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Kane, Lehner lead fast-starting Blackhawks past Maple Leafs

CHICAGO (AP) — Patrick Kane had two goals and an assist, Robin Lehner made 53 saves and the Chicago Blackhawks struck early and then held off the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-4 on Sunday night.

Jonathan Toews, rookie Kirby Dach and Brandon Saad also scored. Alex DeBrincat had three assists and Dylan Strome added two.

William Nylander scored twice for the Maple Leafs, and John Tavares and Andreas Johnsson added power-play goals in the third as Toronto stormed back with 26 shots in the final period. Auston Matthews had four assists for Toronto, which entered on five-game point streak (3-0-2) and lost in regulation for the first time in two weeks.

Toronto backup Michael Hutchinson stopped 29 shots and remained winless at 0-4-1.

The Maple Leafs took — and the Blackhawks allowed — a season-high 57 shots.

Kane, Chicago’s 30-year-old offensive whiz, has four goals in three games and 11 points in his last six.

The Maple Leafs played without star forward Mitch Marner after he suffered a right ankle injury in the second period Saturday night in a 3-2 home loss Philadelphia. Marner underwent an MRI exam and will be out of the lineup for a minimum of four weeks.

The 22-year-old Marner has four goals and 14 assists through 18 games. He led the Maple Leafs last season with career highs in points (94) and assists (68) and had a career-best 26 goals.

Toronto’s troubles in this one were in its own zone, however. The Blackhawks jumped ahead 3-0 lead on its first six shots and led 4-1 after the first period.

Kane opened the scoring 5:18 in when his centering pass to Dylan Strome deflected in off the stick of Toronto defenseman Cody Ceci.

Dach made it 2-0 at 12:00 when he plowed toward the net and buried a fat rebound from the lower edge of the right circle.

Kane connected again just 10 seconds later for a 3-0 lead. Kane misfired from the left circle, but controlled the puck, cut across the slot and fooled Hutchinson with a backhander.

Nylander trimmed it to 3-1 with 3:31 left the first during a 4 on 4. He grabbed a loose puck from a faceoff, then swept into the slot and beat Lehner between the pads.

Toews’ 4-on-3 power play goal 59 seconds later capped a snappy cross-ice passing sequence and put Chicago in charge 4-1.

The Maple Leafs outshot the Blackhawks 16-15 in a scoreless second. Lehner made rapid-fire, point-blank skate saves on Matthews and Tyson Barrie early in the period to preserve Chicago’s margin.

Toronto pushed back in the third, outshooting Chicago 26-7

Nylander struck again at 2:27 of the third. He skated out of the left corner and beat Lehner with a rising shot on the short side.

Following a faceoff, Taveres stuffed in a power-play goal with 7:19 left to narrow it to 4-3. Lehner stopped Matthews’ high shot from the slot, but Tavares converted the rebound.

Saad’s deflection with 3:34 left made it 5-3, but Johnsson replied during a power play with 42 seconds remaining.

NOTES: Hutchinson entered with a 4-1-1 record, 1.33 goals against average and .961 save percentage in six previous games against Chicago, all while with the Winnipeg Jets. … Chicago C Ryan Carpenter missed the game due to a death in his family. Dach, a rookie, took his spot in the lineup after sitting on Saturday at Pittsburgh. … With Marner out, veteran C Jason Spezza was in the lineup after being scratched for three games.

UP NEXT

Maple Leafs: At the New York Islanders on Wednesday night.

Blackhawks: At Vegas on Wednesday night.

The Associated Press

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