Blackhawks rout the Coyotes
(MCT) — GLENDALE, Ariz. — Jamal Mayers punched Raffi Torres in the face and then Patrick Kane punched the rest of the Coyotes right in the gut.
It didn’t take long for the Blackhawks to get their retribution on Torres and not much longer to get the last laugh, too, as they drilled the Coyotes, 6-2, on Thursday night at Jobing.com Arena.
In Torres’ first appearance against the Hawks since his 21-game suspension for an illegal hit that seriously injured Marian Hossa during the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs ended, the Coyotes veteran was confronted by the Hawks’ Jamal Mayers just 2 minutes, 35 seconds into the game.
Hossa watched from the bench as the two dropped the gloves and threw flurries of right hands during the spirited bout. With that out of the way, it was time for Kane and Co. to get to work. Kane had two goals and an assist — all in the first period — Jonathan Toews, Bryan Bickell and Viktor Stalberg each had a goal and an assist and Dave Bolland also scored as the Hawks remained unbeaten in regulation this season to improve to 9-0-2.
“I realize what my job is at this point,” Mayers said. “It still doesn’t excuse what happened but give (Torres) credit that he was willing to go.”
Said Torres: “It’s in the past and part of the game but I understand that if I go out there and run around and throw some hits then I’m going to have to answer the bell sometimes. It was a perfect example (Thursday night).”
Patrick Sharp added three assists and Ray Emery earned the win in goal to help the Hawks move to 3-0-2 on their season-long, six-game road trip. Torres and Martin Hanzal scored for Phoenix and Mike Smith, who was yanked in the second period, suffered the loss in goal.
“What Jamal did was great for the team and put that to rest,” said Emery, who made 22 saves to up his record to 3-0-0. “More important it was to get the two points and stay focused and not let that whole situation get the best of us and I think we did that.”
After the Mayer-Torres showdown, the Hawks’ offense exploded with consecutive goals from Stalberg, and two from Kane sandwiching one by Bolland.
“We had a great start,” Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said. “We had real good purpose to our game. We wanted to start well and scoring first certainly helped us. It was a great effort across the board. I was pleased with every aspect of our game the contribution from each guy.”
After Hanzal’s goal early in the second, Toews and Bickell put the game out of reach.
Kane now has eight goals and 10 assists in the first 11 games of the season.
“It’s been a fun season so far,” Kane said. “The team is playing well. It’s always nice scoring goals when you’re winning. Hopefully it’s something I can continue and we can keep winning games.”