x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

NHL: Blackhawks close in on historic record with win over reigning champions

A 3-2 win over Stanley Cup holders the Los Angeles Kings leaves Chicago on the brink of matching the Anaheim Ducks' record for going without regulation-time defeat.

Chicago Blackhawks goalie Ray Emery looks to block Los Angeles' Justin Williams during a goalmouth melee.
Chicago Blackhawks goalie Ray Emery looks to block Los Angeles' Justin Williams during a goalmouth melee.

Jonathan Toews, Brent Seabrook and Patrick Sharp all scored to fire the Chicago Blackhawks to a 3-2 win over defending National Hockey League champions Los Angeles - and move the side to the brink of NHL history.

The Blackhawks improved to 12-0 with three overtime losses, each worth one point as a regulation-time draw, to open the truncated NHL season in impressive fashion.

Now if Chicago can avoid a regulation-time loss against Vancouver tonight, they will match the 2006-2007 Anaheim Ducks for the NHL's all-time record of going 16 games into a season without a regulation defeat.

The only three prior teams to avoid a regulation-time loss in their first 14 NHL games to open a season went on to capture the Stanley Cup, as the Blackhawks did most recently in 2010.

Ray Emery made 25 saves for the Blackhawks in their victory over the Kings, who had two goals from Mike Richards in a losing cause.

Meanwhile the Ducks continued their own fine form after recording their ninth win from 10 NHL outings with victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets.

A fifth straight win leaves the Ducks with 12 wins for the season at the end of a hectic run of seven games in under two weeks.

Corey Perry scored the decisive goal in a 3-2 victory, with Peter Holland and Ryan Getzlaf laying the foundations with a pair of first-period strikes.

The Montreal Canadiens made it four wins in a row as they defeated South-east Division leaders Carolina Hurricanes 3-0.

Brandon Prust ended a stalemate inside the third stanza before quick-fire efforts from Tomas Plekanec and Max Pacioretty added the gloss to Peter Budaj's 10th career shutout.

The Phoenix Coyotes scored a 4-0 victory over the Calgary Flames, with Keith Yandle on target after 41 seconds before three more goals in the final third settled matters.

Mike Smith kept out all 30 shots to preserve his clean sheet.

The Toronto Maple Leafs claimed a measure of revenge for last season's four-game sweep at the hands of the Florida Panthers with 3-0 success.

Phil Kessel, Nazem Kadri and Clarke MacArthur found the net while Ben Scrivens protected his.

The New York Islanders were humbled 7-0 at the Philadelphia Flyers, who celebrated a first win in three,

Home captain Claude Giroux had two goals and an assist, including the opener after 26 seconds, while there was also a goal and two assists from Matt Read.

The Ottawa Senators needed Jakob Silfverberg's shoot-out winner to edge the New Jersey Devils 2-1.

Stephen Gionta had earlier put the injury-hit Devils ahead only for Daniel Alfredsson to tie the scores.

It was an unusually high-scoring affair between the Colorado Avalanche and the Nashville Predators, two of the NHL's least prolific sides.

The Avalanche were 6-5 winners on a good night for the attackers, with Matt Duchene and Aaron Palushaj each collecting a goal and two assists.


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