Skip to main content

Eager scores, fights to help Blackhawks KO Coyotes

NHL.com @NHL

Scoring goals and throwing punches, Ben Eager had the time of his life in the Chicago Blackhawks' victory over the Phoenix Coyotes.

"Score two, beat a guy up?" Eager asked. "If I could do that every night I would."

He did it Sunday night, scoring twice and fighting Phoenix's David Hale in the Chicago Blackhawks' 7-1 home victory. The 6-foot-3, 225-pound left winger has 14 goals - five this season - and 392 penalty minutes in 141 NHL games.

"It's a nice feeling when everyone plays well and you help contribute," Eager said.

Andrew Ladd had a goal and three assists for a career-high four points, Jonathan Toews and Dave Bolland each had a goal and an assist, and Patrick Sharp and Dustin Byfuglien also scored. The Blackhawks scored their season-high seven goals in an 11-shot span against Ilya Bryzgalov, a shooting percentage more akin to the NBA than NHL.

"We got outplayed, outscored and outhit," Phoenix coach Wayne Gretzky said. "They took it to us pretty well."

In other NHL games Sunday, it was: Carolina 3, Washington 1; Calgary 3, the New York Rangers 0; Colorado 5, Vancouver 4 in a shootout; and Anaheim 5, Columbus 3.

In Chicago, Cristobal Huet, making his fifth straight start with Nikolai Khabibulin sidelined by a groin injury, stopped 20 shots, allowing only Enver Lisin's goal on a breakaway in the final minute of the second period.

Coming off a 5-4 shootout loss in Detroit on Saturday night, Chicago improved to 12-6-7 overall and 8-1-4 at home.

"I thought we played pretty well last night," Ladd said. "We wanted to come up with the same effort tonight. We figured we'd come up with a better result."

Chicago's Kris Versteeg, the NHL rookie scoring leader with 22 points, fought Phoenix rookie Kyle Turris following a scrum with just over a second left.

Versteeg received a minor penalty for instigating, a fighting major and two game misconducts. The 19-year-old Turris was assessed only a fighting major.

"I don't like to see an 18-year-old kid get grabbed out of a pile in a 7-1 hockey game and take a beating like that," Gretzky said. "I don't think there's any room for that. I've never seen anything like that."

Gretzky left Bryzgalov in goal despite the score because backup Mikael Tellqvist has a lower-body injury and was only available in an emergency.

"He had a minor injury and it was one of those things where we really couldn't take a chance of him getting hurt more," Gretzky said. "We made the decision today we were going to go with Bryzgalov. It's as simple as that."

At Raleigh, N.C., Eric Staal broke a tie for Carolina with 4:09 left, and Ray Whitney scored twice to help give Paul Maurice his first victory in his second coaching stint with the Hurricanes.

Michael Leighton stopped Capitals star Alexander Ovechkin on a penalty shot with 1.2 seconds left in the second period and finished with 38 saves.

Carolina had lost three in a row, the last two after Maurice took over for the fired Peter Laviolette on Wednesday. Nicklas Backstrom scored for Washington, coming off a 2-1 victory in Toronto on Saturday night.

At New York, Jarome Iginla and David Moss struck for the second straight game, and Calgary workhorse Miikka Kiprusoff stopped 31 shots for his 29th NHL shutout.

Kiprusoff started for the 26th time in Calgary's 27 games - including 12 consecutive - and led the Flames to their fifth win in six games.

Iginla and Moss also scored in the third period of Calgary's 4-3 comeback overtime victory at St. Louis on Friday night that started a four-game trip. Rene Bourque scored a short-handed goal with 2 minutes left.

At Denver, Wojtek Wolski, Marek Svatos and Milan Hejduk scored in a shootout, and Peter Budaj made 34 saves in Colorado's eighth straight victory over Vancouver.

Colorado defenseman Daniel Tjarnqvist forced overtime, scoring with 2:48 left in regulation. Hejduk, David Jones and Ryan Smyth also scored in regulation.

Steve Bernier had two goals for Vancouver, Daniel Sedin and Darcy Hordichuk also scored, and Kyle Wellwood connected in the shootout.

At Anaheim, Calif., Ryan Getzlaf scored twice, rookie Bobby Ryan had a goal and an assist, and Rob Niedermayer and Ryan Carter also scored for Anaheim.

Defenseman George Parros added two assists for the first multipoint game of his career, and Chris Kunitz also had two assists for the Ducks.

Kris Russell, Fredrik Modin and Derick Brassard scored for Columbus.

View More