x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Captain's return inspires the Hawks

Toews scored on his return to the line up as his team romped to a 4-1 victory over the Los Angeles Kings.

The Chicago Blackhawks' captain Jonathan Toews scored on his return to the line up as his team romped to a 4-1 victory over the Los Angeles Kings on Monday. Toews, who had been out with concussion-like symptoms after a taking a hard body check against the Vancouver Canucks on October 21, tallied one of the team's three third-period goals as the Blackhawks (9-5-2) moved to the top of the Central Division.

Toews, who had a team-high 34 goals last season, sparked the Blackhawks on his return. "I felt great on the ice," he said. "If you look at a lot of our games in the past couple weeks, they were low scoring. We struggled a bit on the power play. That was the difference tonight." "His presence, the way he plays the game, the way he competes every shift, that's why he's the captain," said the Chicago centre John Madden, who opened the scoring with a goal in the second period. "He leads by the way he plays. If we just follow along and compete as hard as he does, everybody will be all right."

Chicago's Troy Brouwer broke a 1-1 tie with a tip-in at 1:33 in the third, Toews followed with a backhand to extend the lead at 5:04 and Andrew Ebbett scored his first goal of the season halfway through the period to complete the scoring. The NHL's leading points scorer, Anze Kopitar, had tied it 1-1 at 9:10 in the second period for the Kings (10-6-2). Kopitar joined Washington's Alex Ovechkin - who may be back in action later this week after being sidelined with an upper-body strain - for the league lead in goals scored but he could not keep the Kings from losing two in a row.

The Blackhawks used two power-play conversions to take control while killing off two chances from the Kings. @Email:sports@thenational.ae