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Toronto Maple Leafs defenceman Roman Polak (46) gets hit by Chicago Blackhawks centre Andrew Shaw (65) during first period NHL hockey action in Toronto on Friday, January 15, 2016. (Nathan Denette/THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Toronto Maple Leafs defenceman Roman Polak (46) gets hit by Chicago Blackhawks centre Andrew Shaw (65) during first period NHL hockey action in Toronto on Friday, January 15, 2016. (Nathan Denette/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Kane key in Blackhawks’ bludgeoning of Maple Leafs Add to ...

Patrick Kane had a hat trick and the Chicago Blackhawks earned their 10th consecutive win with a 4-1 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Friday.

Artemi Panarin also scored and assisted on two of Kane’s goals for the Blackhawks (30-13-4). Scott Darling made 28 saves to earn the win in net for Chicago while Corey Crawford took the night off after a 2-1 win in Montreal the night before.

Kane, who added an assist for a four-point night, now has 28 goals on the season – best in the NHL.

The Blackhawks’ win puts Chicago in first in the Central Division, a point ahead of the Dallas Stars, who played in Anaheim later Friday night.

Morgan Rielly responded for Maple Leafs (16-19-7), who have lost four in a row. James Reimer stopped 25 of 28 shots for Toronto.

Kane scored his first goal of the night midway through the second period just as a Toronto penalty ended, putting away a cross-ice pass from Duncan Keith, who was down low after Chicago had briefly been stripped of the puck in the dying seconds of its power play.

Kane struck again with 2 minutes 47 seconds left in the second. Kane one-timed the puck past a diving Reimer from almost an identical spot as his first goal. This goal was on the power play as Matt Hunwick served a high-sticking penalty.

Hunwick’s penalty was one of four that Toronto took in the second, including a high-sticking penalty Nazem Kadri took with a second left in the period.

Roman Polak then earned a cross-checking penalty 12 seconds into the third.

Panarin made the most of Chicago’s ensuing two-man advantage, giving the Blackhawks a 3-0 lead just 21 seconds into the third.

Rielly ended Darling’s shutout bid 3:47 into the third, wiring a wrist shot from the faceoff circle over the Chicago goaltender’s shoulder to cut the Blackhawks lead to 3-1.

Brad Boyes almost added a goal for Toronto near the midway point of the third, firing a one-timer at close range at Darling, who made a stunning save. Boyes could’ve collected his own rebound for a second shot but mishandled the puck.

Kane completed his hat trick with 2:12 left in regulation by putting the puck into an empty net.

It looked as though Andrew Shaw had opened scoring for Chicago with 7:53 left in the first period, banging in his own rebound after putting a shot on net. However, Toronto coach Mike Babcock challenged the play and it was overruled because Marian Hossa was a stride ahead of Shaw on the play, making it offside.

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