CHICAGO (AP) -- The Chicago Blackhawks found a team struggling
more than they are.
as the Blackhawks defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-1 Friday
which has won two of three following a 10-game losing streak.
Colby Armstrong scored for the Penguins, who lost their fifth
straight. Marc-Andre Fleury made 31 saves.
Hilbert recorded his first multiple-goal game in the NHL after
entering play with six goals in 50 games. He scored Chicago's first
two goals as the Blackhawks got out to a 3-0 lead in the first
"Just getting a quick start in front of this big crowd was huge
for us," Hilbert said. "The confidence gets going right down the
line and the young guys have to bring some energy."
Hilbert was acquired from Boston on Nov. 5 and recalled from
Norfolk of the AHL on Dec 1. He missed training camp because of a
contract dispute and has needed time to adjust to the speed of the
Chicago coach Trent Yawney benched Hilbert six times in seven
games from Dec. 23 to Jan. 8, but the forward has three goals in
his last two contests.
"I feel like I've just got to get more confidence and more
comfortable out there," Hilbert said. "Hopefully it will snowball
Playing before the Blackhawks' third sellout crowd this season,
Munro made his second start of the season and ninth career since
being recalled from Norfolk on Dec. 29. Top goalie Nikolai
Khabibulin has missed eight games because of a groin pull.
"They (Hilbert and Munro) played well," Yawney said.
"Especially early, Adam made some big saves and it was nice to see
Andy get a couple of goals. He's worked hard. Anytime you can get
guys like that chipping in goals it helps, when you can score by
Pittsburgh coach Michel Therrien said Munro's work blunted any
offensive energy the Penguins could generate.
"We got some quality scoring chances," Therrien said. "Munro
did make some key saves. It could have switched the momentum.
"When a team struggles like we're doing right now, I think
intention is there, but we're a fragile team. It seems when we face
adversity our mental toughness has not been there."
The Blackhawks scored three goals in a period for the sixth time
this season and led 3-1 after 20 minutes.
Hilbert opened the scoring 6:15 in when he lofted in a rebound
of his initial shot from left wing.
Hilbert made it 2-0 with 8:25 left in the first when he skated
out of the right corner unchallenged by Pittsburgh defenseman Ryan
Whitney. He cut to the front of the net and beat Fleury with a high
Vrbata's power-play goal just over a minute later extended
Chicago's lead to 3-0. He ripped a shot past Fleury from the slot
after taking a cross-ice feed from Kyle Calder.
Armstrong got credit for a power-play goal with 4:02 left in the
period that cut it to 3-1.
Munro stopped Ziggy Palffy's close-in shot from the left side,
but the rebound popped into the slot and deflected into the net off
Chicago defenseman Jim Vandermeer.
Lapointe's power-play goal midway through the third made it
The crowd of 20,541 was the Blackhawks' third sellout this
season. ... Chicago D Adrian Aucoin missed the game with his third
groin pull of the season. ... Blackhawks C Curtis Brown sat out
with a strained knee. ... Chicago C Mikael Holmqvist was a healthy
scratch. ... Khabibulin has resumed taking shots in practice. ...