Streak Continues As Hawks Win Over Carolina, 5-2

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Hawks Runaway Third Period Powers Victory

Chicago, IL (Sports Network) – Bryan Bickell had a goal and an assist as Chicago continued its recent tear with a 5-2 win over the Carolina Hurricanes at United Center.

Ryan Johnson, Jonathan Toews, Dave Bolland and Patrick Kane all scored for the Blackhawks, who have won a season-high seven straight games.

Corey Crawford made 18 stops to help Chicago move all alone into fourth place in the Western Conference with 78 points, one ahead of Calgary.

Jeff Skinner and Eric Staal both scored for the Hurricanes, who had won their previous two. Justin Peters was tagged with all five goals on 29 shots.

Chicago needed just 55 seconds to score as a turnover by Cory Stillman in his own zone resulted in Toews burying the puck past Peters.

Carolina got the goal back at the 6:23 mark of the first when a rush into the Chicago zone saw Staal trail the play and bury the rebound from the slot for his 29th goal of the season.

However, the Blackhawks took the lead back at the midway mark of the first when Bickell slammed home a rebound off a Brent Seabrook shot for a 2-1 advantage.

After a scoreless second period that saw both goalies make nine saves, the Blackhawks scored three straight in the third to take command of the game.

The first came 2:50 in when Johnson threw the puck to the front of the net from the low left side and it hit off the skate of Joni Pitkanen before trickling past Peters.

Just over a minute later Bolland scored, then Kane made it a 5-1 game at the 7:22 mark on his 22nd goal of the season.

Skinner scored with just under eight minutes to play to account for the final score.

Carolina came into the game having won four of the previous five against Chicago…The Blackhawks hit the road for the next four games starting in Toronto on Saturday…Carolina hosts Atlanta on Wednesday…Both teams went 0- for-2 on the power play.

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Chicago Blackhawks Vs. Carolina Hurricanes: Going For Seven Straight

Suddenly, the Blackhawks have gone from "might miss the playoffs" to a team that seems to be gelling at exactly the right time to have a deep playoff run.

With all the changes made in the team necessitated by the salary cap after the Cup last June, it's not surprising it took this long to get everything together, especially with all the early-season injuries. Now, Jonathan Toews is playing like an MVP candidate and Corey Crawford has been solid in goal and appears to be given (justifiably) the No. 1 job.

The Blackhawks' next five games are a tour through the Eastern Conference, so they'll need some help from other teams to keep that fourth spot in the West; they also stand now only nine points behind the Red Wings and do have a shot at taking the Central Division. But one thing at a time.

Tonight's game starts at 7:30 p.m. CST and will be televised on WGN (Chicago only).

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