By Pete Zarustica
Ouch. That hurt.
The Anaheim Ducks and the Chicago Blackhawks had near-identical records going into Monday’s game in the Windy City, but the final score didn’t reflect much parity.
Sparked by Alex DeBrincat’s hat trick, the Blackhawks routed the Ducks 7-3 after racing out the leads of 4-0 and 5-1. The loss dropped the Orange County team’s record to 10-10-4, worth sixth place in the NHL Pacific Division.
The win allowed Chicago (12-8-3) to bounce into fourth place in the Central Division.
“We allowed them to play their give-and-go game,” said Ducks head coach Randy Carlyle. “We really didn’t get involved in the game physically at all. They just moved the puck around us. We got frustrated and received the game.”
Trailing 4-0 in the second period, the Ducks finally got on the board at 6:14 on an unassisted goal by Jakob Silfverberg, his sixth goal of the season. DeBrincat got his second goal of the game with put Chicago up 5-1 at 7:49, but Chris Wagner countered with his third goal of the season at 9:19, with assists by Andrew Cogliano and Silfverberg.
But DeBrincat wasn’t done, getting his third goal – and 10th of the year – at 14:14 for a 6-2 lead before the break. The teams traded goals in the third, with Wagner lighting the lamp at 1:33 with assists from Nick Ritchie and Hampus Lindholm.
The Ducks next will take on the Blues (17-6-1) in St. Louis on Wednesday.