The Chicago Blackhawks matched a franchise record with their 11th straight victory, using two goals from Jonathan Toews to beat the slumping Montreal Canadiens 5-2 on Sunday night.
Marian Hossa had an empty-net goal and two assists for Chicago, and Patrick Kane had a goal and an assist. Richard Panik scored his first goal of the season, and Corey Crawford, a Montreal native, made 27 saves while improving to 5-0-2 in seven career starts against his hometown team.
The Blackhawks (31-13-4) also won 11 straight from Feb. 15 to March 6, 2013, and then went on to the second of three Stanley Cup titles in the past six seasons. The defending NHL champions, who won 2-1 at Montreal on Thursday night, go for 12 in a row at Nashville on Tuesday night.
Montreal (23-19-4) has lost four in a row and five of six. The Canadiens also dropped to 6-15-2 since star goaltender Carey Price was shelved by a lower-body injury in November.
Lars Eller and Max Pacioretty scored for Montreal, and Ben Scrivens made 28 stops in his first start since Jan. 5 at Philadelphia. Scrivens, who was acquired in a Dec. 28 trade with Edmonton, is win-less in three starts on the season.
Pacioretty’s power-play goal at 10:22 of the third got the Canadiens within one, but Kane responded for the Blackhawks just 71 seconds later. Kane got a great pass from rookie Artemi Panarin and scored on a one-timer for his NHL-best 29th goal.
Kane, who also leads the league with 40 assists, has eight goals and 11 assists in the last 11 games.
Toews gave Chicago a 2-1 lead with his 18th goal at 13:38 of the second, punching it home from in front of the net. The captain made the most of a fortunate carom right to him with 1:21 to go in the period, bringing the puck out from behind the net and beating Scrivens with a backhander.
Toews, who also got an assist on Hossa’s empty-netter, has 10 goals and nine assists in his last 16 games.
The Blackhawks got rookie defenceman Erik Gustafsson back from a lower-body injury, and he made a great pass to Panik to set up his first goal in his fourth game since he was acquired in a trade with Toronto on Jan. 3.
Eller got it back for Montreal at 6:16 of the first, poking home a rebound of Jeff Petry’s shot for his eighth of the season.
NOTES: The Blackhawks improved to 28-3-2 when they score the first goal of the game. ... Canadiens RW Dale Weise played in his 300th NHL game. ... Chicago reassigned slumping forward Bryan Bickell to Rockford of the American Hockey League. The 29-year-old Bickell has no goals and two assists in 23 games with the Blackhawks this season.Report Typo/Error