Pius Suter exhaled after he scored his first NHL goal. Once he got his second, he started thinking about another one.
Suter collected his first three goals in his sixth game and Kevin Lankinen made 25 saves, helping the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Detroit Red Wings 6-2 on Sunday for their second straight win.
The 24-year-old Suter became the first player to score each of his first three NHL goals in the same game since Ryan Poehling accomplished the feat for Montreal on April 6, 2019. He became the second player to accomplish the feat for the Blackhawks, joining Bill Kendall on Dec. 17, 1933.
“I was happy to get the first one, finally, made it easier after,” Suter said. “Then after the second one, I feel like, yeah, now you need to get that third, especially when the second one is that early.”
Connor Murphy and Mattias Janmark each had a goal and an assist as Chicago swept its two-game set with Detroit after beginning the season with four straight losses in Florida. Phillipp Kurashev also scored, and Patrick Kane had two assists.
Lankinen was solid once again after he made 30 stops while earning his first career win in Friday night's 4-1 victory against the Red Wings. He was tested on a Dylan Larkin drive early in the second period, but he got over to make the stop at the right post.
“He's a competitor and he seems to have that poise about him,” Murphy said of Lankinen. “He's impressive."
Tyler Bertuzzi scored twice for Detroit, and Jonathan Bernier made 29 saves. The Red Wings lost for the third time in their past four games.
“We were way too loose defensively,” coach Jeff Blashill said. “We're going to have to be a team that does it way better in terms of defending. We can't give up lots of chances.”
Chicago got off to a fast start behind Suter, a Swiss forward who agreed to a one-year contract in July. He sent a rebound into a wide-open net 4:42 into the first period, and then added a power-play goal off a nice pass by Janmark.
Chicago went 1 for 2 with the man advantage to move to 8 for 19 on the year. It has scored at least one power-play goal in its first six games for the first time since it opened the 1990-91 season with an 11-game run.
“I think the big part of it is execution,” coach Jeremy Colliton said. “We're being cleaner with the puck, breaking pressure.”
Detroit got one back when Bertuzzi redirected a Larkin shot past Lankinen during a 5-on-3 power play 41 seconds into the second. But Murphy responded for Chicago, making it 3-1 when he sent a wrist shot through traffic with 2:42 left in the period.
After Bertuzzi's power-play goal trimmed Chicago's lead to 4-2 in the third, Suter sent a wide-open shot from the left circle under Bernier’s glove with 7:32 left.
“We just weren’t good defensively,” Bertuzzi said. “We needed to be better on the power play, and I thought we did a good job of that. I thought our PK wasn't too bad either. Just 5-on-5, we just needed to bear down a little bit more."
Carl Soderberg played almost 14 minutes in his first game with Chicago, replacing Lucas Wallmark in the lineup. The veteran forward agreed to a $1 million, one-year contract with the Blackhawks last month, but was delayed in joining his new team because of a U.S. visa issue.
The Red Wings played without defenseman Jon Merrill and forwards Filip Zadina, Robby Fabbri, Sam Gagner and Adam Erne because of the NHL's COVID-19 protocols.
Red Wings: Visit the Dallas Stars on Tuesday night.
Blackhawks: Visit Nashville for two straight games against the Predators beginning on Tuesday night.
Jay Cohen can be reached at https://twitter.com/jcohenap
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