Reilly Smith scored twice and Logan Thompson made 23 saves to boost the visiting Vegas Golden Knights to a 4-1 victory against the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday night.
Vegas secured a sweep of a two-game road trip against Central Division opponents while sending the Blackhawks to their fifth consecutive defeat, being outscored 20-5 during that span. Chicago fell to 1-12-1 in its past 14 games.
Taylor Raddysh’s goal at 16:06 of the third period helped the Blackhawks avoid their third shutout in the past five games. The tally wasn’t enough, though, as Vegas controlled the tempo and scored in every period.
Chandler Stephenson opened the scoring with a power-play goal at 14:41 of the first period, marking the 14th time in 15 games in which the Blackhawks have allowed the first goal.
Special teams doomed Chicago at 3:56 of the second, when Smith’s short-handed goal against a Blackhawks power-play unit with five forwards vaulted the visitors to a 2-0 lead.
Chicago’s Jarred Tinordi applied a big hit to Paul Cotter in the second period. A few minutes later, Vegas’ Keegan Kolesar responded with a hard check to Patrick Kane.
Phil Kessel made it 3-0 at 8:08 of the third. Raddysh brought the Blackhawks to within two with his fifth goal in nine games, but Smith thwarted any further comeback hopes with an empty-net goal with 30 seconds left.
Arvid Soderblom stopped 21 of 24 shots for Chicago.
William Karlsson and Jonathan Marchessault each had two assists for Vegas.
Vegas continued its run of dominance against Chicago, improving to 11-2-1 in regular-season meetings against the Original Six franchise. The Golden Knights have outscored the Blackhawks 5-1 in two matchups this season.
The clubs are set to close the season series on Feb. 21 in Chicago.
The Blackhawks will hope to have far better vibes at United Center by then. Chicago is 0-8-1 in its past nine games on home ice and hasn’t had a longer home winless streak since a 10-game skid in the 2002-03 season.
–Field Level Media