CHICAGO – Ryan Pulock had a goal and a career-high four assists, Anthony Beauvillier scored two power-play goals, and the New York Islanders beat the slumping Blackhawks, 7-3, on Saturday night.
Brock Nelson had a goal and two assists, and John Tavares added a goal and an assist as New York won at the United Center for the first time since a 4-2 victory March 15, 2009. Anders Lee and Jordan Eberle also scored in the opener of a three-game trip.
The Islanders had dropped seven of 10, including consecutive home losses to New Jersey and Boston this week by a combined score of 9-3.
The Hawks returned from their five-day break with their third loss in four games, and are looking at an increasingly troublesome hole when it comes to just making the playoffs for the 10th straight season. The last-place Hawks were coming off a 4-0 loss to Detroit that coach Joel Quenneville described as “tough to watch,” and they weren’t much better against the Islanders.
Patrick Kane had two goals and an assist for the Hawks – including his 800th career point – and Anton Forsberg made 30 saves before he was replaced by Jeff Glass after a costly mistake in the third. Erik Gustafsson got his first career goal in his first game of the season after he was promoted from the minors Jan. 9.
Kane’s team-leading 19th goal off a cross-ice pass from Gustafsson put the Hawks in front 61 seconds into the game, but the Islanders quickly took over from there.
With Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews in the penalty box for interference, Beauvillier knocked in a rebound for his ninth goal at 4:35. Eberle jumped on a puck deflected by Hawks defenseman Gustav Forsling and flipped it over Forsberg midway through the first, and Pulock made it 3-1 when he skated through the right circle and sent a wrist shot over Forsberg’s right shoulder with 56 seconds left in the period.
Beauvillier added another power-play goal 1:25 into the second, slipping a backhand through Forsberg’s legs after he was left all alone in front of the Hawks net. It was Beauvillier’s sixth goal in six games since he returned from a short stay in the minors.
The Hawks twice pulled within two, but the Islanders answered each time. Nelson made it 5-2 with his 10th after Forsberg misplayed the puck near the net. After Kane responded for the Hawks, Lee beat Glass on a breakaway for his team-high 27th, and Tavares converted a slap shot from the edge of the left circle at 10:30.
NOTES: The lights went out for a brief moment 32 seconds into the second. ... The Islanders improved to 17-0-0 when leading after two periods. ... Hawks C Artem Anisimov missed his 10th straight game with an upper-body injury, but could return Monday against Tampa Bay. ... The Hawks had killed off 19 straight penalties coming into the game.
Islanders: Visit the Arizona Coyotes on Monday night.
Blackhawks: Host the Tampa Bay Lightning on Monday night.
Jay Cohen can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/jcohenap
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