Anaheim, CA (Sports Network) - Nikolai Khabibulin was sensational between the pipes and Jonathan Toews' early second-period goal proved to be the game- winner, as the Chicago Blackhawks edged the Anaheim Ducks, 3-2, at Honda Center.
Patrick Kane and Adam Burish also scored for the Blackhawks, who kicked off a season-high eight-game trek by snapping a two-game skid. Khabibulin made 36 saves to notch his 14th win of the season.
"I liked the enthusiasm we played with from start to finish," said Chicago head coach Joel Quenneville. "We've got a big trip ahead of us. We wanted to get off to a strong start."
Bobby Ryan and Travis Moen each had a goal for the slumping Ducks, who have dropped seven of their last 10 games. Scott Niedermayer collected two assists and Jonas Hiller stopped 24 shots in defeat.
Anaheim had earned at least a point in 14 straight home games against Chicago, going 11-0-1 with two ties. Anaheim's last regulation home loss versus the Blackhawks was on February 7, 2001.
Burish opened the scoring 3:07 into the contest, then Ryan evened things up on the power play and extended his goal streak to five games, redirecting Chris Pronger's point shot past Khabibulin with 7:07 remaining in the first period.
Kane restored the lead for Chicago with 3:19 left in the opening frame. While up a man, Martin Havlat held the puck behind the cage and dished to Kane, who came around the far post and tucked the disc home for his first goal since December 20th.
Toews lit the lamp early in the second period. Patrick Sharp glided down the right wing and sent a cross-ice pass to Duncan Keith, who sat out the previous four games due to a concussion. Trailing the play, Toews gathered a drop pass from Keith in the slot and whipped a shot that beat Hiller high on the blocker side at the 3:13 mark.
Moen's late short-handed tally with 70 seconds remaining in the middle stanza trimmed the deficit to 3-2.
Khabibulin turned aside 11 shots over the final 20 minutes to preserve the win, including an unbelievable glove save on a redirection by Samuel Pahlsson in the game's waning moments and Hiller on the bench for an extra skater.
"We weren't able to get (the puck) by (Khabibulin) in the third," Pronger said. "We had some good shifts. We dominated the period. At the end of the day you have to score goals. We made enough mistakes to lose."