Blackhawks

Five Things from Blackhawks-Leafs: Powerful power play

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Five Things from Blackhawks-Leafs: Powerful power play

Well, that was a little more like it.

The Blackhawks were getting frustrated with their latest home stand, which wasn’t resulting in a lot of points. But they looked more like themselves on Monday with their 7-2 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs.

And it came just in time for them to hit the road again. So before we do the same, let’s look at Five Things to take from the Blackhawks’ victory over Toronto.

1. The power play works. Toronto got into penalty trouble and the Blackhawks made them pay for it: They had seven power plays and capitalized four times. For a team that’s been struggling to get goals in any form at home lately, taking advantage of power plays was a welcome sight.

2. Scott Darling has a strong outing. Darling was getting his first start since Jan. 22 and he didn’t disappoint, stopping 35 of 37 shots. His best stop was a sprawling glove save in the second period, which drew a “wow” from coach Joel Quenneville after the game. Thanks to a not-so-busy schedule the rest of the way, Darling may not get many starts. But he needed a good performance when he did, and he got that on Monday.

[SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]

3. Patrick Kane has a four-point night. Kane keeps establishing new career highs in goals for a season – he’s now up to 34. But his three assists have him closing in on a career best in that category, too. Kane now has 48 assists this season, just 10 shy of the career mark he set in 2009-10.

4. Brandon Mashinter gets his third goal of the season. There are a few folks who get aggravated when Mashinter is in the lineup. Why? The fourth liner chipped in his third goal of the season on Monday to start the Blackhawks’ offensive outburst. He thought he had another later but it clearly hit the post and stayed out. The Blackhawks have been looking for secondary scoring all season. If he can help stoke the fourth line into adding some of that, great.

5. Teuvo Teravainen gets back on the board. Teravainen has gotten some good opportunities as of late – subbing for Jonathan Toews in Colorado earlier this month and getting some second-line time when Artemi Panarin was out last week. The goals, however, weren’t coming. But Teravainen scored a 5-on-3 goal on Monday, giving him his first goal since Jan. 6. Will that spark Teravainen? Hey, sometimes it just takes one. And Quenneville deemed Richard Panik’s outing on the top line as, “OK,” so don’t be surprised if Teravainen gets the next crack at it.

Corey Crawford to start in goal for Blackhawks vs. Oilers

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USA Today

Corey Crawford to start in goal for Blackhawks vs. Oilers

Corey Crawford will start in goal for the Blackhawks when they take on the Edmonton Oilers on Monday night. He's 0-2-0 with a 4.63 goals-against average and .875 save percentage this season.

In 18 career appearances against the Oilers, Crawford is 9-7-0 with a 2.53 goals-against average, .909 save percentage and one shutout. 

The decision is a little surprising, given how well Lehner performed on Saturday against the Winnipeg Jets and what his career numbers are against the Oilers. In eight starts vs. Edmonton, Lehner is 5-1-2 with a 1.86 goals-against average, .943 save percentage and one shutout.

"We're going to continue to ... both guys are going to get in," coach Jeremy Colliton said after Monday's morning skate. "They're both going to play. I'm not going to give you the road map, but today it's Crawford and we'll go from there."

The Blackhawks are seeking their first win of the season (0-2-1) against an Oilers team that's 5-0-0.

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A recap of Kirby Dach’s AHL debut and Blackhawks explanation for conditioning stint

A recap of Kirby Dach’s AHL debut and Blackhawks explanation for conditioning stint

Kirby Dach made his pro debut on Saturday, but it wasn't with the Blackhawks.

The No. 3 overall pick from this past June was activated from his injured/non-roster designation and assigned to the Rockford IceHogs of the American Hockey League for conditioning purposes and jumped right into the lineup. He didn't appear in any NHL preseason games because he was under the league's concussion protocol during training camp.

In his season debut, Dach recorded two shots on goal and had a minus-1 rating in a 4-2 loss to the Grand Rapids Griffins. He centered the fourth line with Brandon Hagel and Nick Moutrey.

Blackhawks coach Jeremy Colliton discussed the decision to send Dach to Rockford after Saturday's game against the Winnipeg Jets, and it sounds like the organization remains committed to giving him a look at the NHL level whenever his conditioning stint is over.

"He hasn't played in a long time," Colliton said. "Missed training camp, missed the exhibition season. We think he can help us so we're trying to set him up, give him the best opportunity so when he does get the chance here he'll be as ready as he can be. It's a good league down there and a chance for him to get his feet wet against men. And I think he's been getting better and better in his practice time here with us. So I'm excited. Hopefully, he can gain confidence down there and then be ready to help us."

Because he's not eligible to play in the AHL full-time this season due to Canadian Hockey League rules, Dach's conditioning stint in Rockford can last up to 14 days, according to the Collective Bargaining Agreement, before the Blackhawks are forced to either recall him or send him back to the Saskatoon Blades in the Western Hockey League.

Rockford has four more games over that span, with its next one on Monday against the Laval Rocket at BMO Harris Bank Center.

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