The last thing the defensively dreadful Dallas Stars
needed on Halloween was a big dose of Patrick Kane
Last season's Calder Trophy winner as the NHL's top rookie did his best to continue the Stars' defensive struggles, scoring a goal and adding two assists as the Hawks outscored Dallas 5-2 on Friday night.
The Stars entered the game last in the NHL with a 3.95 goals-against average and gave starting goaltender Marty Turco
a second straight night off. The goaltending change to Tobias Stephan
worked Wednesday when the Stars beat Minnesota, but the Swiss rookie was beaten five times on 32 shots by the goal-hungry Hawks, who improved to 4-0-2 at the United Center with their biggest margin of victory this season.
"This wasn't close to a sound road game," said Tippett, who added that Turco will be back in the net Saturday night in Boston, the second stop on the Stars' five-game trip.
After Loui Eriksson
put Dallas in front at 6:17, Kane set up Cam Barker
's power-play goal at 9:59 of the first period to tie the game at 1-1. He put the Hawks ahead by finishing off Martin Havlat
's pass on a 2-on-1 break with a wrist shot past Stephan at 18:50.
It was one of a number of odd-man rushes that left Tippett upset with his team's defensive coverage — or lack thereof.
"You can't just give them outnumbered break after outnumbered break," he said. "We made too many mistakes to win the game."
Dallas' Steve Ott
tied the game by beating Nikolai Khabibulin
on a breakaway at 7:39 of the second period, and the Stars quickly had a chance to take the lead when they had a 5-on-3 advantage for 1:08. Instead, the Hawks killed the penalties and Kane got his second assist at 13:26 when he set up defenseman Brent Sopel
's first goal since Jan. 11, a slap shot from the top of the left circle that pinged in off the left post.
Both coaches felt the Hawks' ability to kill the two-man advantage was key to the outcome.
"I always feel that if you have a 5-on-3 and don't score, you generally don't win the game," Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville
said. "Tonight we had a huge kill. Our penalty killers were strong tonight and definitely factored into the outcome."
Said Tippett: "It was our chance to build a lead and we didn't do it. We didn't move the puck."
and Dustin Byfuglien
each scored their first goals of the season late in the third to put the game away. Ladd scored on a 2-on-1 with 6:10 left, and Byfuglien made it 5-2 just over two minutes later when he connected from the edge of the crease.
"We need contributions from everybody, and that includes us," Ladd said. "We need to keep it up. It's just more confidence. Hopefully we can keep it rolling."
In all, nine Hawks had points while Khabibulin finished with 21 saves
"We can't wait for Kaner, (Jonathan) Toews and (Patrick) Sharp and those guys to score every night," Sopel said. "We need to be a balanced team from start to finish."
Of the five Hawks who scored goals, only Kane had turned on the red light before Friday.
"I guess a few different people got us going tonight," Kane said. "It's big, especially against a team like Dallas. They've got a lot of skilled players, and seeing them getting frustrated is going to give you momentum."
Dallas, which went to the Western Conference Finals last spring, has yet to win back-to-back games this season.
"We're not very good. We're not coming up the ice in synch, with good passes stick to stick, to allow the guy with the puck to make a decent play," center Mike Modano
said. "We're always coming from behind, every game."
Material from wire services and team online and broadcast media was used in this report
Contact John Kreiser at firstname.lastname@example.org