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Byfuglien, Ruutu combine for five goals as Blackhawks roll

Dec 1, 2007 - 5:40 AM
By Rory Spears PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

CHICAGO (Ticker) -- Scoring goals came naturally for Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Dustin Byfuglien on Friday.

Byfuglien recorded a natural hat trick and Tuomo Ruutu added a pair of tallies as the Blackhawks skated to a 6-1 rout of the Phoenix Coyotes.

Jonathan Toews had a goal and two assists, fellow rookie Patrick Kane set up a pair of goals and Byfuglien capped a four-point effort with an assist for Chicago, which improved to 4-1-2 in its last seven games.

"Everyone came out ready to hop, and everything we shot just went in," Byfuglien said. "Can't complain when that happens."

"They played well and they deserved to win," Coyotes coach Wayne Gretzky said. "They made their own breaks. At this level, if you are going to be good, your best players have to be good, and our best players weren't very good tonight. Their best players were."

With the Blackhawks already ahead, 2-0, on tallies by Ruutu and Toews, Byfuglien began his outburst at 5:01 of the first period. From above the right faceoff circle, the 22-year-old beat goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov with a wrist shot for his fourth tally of the season.

It was the third goal on as many shots faced by Bryzgalov, who was claimed off waivers from Anaheim on November 17 and won his first three starts with Phoenix before falling to Minnesota on Wednesday.

"We have so much talent up front, people watch the kids (Toews and Kane) and Marty (Havlat) and just leave me out there because I'm a quiet guy," Byfuglien said.

With Chicago enjoying a 5-on-3 power play, Byfuglien made it a 4-0 lead at 10:14, firing a one-timer from the top of the left circle just inside the left goalpost for his first career multi-goal performance. The Minnesota native completed the hat trick just 16 seconds later, scoring again on a one-timer from the same spot during another two-man advantage.

"(I was surprised), but it was too early to call it a night," Byfuglien said of the hat trick. "There was far too much time for them to come back and make a game of it."

"Scoring five goals in 10 minutes was unbelievable," Ruutu said.

Byfuglien, who also scored against Tampa Bay on Wednesday, joined Dick Redmond and Doug Wilson as the only defensemen in franchise history to record a three-goal game.

"That's quite an honor," said Byfuglien, an eighth-round pick in 2003. "I guess all I can do is keep working hard and try to score more goals."

Chicago, which won for the fifth straight time on home ice, opened the scoring just 75 seconds into the game on Ruutu's fourth goal of the season and first since October 20.

Toews, who leads all rookie in tallies, netted his 10th at 3:57 to extend the lead to 2-0.

"We had a lot of opportunities early on and it was good that we took advantage of them," the 19-year-old Toews said. "That gave us energy, but the big thing was that we kept playing and didn't quit after we had the lead."

After Byfuglien's impressive display, Ruutu recorded his first two-goal game of the campaign and fifth career, scoring at 8:10 of the middle period for a 6-0 cushion.

"My linemates did a nice job of finding me to score," Ruutu said. "I have been struggling for the last few games, so it was nice to get a few goals. I hope I can keep it rolling now."

"They are a hot team right now," Gretzky said. "They are playing with confidence and emotion."

Nikolai Khabibulin, who finished with 28 saves, had his shutout bid ruined with eight minutes to go in the third as rookie Peter Mueller netted his seventh of the season. Carrying down the right wing, the 2006 eighth overall pick skated around a falling defender in the faceoff circle, cut to the low slot and put a backhander past Khabibulin at 12:03.

Bryzgalov allowed five goals on seven shots before being replaced by Mikael Tellqvist, who made 19 saves for the Coyotes.

"Phoenix is an improving team, but it wasn't their night," Blackhawks coach Denis Savard said. "We got things going early and kept it rolling."

The Coyotes have dropped two straight following a four-game winning streak.








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PHOENIX 0 0 1 1
    CHICAGO 5 1 0 6 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: CHI - TUOMO RUUTU 4 (MARTIN HAVLAT) 1:15
    CHI - JONATHAN TOEWS 10 (PATRICK SHARP, BRENT SOPEL) 3:57
    CHI - DUSTIN BYFUGLIEN 4 (SERGEI SAMSONOV, YANIC PERREAULT)
    5:01
    CHI - (PP) DUSTIN BYFUGLIEN 5 (PATRICK KANE, JONATHA

    Nov 30 11:03 PM


  • NHL
    PHOENIX 1
    CHICAGO 6
    3RD PRD: PHO - PETER MUELLER 7 (UNASSISTED) 12:03

    Coyotes vs. BlackhawksNov 30 10:50 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PHOENIX 0 0 0
    CHICAGO 5 1 6 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: CHI - TUOMO RUUTU 4 (MARTIN HAVLAT) 1:15
    CHI - JONATHAN TOEWS 10 (PATRICK SHARP, BRENT SOPEL) 3:57
    CHI - DUSTIN BYFUGLIEN 4 (SERGEI SAMSONOV, YANIC PERREAULT)
    5:01
    CHI - (PP) DUSTIN BYFUGLIEN 5 (PATRICK

    Nov 30 10:12 PM


  • NHL
    PHOENIX 0
    CHICAGO 6
    2ND PRD: CHI - TUOMO RUUTU 5 (JIM VANDERMEER, DUSTIN BYFUGLIEN) 8:10

    Coyotes vs. BlackhawksNov 30 9:50 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PHOENIX 0 0
    CHICAGO 5 5 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: CHI - TUOMO RUUTU 4 (MARTIN HAVLAT) 1:15
    CHI - JONATHAN TOEWS 10 (PATRICK SHARP, BRENT SOPEL) 3:57
    CHI - DUSTIN BYFUGLIEN 4 (SERGEI SAMSONOV, YANIC PERREAULT)
    5:01
    CHI - (PP) DUSTIN BYFUGLIEN 5 (PATRICK

    Nov 30 9:18 PM


  • NHL
    PHOENIX 0
    CHICAGO 5
    1ST PRD: CHI - (PP) DUSTIN BYFUGLIEN 6 (PATRICK KANE, JONATHAN TOEWS)
    10:30 (TWO-MAN ADVANTAGE)

    Coyotes vs. BlackhawksNov 30 8:59 PM


  • NHL
    PHOENIX 0
    CHICAGO 3
    1ST PRD: CHI - DUSTIN BYFUGLIEN 4 (SERGEI SAMSONOV, YANIC PERREAULT)
    5:01

    Coyotes vs. BlackhawksNov 30 8:49 PM


  • NHL
    PHOENIX 0
    CHICAGO 2
    1ST PRD: CHI - JONATHAN TOEWS 10 (PATRICK SHARP, BRENT SOPEL) 3:57

    Coyotes vs. BlackhawksNov 30 8:46 PM


  • NHL
    PHOENIX 0
    CHICAGO 1
    1ST PRD: CHI - TUOMO RUUTU 4 (MARTIN HAVLAT) 1:15

    Coyotes vs. BlackhawksNov 30 8:42 PM