The moment Patrick Kane raised his arms in triumph Tuesday night, Patrick Sharp, trailing the play, darted to his right and scooped up the puck his linemate had just knocked into the net. Sharp was well aware that it was the 200th goal of Kane’s career.
“It was funny,” Kane said. “I was talking to him actually the shift before, and I was telling him he assisted on my first goal, and he assisted on my 100th goal, and we’ll see if he’ll assist on my 200th goal. He gave it to me in the defensive zone and we ended up scoring a goal. We were just kind of laughing about it.”
This one was a laugher from start to finish, as the Blackhawks obliterated the Arizona Coyotes 6-1 at the United Center. Trouncing the oft-trounced Coyotes doesn’t magically cure all the Hawks’ ills. But it was a nice change of pace for a team that had lost two straight and five of eight.
Kane had a three-point night including his milestone goal, Andrew Shaw broke out of his slump with a desperately needed pair of goals, Teuvo Teravainen had a goal and an assist for his first career two-point night, and Antti Raanta continued his remarkable dominance at the United Center as the Hawks had their way with the woeful Coyotes.
In the past month, Arizona has lost 7-1 to Vancouver, 6-0 to Dallas, 6-0 to St. Louis and 5-1 to Ottawa. So nobody’s going to confuse the Coyotes with a playoff team anytime soon. But the Hawks have shown a tendency to drop their guard against weaker teams, or teams coming off back-to-back games.
“I think we do it a lot,” Bryan Bickell said. “And we need to snap out of that and not take teams lightly.”
They had no such problems against Arizona. Jonathan Toews got things started with a power-play goal at 6:53 of the first, and the Hawks never let their foot off the gas in their last home game until Feb. 9 — against these same Coyotes.
“The approach was much more business-like today in the [morning] skate and in the game and in the preparation going into the game,” Joel Quenneville said. “We did a lot of good things.”
Raanta, meanwhile, made 35 saves. He’s now 14-0-2 in his career at the United Center (he’s 6-8-2 on the road).
“I was thinking before this game that we were going to lose because everyone’s talking about that,” Raanta joked. “Hopefully, I start winning also on the road. It’s going to be a long season [if] I’m just losing there.”