- Jesse Rogers, ESPN Staff Writer
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GLENDALE, Ariz. --Here’s a quick look at the Chicago Blackhawks’ 6-2 win over the Phoenix Coyotes on Thursday night:
How it happened: After Jamal Mayers got the obligatory fight with Raffi Torres out of the way, the Blackhawks went to work on the scoreboard, netting four goals in the opening 20 minutes, and never looked back. They scored twice with two-man advantages, as the Coyotes took five minor penalties in that opening period. The Hawks were deadly with their finishing touch, as Patrick Kane (twice), Dave Bolland and Viktor Stalberg hammered home goals in the first. Patrick Sharp had assist on three straight tallies. They kept it going in the middle period, with tallies from Jonathan Toews and Bryan Bickell. Toews’ goal was a thing of beauty, as he juked defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson, then beat Mike Smith -- who was pulled after giving up six. The rout was on.
The fight: The game was only 2:35 old when Mayers and Torres exchanged punches -- in the least surprising aspect of the night. Torres skated near the Hawks bench, and when Mayers jumped over for a line change it was on. It was a fierce but rather quick battle, with both sides landing several punches. Decision: a draw. Torres did score a goal late in the third period.
What it means: The Hawks got their retribution on Torres for his hit on Marian Hossa in last season’s playoffs and, in the process, reminded Phoenix this isn’t the 2012 postseason. The Hawks put up 12 goals in two games in Glendale this season, improving on their incredible start to the season as they moved to 9-0-2. It was a dominating offensive performance, with the Hawks outworking the Coyotes, then finishing on their chances.
Stat of the night: The Hawks have scored 12 goals on Coyotes goalie Smith this season, in less than five periods of hockey. It’s the same amount they totaled in six games last postseason, including five tilts that went into overtime.
What’s next: The Hawks complete their road trip in Nashville on Sunday, looking for at least a point in every one of the six they’ve played away from home and, subsequently, at least one point in every game staged this season.
19dDarren Rovell and Katie Strang