for this game

Red-hot Blackhawks win eighth straight, sweep aside Leafs

Mar 6, 2011 - 7:42 AM
Toronto, ON (Sports Network) - Marian Hossa notched a goal and an assist as the streaking Chicago Blackhawks defeated Original Six rival Toronto, 5-3, at Air Canada Centre.

Jonathan Toews, Viktor Stalberg, Michael Frolik and Bryan Bickell also scored for the defending Stanley Cup champions, who ripped off their eighth straight win -- the first time that's happened since November 9-25, 2009.

Corey Crawford made 30 saves to start Chicago's four-game road trip with a win.

"We're getting opportunities to score and I think we've got a lot of guys stepping up and finishing plays off and that's really helping us," said Toews.

Luke Schenn, Joffrey Lupul and Joey Crabb all lit the lamp for the Maple Leafs, who had a two-game win streak halted.

James Reimer surrendered five goals on just 19 shots in the first two periods before getting pulled. Jean-Sebastien Giguere came in to make six saves in the final 20 minutes.

A Toronto misplay resulted in the first goal of the game just 70 seconds in. Carl Gunnarsson made an ill-advised long, cross-ice pass deep in his own zone. Hossa picked it off and sent a wrister between Reimer's legs from the high slot.

Chicago capitalized on another Leafs turnover at the top of their offensive zone just over four minutes in. Troy Brouwer tapped away another lackadaisical pass and then brought it down the left side before crossing it to Frolik, who wristed it past Toronto's netminder for a 2-0 lead.

"It was just a bad start, especially for me giving that puck away," said Gunnarsson. "It's tough to get those goals against, especially so early in the game."

The Blackhawks continued their dominating performance with a third goal in just over 15 1/2 minutes of play. This time it was on an odd-man rush led by Patrick Kane, who centered it for Toew's tip in at the left doorstep.

Toronto temporarily stopped the bleeding nearly 7 1/2 minutes into the middle frame to make it 3-1. It was the Blackhawks who had the costly turnover in this instance. Lupul stole the puck in the neutral zone and was off to the races to finish with a low wrister past Crawford.

Chicago got that goal back and more during the final eight-plus minutes of the second. Stalberg made it 4-1 with 8:09 left then Bickell rounded out the scoring with 2:03 remaining.

The Leafs got their second goal at the 4:26 mark of the final frame when Crabb deflected in Schenn's shot from the right point. The third came just inside the final minute on Schenn's slapper from the point, but it was too little too late.

Game Notes

Toronto's Mikhail Grabovski had an unsuccessful penalty shot at the 5:40 mark of the third period...Chicago has won four straight as the guest and is 16-9-6 on the road this season...Both teams were unsuccessful on the power play -- the Blackhawks were 0-for-4 and the Leafs were 0-for-5.