Blackhawks bury Coyotes with second straight six-goal game


Blackhawks bury Coyotes with second straight six-goal game

Jonathan Toews talked earlier Tuesday about times this season when he was frustrated, when the points just weren’t coming.

Well, they’re coming now.

Toews recorded three points, including his 250th career goal, as the Blackhawks beat the Arizona Coyotes, 6-2, on Tuesday night. The Blackhawks remain in third place in the Central Division with 101 points. Dallas and St. Louis — each with 105 points — were idle Tuesday and remained first and second, respectively.

It was another point-heavy night for some of the Blackhawks. Artemi Panarin recorded another two assists, giving him 10 points in his last three games. Patrick Kane had a goal and an assist.

With a good finish came bad news. Artem Anisimov left midway through the second period and did not return after Antoine Vermette hit him along the boards. Anisimov was down for a few moments before heading to the locker room. Coach Joel Quenneville said he’ll know more on Wednesday about how Anisimov is doing. The Blackhawks’ injury list is growing — Marian Hossa is out with a lower-body injury, while Andrew Shaw and Corey Crawford are sidelined by upper-body injuries.

As far as this game, however, the Blackhawks liked a lot of what they did, especially the latest scoring eruption. They still gave up two goals late, but this was nothing like Sunday’s finish against the Boston Bruins, in which they were off for about the final 20 minutes.

“The one line's been dynamic in the three games as far as generating off the rush or on the power play or in zone. They’ve really been dangerous. They have the finish, and that line leads our offense and kicked in some other goals as well,” Quenneville said of the second line. “I like the way we played for the most part tonight. We did some things in the last three games when you look at the offense, five (goals), six and six. We know we can score; the ongoing challenge is to check.”

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For Toews, it’s another milestone. The team’s celebrated a few of them lately, from Kane hitting 100 points to Quenneville recording his 800th coaching victory. But Toews took goal No. 250 in stride.

“Halfway to Hoss, I guess; lot of work to do there. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, I guess,” Toews said to laughs. “I guess that’s cool. I don’t think you’re ever thinking of those things. At the end of the day other people remind you once in a while, but it’s great to see a couple of our guys, and even Q, reach these milestones the last couple of games. Going forward, we can focus on what matters.”

What matters is that the Blackhawks are playing good hockey heading into the postseason, and they’ve been trending in the right direction. Special teams were big for them, as they scored three power-play goals and killed off six Coyotes advantages, including two 5-on-3s (12 seconds and 50 seconds).

“Yeah, it’s obviously really nice,” said Trevor van Riemsdyk of the special teams. “We want to be clicking on all cylinders this time of year. Obviously to get some contributions of the power play there, and to kill off some penalties is nice.”

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Richard Panik, who got a top-line opportunity in Hossa’s absence, got the Blackhawks’ offense going with his sixth of the season 5:16 into the game. Toews’ short-handed goal, which came not long after the Coyotes’ brief 5-on-3 power play ended, put the Blackhawks up 2-0. Kane scored his 44th goal of the season, a power-play goal, for a 3-0 lead. The Blackhawks added two more power-play goals on that Vermette five-minute boarding (both from Andrew Ladd) to pretty much put this one out of reach.

The Blackhawks like the direction in which they’re going. Yes, they have their toughest test coming Thursday when they host the St. Louis Blues. But they’re getting goals, they’re getting the most out of guys with several players sidelined, and their captain is getting in a groove at the right time.

“You can work as hard as you want. And I think when you score, it just gives you energy, and it's obviously a mental thing but that was the way it was again tonight,” Toews said. “So it's nice to get that boost. I want to keep growing my game and just try and use the things I need to learn from this season, and use them in the playoffs. So I'm feeling good about that.”

Capitals' Devante Smith-Pelly speaks out about 'racially charged chanting' at United Center


Capitals' Devante Smith-Pelly speaks out about 'racially charged chanting' at United Center

After being on the receiving end of some racist taunts while he was in the penalty box during Saturday's game against the Blackhawks, Capitals winger Devante Smith-Pelly spoke publicly about the incident.

Smith-Pelly, a 25-year-old Canadian, reacted to the fans while he was in the box, going up to them from the other side of the glass. He addressed questions from the media about the incident on Sunday.

"I just heard some chanting, some, I guess, racially charged chanting," Smith-Pelly said. "You can tell by my reaction that I got pretty upset.

"What was said this time around crossed the line."

The Capitals released a statement about the incident:

"The Washington Capitals are extremely disappointed by the intolerant behavior extended toward Devante Smith-Pelly by a select group of fans during Saturday night's game against the Chicago Blackhawks at United Center. The Capitals organization strives to be inclusive and has zero tolerance concerning any form of racism. Such behavior is unacceptable and has no place in hockey or society. As such, it is crucial to confront such appalling conduct, and the Capitals extend their appreciation to the Blackhawks organization and United Center security for swiftly removing the fans from the game."

The Blackhawks released a statement after the game with a similar tone.

Smith-Pelly said this has happened previously in his career.

"It's sad that in 2018 we're still talking about the same thing over and over," Smith-Pelly said. "It's sad that athletes like myself 30, 40 years ago were standing in the same spot saying the same thing. You'd think there'd be some sort of change or progression, but we're still working towards it I guess and we're going to keep working towards it."

The Capitals released the full interview.

Blackhawks release statement following incident that happened during game vs. Capitals


Blackhawks release statement following incident that happened during game vs. Capitals

Four fans at the United Center were thrown out of Saturday's Blackhawks game for taunting Washington Capitals forward Devante Smith-Pelly with racist remarks.

Midway through the third period, Smith-Pelly, who is black, was in the penalty box when fans shouted "basketball, basketball, basketball" at him, the Washington Post reported.

Here is a GIF of Smith-Pelly's interaction with the fans:

After the game, the Blackhawks released this statement:

Capitals head coach Barry Trotz also had this to say about the incident: