Since New Year’s Day, the Blackhawks have looked like they could use a break. They’re finally getting one, and they should be in a good mood.
The Hawks entered the game Sunday against the Minnesota Wild with a 2-3-0 record in 2015, having fallen behind in four of those five games.
Luckily for them, the schedule will give them a breather after their 4-1 victory over the Wild.
Corey Crawford stopped Jason Zucker’s penalty shot in the second period and made 36 saves, and Marian Hossa, Bryan Bickell, Brad Richards and Johnny Oduya scored. Patrick Kane had two assists to reach 47 points. It was the Hawks’ third game in four days.
“With the four days off here, at least we’re going away feeling better about ourselves [unlike] after our recent couple of games,” coach Joel Quenneville said.
“We had such a busy stretch, it will be nice to get a breather here and get excited about our nice, busy stretch going into the All-Star break.”
The Hawks’ next game isn’t until Friday, when they host the Winnipeg Jets.
“It’s always nice after a pretty busy schedule to have some days without a game to relax and not think about hockey too much and get a couple of good practices in and a couple of good workouts,’’ defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson said.
The Hawks will be able to look back on a performance that’s a lot closer to their standards.
They reversed their recent trend of falling behind early by scoring the first four goals. Matt Cooke’s goal with 4:52 left spoiled Crawford’s bid for his second shutout of the season.
‘‘We were a lot more recharged and had more jump and energy,” said Hossa, who turns 36 on Monday.
“[Getting an early lead] is the difference in the game. It’s huge when you have to chase the score.”
Hossa’s tap-in goal in the first period was his ninth of the season and 473rd of his career, moving him into a tie with former Hawks great Denis Savard and Alexander Mogilny for 50th on the all-time list.
The victory helped wipe away some of the ugly memories of the 5-2 loss Friday against the Edmonton Oilers, a game that indicated the Hawks were in need of a break.
“This was a big game, definitely,” Bickell said. “It wasn’t the way we wanted it up in Edmonton, but the guys played a good full game right to the end.
‘‘And now we have a couple of days off, so it’s nice to relax and regroup, then have a couple more games and then a couple more days off.
“Hopefully, we can have a good run going into the All-Star break.”