Chicago Blackhawks

Kane Gets 1st Hat Trick of Season, Blackhawks Beat Wild 5-3

Bill Smith/NHLI via Getty Images

While the Chicago Blackhawks have a whole bunch of issues at the moment, they also have Patrick Kane.

Kane scored three goals for his first hat trick of the season, and the Blackhawks stopped a four-game slide by topping the Minnesota Wild 5-3 on Sunday night.

Brandon Saad and David Kampf also scored for Chicago, which had dropped seven of nine overall. Jonathan Toews had three assists, and Robin Lehner made 23 stops.

Kane scored Saturday night, helping the Blackhawks open a 3-0 lead in the third period at St. Louis. But the Stanley Cup champions roared back for a 4-3 victory.

“It was nice we played again today, to be honest with you," Kane said. “You never like sitting on that one for a few days."

Kevin Fiala scored twice for Minnesota in the opener of a three-game trip. Eric Staal also scored for his 1,000th career point, and Ryan Suter had three assists.

The Wild, who beat Philadelphia 4-1 on Saturday night, dropped to 10-2-4 in their past 16 games.

“I don’t think we were as fresh as we have been," Staal said. “We looked a little fatigued at times and I don’t think our execution was as high."

The game was tied at 3 in the third period when Saad muscled his way to his 11th goal of the season. The rugged forward was grappling with Minnesota defenseman Matt Dumba in front when he managed to tip Connor Murphy's shot from the right point past Kaapo Kahkonen with 6:17 left.

“Sometimes you’ve got to be lucky to get a bounce there," Saad said. “That’s what we needed tonight.”

Kane then added an empty-netter with 1:03 left, completing his sixth career regular-season hat trick. He has a team-high 18 goals this season.

“I don’t think I’ve been playing as well the past 10 games or so," he said. “I want to start playing better for the team. If I play better, it’s obviously going to bring more to the group, a better chance for us to win.”

Kane got his first goal when he poked in a rebound of his own wraparound shot 7:42 into the first. It was a close call at the post and play was allowed to continue, but a replay review showed the puck crossed the line before Kahkonen knocked it away.

Kane then made it 2-0 when he scored from the high slot at 11:33 on a power play. Kane's shot went off Suter's stick before going into the net.

Chicago rookie Kirby Dach was sent off for hooking just 11 seconds after Kane's second goal, and Minnesota took advantage.

Staal converted a one-timer off a pass from Suter for his 12th at 12:37. The veteran center became the 89th player in NHL history to reach 1,000 points.

“It’s difficult sometimes reflecting in the middle of a season and a career, but four numbers is a lot of numbers and I’m obviously proud of that," Staal said.

Fiala got each of his goals in the second. He beat Lehner on a breakaway for his seventh at 1:59. After Kampf redirected Murphy's shot past Kahkonen at 8:13, Fiala tied it again when his centering pass went off the outside of Blackhawks defenseman Olli Maatta's right skate and through the legs of Lehner with 5:40 left in the period.

NOTES: The Blackhawks improved to 6-1-0 in the second half of back-to-back games. ... Wild G Devan Dubnyk, C Mikko Koivu (lower body) and D Jared Spurgeon (hand) are on the trip and expected to practice Monday. Dubnyk's wife is dealing with a serious medical condition, and he hasn't played since Nov. 16. “I think when he does get in that he's going to be fine," coach Bruce Boudreau said. “Just got to get some practice time for him." ... Blackhawks D Duncan Keith (groin) is skating again, but coach Jeremy Colliton said he doesn't have a firm return date at this point. ... Wild F Joel Eriksson Ek (upper-body injury) did not travel with the team. Boudreau said he might be able to play on the current road trip.


Wild: Visit the Vegas Golden Knights on Tuesday night.

Blackhawks: Host the Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday night.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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