Blackhawks hand Pens 5th straight loss

CHICAGO (AP) -- The Chicago Blackhawks found a team struggling

more than they are.

Andy Hilbert scored twice and rookie Adam Munro stopped 28 shots

as the Blackhawks defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-1 Friday

night. Radim Vrbata and Martin Lapointe also scored for Chicago,

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

period.

"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

NHL.

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

from there."

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

committee."

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

shot

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

4-1.Game notes
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. ...

Pittsburgh D Dick Tarnstrom and LW Andre Roy were healthy

scratches.