Blackhawks continue dominance over Ducks as Patrick Kane, Dylan Strome erupt
Kane set a career high with six points, and Strome notched a hat trick in the Hawks’ 8-3 victory Tuesday.
Either something about the Ducks brings out the best in the Blackhawks or something about the Hawks brings out the worst in the Ducks.
The Hawks have dominated the matchup for several years now, with their 8-3 rout Tuesday — their sixth consecutive victory against the Ducks since the start of 2019 — taking their dominance to a new level.
The loaded-up first line of Patrick Kane, Dylan Strome and Alex DeBrincat effortlessly sliced through the Ducks’ defense from the opening shift on.
Kane set a career high with six points (one goal and five assists), Strome notched his second hat trick of 2022 and DeBrincat added another four points (one goal and three assists).
‘‘The first couple of shifts, we just had the puck the whole time,’’ Strome said. ‘‘We were good at holding on to it. We get [a goal] on the first shift and come back to the bench, and Kane goes, ‘We’re not stopping there.’ That fires you up a little bit.
‘‘He’s a pretty competitive guy, so he wants to be the best, and he pushes Alex and I to try to be just as good.’’
The first period, in particular, was about as lopsided as it gets in the NHL, with the Hawks roaring to a 5-0 lead and holding a 15-1 edge in scoring chances.
Jonathan Toews capped the explosion by ripping a short-handed snipe over Ducks goalie John Gibson, who was pulled after 20 minutes, for his first goal since returning from his concussion.
The Ducks pushed back in the second, scoring three goals in a row to introduce some anxiety into the building, but the Hawks calmed down and righted the ship when Kane set up Strome for the second of his three goals. They linked up again to complete the hat trick — an especially big deal on hat giveaway night — in the final minutes.
‘‘Sometimes you kind of feel it against certain teams, kind of like when we go into [Philadelphia],’’ Kane said. ‘‘I don’t think we’ve won there since ’97. Maybe the United Center is a tough place to play for [the Ducks], just like it’s tough to play in Philly for us. Hopefully we keep that going.’’
Dach tries wing
Trevor Zegras’ visit Tuesday coincided with the Hawks moving Kirby Dach to wing for the first time this season. He skated alongside Toews and opposite Brandon Hagel on a new-look second line.
Interim coach Derek King said the temporary position change had ‘‘nothing to do with Kirby struggling at center [with] faceoffs,’’ stating he still considers Dach’s overall skills best suited for center.
‘‘It’s just more to balance the lines,’’ King said. ‘‘Since I moved [DeBrincat] back up with Kane, we needed to balance the lines a little bit better. [We needed to] at least have two solid lines instead of three OK lines. So we’ll see how it works. . . . It’ll be good for him to learn both positions, anyway.’’
Dominik Kubalik and Tyler Johnson, meanwhile, were dropped to the third line, which was centered by Philipp Kurashev.