Chicago at Toronto

Blackhawks explode for five goals in third period to beat Maple Leafs wire reports

TORONTO -- Denis Savard would have thrived playing with the group he's coaching now.

Savard, whose offensive flair earned him a place in the Hockey Hall of Fame, finally has the attacking talent to build a winner in Chicago.

"That's where we're heading," he said after the Blackhawks' 6-4 comeback victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday.

"We're not quite there yet. We've still got lots of things to improve on, but our organization has done a great job acquiring the veteran guys we've got and the kids we drafted. We've got more to come, too."

This dynamic mix of savvy veterans and fast youngsters improved to 5-3-0, which puts them near the top of the Central Division in the NHL's Western Conference.

It's a great start for a franchise that hasn't had a playoff spot since 2002 and in eight of the last nine seasons. Savard is hoping it'll fill some of those empty seats in the United Center.

"Chicago fans will be back," Savard predicted. "They've got a lot to look forward to."

Against the Leafs, the Blackhawks were trailing 3-1 when the third period began, but they rallied for five goals in the last 20 minutes to win for the second time in two nights. They beat Colorado 5-3 at home Friday night.

Jason Williams, Andrei Zyuzin, Duncan Keith, Robert Lang, Patrick Sharp and Tuomo Ruutu, with an empty-netter with 25 seconds left, scored for the Blackhawks. Patrick Lalime, the fifth consecutive backup goalie to be used against the Leafs, earned the victory.

Mats Sundin scored twice and Tomas Kaberle and Chad Kilger once each for the Leafs.

Chicago was 4-for-7 on power plays, and took only one minor penalty all night in preventing Toronto similar extra-man opportunities.

First-line center Jonathan Toews, 19, earned one assist and first-line winger Patrick Kane, 18, got two. They didn't score goals, but their speed, agility and craftiness set the tone, and their older teammates followed.

"Their will is so huge and you can't teach that," Savard said. "They're great players but, more important, their will is huge."

It was Chicago's first game outside the United States this season.

"It was awesome to play that first game in Canada," said Toews, a native of Winnipeg who was the third overall pick in the 2006 entry draft out of the University of North Dakota. "I had it marked on my calendar. I was definitely looking forward to it."

He's far from midseason shape, he said, although the highlight reel goal he scored Friday still has fans talking.

"Compared to the college level, everyone knows it's an adjustment," he said. "The speed of the game obviously is different."

Kane also is making a quick adaptation to the big league. The native of Buffalo, N.Y., was the first overall draft pick out of the OHL's London Knights last June.

"We said special teams was going to win the game and we got four power-play goals," Kane said. "That was obviously the difference in the game. It worked for us and we're glad it did."

Speed is quickly becoming their trademark.

"We're a fast team," Kane said. "We pride ourselves in that. Speed and puck possession -- we always want to have the puck."


  • Sundin upped his career total to 528 goals. That's only five behind Frank Mahovlich, who is 27th on the career NHL list.
  • Chicago's Martin Havlat remains out with a shoulder injury. He was hurt Oct. 4.
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Patrick Sharp's power-play goal is the go-ahead goal and the fourth in the third period. (Getty Images)
Patrick Sharp's power-play goal is the go-ahead goal and the fourth in the third period. (Getty Images)
Chicago  (5-3-0) «1056
Toronto (3-4-2)2114
Three Stars
P. Kane

Goals: 0
Assist(s): 2
M. Sundin

Goals: 2
Assist(s): 0
J. Williams

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 3

Related Video

Scoring Summary
04:13Power Play - Jason Williams (3), Slap Shot. Assist: Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane
07:43Short - Mats Sundin (4), Backhand Shot, Unassisted.
17:08Tomas Kaberle (3), Wrist Shot. Assist: Jason Blake
13:23Mats Sundin (5), Backhand Shot. Assist: Jason Blake
01:04Power Play - Andrei Zyuzin (1), Slap Shot. Assist: Patrick Kane, Jason Williams
01:34Duncan Keith (1), Slap Shot. Assist: Brent Sopel, Sergei Samsonov
07:15Robert Lang (5), Slap Shot. Assist: Jason Williams, Jim Vandermeer
11:47Power Play - Patrick Sharp (3), Tip-In. Assist: Brent Sopel
17:05Chad Kilger (3), Wrist Shot. Assist: Darcy Tucker
19:35Power Play - Tuomo Ruutu (3), Empty Net. Assist: Robert Lang, Jason Williams
Penalty Summary
02:49Pohl, 2 min, Holding the stick
05:48Ponikarovsky, 2 min, Holding
09:29Koci, 5 min, Fighting
09:29Belak, 5 min, Fighting
09:37Ruutu, 2 min, Interference
17:07Ponikarovsky, 2 min, Hooking
19:01Wozniewski, 2 min, Tripping
19:40Gill, 2 min, Delay of Game
10:47Pohl, 2 min, Hooking
19:06Ponikarovsky, 2 min, Hooking
Patrick Lalime60:00284
Andrew Raycroft59:35335
Game Information
Attendance - 19314
Referees - Paul Devorski, Dean Warren
Linesmen - Steve Miller, Jean Morin
Other Games
Buf 2 Final
Mon 4
Fla 1 Final
Ott 4
Min 3 Final
StL 1
Ana 1 Final
Dal 3
NYR 0 Final
Bos 1
Nash 0 Final
SJ 3
Pitt 2 Final
Wash 1
Car 2 Final
Phi 3
Atl 2 Final
TB 6
Edm 1 Final
Cal 4
NJ 3 Final
Det 5 Final
Pho 2