnson before Kane scored in the first period. Quenneville said Schmaltz (upper body) will likely miss the Blackhawks' upcoming two-game road trip against the Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens. 

 
What's next

Blue Jackets: At the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET; FS-CR, FS-O, NHL.TV)

Blackhawks: At the Toronto Maple Leafs on Monday (7 p.m. ET; NHLN, NBCSCH, TSN4, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Rutta, Crawford lead Hawks past Blue Jackets, 5-1

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