Toews scores 2 to help Blackhawks beat Hurricanes 5-2

CHICAGO (AP) — Jonathan Toews had two goals and assisted on Marian Hossa’s score as the Chicago Blackhawks rolled to a 5-2 win over the Carolina Hurricanes on Monday night.

Brandon Saad scored his 20th to reach that mark for the first time in his career and Marcus Kruger also connected for the Blackhawks, who have won three of their last four. Toews increased his total to 21 goals, trailing only the injured Patrick Kane (27) for the team lead.

Corey Crawford made 27 saves for Chicago and lost his bid for a second straight shutout when Carolina’s John-Michael Liles scored at 4:29 of the third period. Alexander Semin also scored late in the third for the Hurricanes, who snapped a three-game winning streak.

Cam Ward allowed four goals on 18 shots through the first two periods for Carolina, and was replaced by Anton Khudobin to start the third. Khudobin stopped seven of the eight shots he faced.

A day after declaring the re-tooled Blackhawks a “tight group” that knows “what our potential is this year,” Toews delivered as Chicago improved to 2-1 without Kane. Toews, the Blackhawks’ captain, has five goals in his last five games.

Antoine Vermette and defenseman Kimmo Timonen, two of the three players acquired by the Blackhawks during a four-day run-up to Monday’s trade deadline, made their debuts with Chicago.

Vermette, who came from Phoenix in a deal on Saturday night for a first-round draft pick and defenseman prospect Klas Dahlbeck, was slotted on a line between Saad and Patrick Sharp.

The 39-year-old Timonen played for the first time since last April’s playoffs with Philadelphia. He had been sidelined all season because of blood clots discovered in his leg and lungs last summer, and resumed skating just a few weeks ago.

The Blackhawks made the deals to shore up their roster heading into the playoffs without Kane, who underwent surgery to repair a broken left collarbone last Wednesday and is expected to miss 12 weeks.

Toews scored the only goal of the first period, finishing a breakaway with a rising shot past Ward’s glove at 8:07.

After taking Michal Rozsival’s long pass from the Chicago blue line, Toews got past Carolina’s defenders and motored down the slot.

Toews made it 2-0 with by capping a short-handed break with a shot under Ward’s pads 44 seconds into the second.

This time, Duncan Keith flipped a pass from center ice and Toews drove past Justin Faulk to the net.

The Blackhawks killed overlapping penalties to Sharp and Hossa — including a 5-on-3 Carolina advantage that lasted 1:14 — early in the second period.

Saad extended the lead to 3-0 at 9:42 on a shot from he left circle after Carolina’s Michal Jordan had blocked an initial attempt. The fourth-year left wing had scored 19 in each of his previous two seasons.

Kruger drove to the net and knocked in a rebound of Andrew Shaw’s shot with 4:18 left in the second, making it 4-0.

Liles put Carolina on the board at 4 1/2 minutes into the third, beating Crawford from the left circle after taking a cross-ice pass from Andrej Nestrasil.

Set up by Toews, Hossa made it 5-1 on a wrist shot from the slot 3:26 later.

Semin completed the scoring on a backhander with 1:10 left.

NOTES: Toews has scored 20 or more goals in each if his eight NHL seasons. His lowest ouput was 23 in 47 games in the lockout-shortened 2012-13 campaign. He has three two-goal games this season. … The Blackhawks acquired F Andrew Desjardins from San Jose for F Ben Smith in a swap of fourth-line players just hours before Monday’s deadline. The Sharks also got a 2017 conditional pick. Desjardins is expected in Chicago on Tuesday. … The Blackhawks and Hurricanes meet again on March 23 in Raleigh, N.C.

This article was written by MATT CARLSON from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

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