Canes end losing streak, grab early lead in beating Blackhawks

The Carolina Hurricanes did many of the things right Thursday against the Chicago Blackhawks that they had done wrong in a five-game losing streak.

The Canes, in beating the Blackhawks 4-3 at the United Center, scored the game’s first goal.

They dominated the first period, getting a power-play goal and taking a 3-0 lead with some quick, aggressive play.

They got a quality start from goalie Scott Darling, who had 35 saves, and never trailed. Nor did they lose their poise when the Blackhawks, in their first game under new coach Jeremy Colliton, made a push and made things sticky.

Rookie forward Andrei Svechnikov gave the Canes the 1-0 lead after some forceful forechecking by his line, Svechnkov falling to the ice as he backhanded a shot past goalie Corey Crawford.

Defenseman Jaccob Slavin picked up the power-play goal, crashing the net to follow up a Justin Williams shot in tight, and forward Phil Di Giuseppe, after being recalled from the Charlotte Checkers of the AHL, scored his first off a Brock McGinn pass as the fourth line did its part

“Obviously that was the key point of the game, to get those goals,” Canes coach Rod Brind’Amour said. “We’ve been struggling to score and that kind of took the monkey off the guys’ backs a litlte.”

When defenseman Calvin de Haan scored his first goal with the Hurricanes in the second — Sebastian Aho with the assist with a perfect setup pass from behind the net — the Canes’ lead was 4-0.

Patrick Kane got the Blackhawks on the board moments after the Canes botched a three-on-one rush, and David Kampf added another second-period score.

Nick Schmaltz’s goal at 3:33 of the third pulled the Blackhawks within 4-3 but the Canes made the plays and Chicago’s losing streak reached six games.

Darling, who earned a Stanley Cup ring with the Blackhawks in 2015, picked up his first victory of the season and his second over the Blackhawks in Chicago — Darling returning to his hometown last season for a 3-2 win.

“He was solid,” Brind’Amour said. “He looked pretty calm in there. We’re going to need that position to be solid, so hopefully he moves forward with that and has another great start.”

Center Lucas Wallmark had a pair of assists for the Canes (7-7-2), who finished up a four-game road trip and now plays six straight at home. De Haan was named the game’s first star after a plus-3 night and his first goal.

Brind’Amour made a few tweaks to the lineup, reuniting Slavin with Brett Pesce on the back end and pairing defensemen Dougie Hamilton and Trevor van Riemsdyk. Di Giuseppe and center Clark Bishop, also a recall from Charlotte, were on the fourth line with McGinn.

Svechnikov’s goal was his fourth and Brind’Amour said the No. 2 overall pick of the 2018 NHL Draft took a “huge step” forward on the road trip.

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The Canes and Blackhawks face off again Monday in Raleigh and former Canes goalie Cam Ward may get the start for Chicago at PNC Arena.

“We feel pretty good about our overall game,” Brind’Amour said. “The battle level was really good in that game, especially in the last 10 minutes. We hunkered down and played our game.”

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