Blackhawks’ complete victory against Ducks extends winning streak to four
An energetic offense and a 37-save shutout by Marc-Andre Fleury powered the Hawks to a 3-0 win on a lively night at the United Center.
Exciting nights have been rare for the Blackhawks this season. Complete performances have been even more rare.
But for their lone Saturday home game of the season, the Hawks delivered both, beating the Ducks 3-0 in a fast-paced, high-quality game to earn their fourth consecutive victory.
‘‘That’s probably one of the best games we’ve played for 60 minutes,’’ interim coach Derek King said. ‘‘We had hiccups and all that, but we stayed composed and got the job done.’’
The Hawks’ largest home crowd since Nov. 26 — a rowdy bunch of 18,469 fans — kept the atmosphere buzzing, and the team fed off that energy. They peppered Ducks goalie Lukas Dostal, who was making only his third career appearance, with 18 high-danger scoring chances, a season high.
Brandon Hagel broke a 0-0 deadlock halfway through the second period — concluding a wild sequence that began with goal-line clears by defensemen Jakub Galvas and Riley Stillman — before fellow wings Patrick Kane and Dominik Kubalik added insurance goals in the third.
‘‘If we focus defensively, we can be pretty good in transition, get some . . . odd-man rushes and opportunities off the rush that way,’’ Kane said. ‘‘Hopefully we’re trying to turn the corner here and become a really good team.’’
On the other end of the rink, goalie Marc-Andre Fleury — making his 909th career appearance — was just as busy, facing 19 high-danger chances and 37 shots on goal. But he turned all of them away for his third shutout of the season.
That the Hawks have put together this streak despite five players being in the NHL’s COVID-19 protocols — four of them key contributors — makes it even more impressive.
‘‘We’re doing the right things,’’ Stillman said. ‘‘We’re coming in the right direction. The guys believe in ourselves. We believe in one another. After that [Coyotes] game, something clicked for us, and we have to keep this momentum going.’’