CHICAGO (AP) — Brandon Saad, Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews each had a goal and assist to lead the Chicago Blackhawks over the Columbus Blue Jackets, 5-1, on Saturday night.
Richard Panik also scored and Jan Rutta got his first NHL goal as Chicago followed up on a season-opening 10-1 rout of Pittsburgh with another solid performance.
Sonny Milano scored for the Blue Jackets, who blanked the New York Islanders 5-0 in their opener Friday in Columbus.
Corey Crawford made 32 saves for Chicago, while Joonas Korpisalo blocked 24 shots.
Chicago center Nick Schmaltz was hit hard by two defensemen as Kane scored the opening goal 1:33 in. He later left the game with with an undisclosed injury. Schmaltz tried to return with a short shift midway through the first period.
Saad, one of four players to open the season with a hat trick this week, has four goals and an assist in his first two games. Kane boosted his totals to two goals and four assists.
Columbus forward Artemi Panarin, a centerpiece in an offseason trade that sent Saad back to Chicago, got a loud ovation during a first-period video tribute.
The Blackhawks jumped ahead 2-0 with a dominant first period.
Kane scored on the Blackhawks’ first shot when he was left open at the low edge of the right circle. He beat Korpisalo with a quick shot into the upper-right corner.
Jack Johnson and Gabriel Carlsson leveled Schmaltz on the left side of the crease during the play. Schmaltz took a minute to get up, then skated slowly to the bench with help from trainer Mike Gapski.
Saad made it 2-0 at 6:04 with a power-play goal when he converted a rebound from a goalmouth scrum.
Chicago extended its lead to 4-1 after 40 minutes.
Set up by Saad, Toews one-timed in his first goal this season from the left circle at 10:14 of the second. The play was set up when Panik knocked Seth Jones off the puck behind the Columbus net.
Milano cut it to 3-1 31 seconds later when he poked in Nick Foligno’s feed that slid along the goal line behind Crawford.
Rutta pinched in to the right circle and scored on a shot that deflected in off Korpisalo’s glove at 12:51 of the second to make it 4-1.
Saad narrowly missed connecting again during a power-play midway through the third. His close-in shot trickled through Korpisalo, but Johnson swept the puck from the goal line.
Panik completed the scoring with 5:55 left when he whipped in a loose puck after a faceoff.
NOTES: NBC and Blackhawks TV analyst Eddie Olczyk visited the United Center press box after having surgery for colon cancer 11 weeks ago. Some in the crowd of 21,264, chanted “Eddie, Eddie” when a live shot of Olczyk, who played 16 seasons in the NHL, was shown on the scoreboard. … Schmaltz had hobbled off the ice in the third period of Thursday’s game, but was back on a line with Kane and Ryan Hartman for his first shift Saturday before being injured again. … RW Tommy Wingels made his Blackhawks debut as C Tanner Kero sat out. Wingels, who signed a one-year free agent deal, is from Chicago’s north suburbs. … The Blackhawks had a pregame video tribute and moment of silence for Pierre Pilote, their captain from 1961 to 1968, who died last month at age 85.
Blue Jackets: Play at Carolina on Tuesday.
Blackhawks: Play at Toronto on Monday.
Copyright 2017 The Associated Press.