CHICAGO (AP) – Brendan Perlini scored three goals against his former team for his first career hat trick, and the Chicago Blackhawks ripped the Arizona Coyotes 7-1 on Monday night for their third straight win.
Patrick Kane fired in his 41st goal as Chicago moved within five points of the second wild card in the Western Conference. Jonathan Toews, Brandon Saad, and Chris Kunitz also scored, and Corey Crawford made 24 saves.
Arizona had won eight of nine to surge back into the playoff picture. Richard Panik scored against his former team early in the first period, but the Blackhawks took charge midway through the opening frame.
Arizona’s Darcy Kuemper made his 10th straight start but was replaced by Calvin Pickard in the second period after giving up four goals on 16 shots. Pickard blocked 15 of 18 shots.
Perlini has six goals in his last five games and 11 for the season. He has clicked on a line with Dylan Strome, who joined him in a trade from Arizona on Nov. 25, 2018, for center Nick Schmaltz.
Toews reached 30 goals for the first time since the 2010-11 season and third time overall.
Panik backhanded in a rebound of his own shot from the slot to open the scoring at 4:27. He was set up by Christian Dvorak from behind the net after Carl Dahlstrom couldn’t handle the puck in the Chicago zone.
Perlini and Saad then scored 91 seconds apart to put the Blackhawks ahead to stay.
After taking a pass from Seabrook, Perlini sprinted past Arizona defensemen Alex Goligoski and Jordan Oesterle and broke in alone. He beat Kuemper on the glove side at 6:38.
Saad, parked at the edge of the crease, tipped in Toews’ pinpoint feed from the right corner at 8:09.
The Blackhawks pounced on a couple of Coyotes mistakes to pull away in the second.
Perlini connected again at 3:16 off Strome’s quick pass across the slot after Kane stole the puck from Christian Fischer. Kunitz made it 4-1 from the slot 3 minutes later, converting David Kampf’s feed from a goalmouth scramble after Dahlstom held in a soft clearing pass in at the Arizona blueline.
The goal prompted Arizona coach Rick Tocchet to replace Kuemper with Pickard, but it didn’t slow Chicago’s momentum. After Oliver Ekman-Larsson lost the puck, Kane fired in Artem Anisimov’s feed across the crease at 8:50.
Toews was awarded the fourth penalty shot of his career with 5:52 left in the second after being hooked from behind by Jakob Chychrun on a breakaway. He converted the chance with a wrister under Pickard’s right pad.
Perlini barely tapped in a sliding puck for the final goal with 3.6 seconds left.