CHICAGO — Patrick Kane and Kris Versteeg helped trigger a big third period to give the Chicago Blackhawks a big send-off.
Kane and Versteeg each had a goal in the final period, and added two assists for the game, as Chicago rallied with four goals in the third to defeat the Dallas Stars 6-2 on Sunday night.
Kane connected from a sharp angle early in the third to snap a 2-2 tie. Jonathan Toews, Versteeg, and Brandon Saad scored in a 2:55 span later in the period to put away the game.
That’s the kind of finish the Blackhawks were looking for as they leave town while the circus takes over the United Center for two weeks. They start a six-game road trip on Thursday in Calgary and don’t play at home again until Dec. 3.
“Huge,” Kane said. “It leaves the fans with a good taste in their mouth. Us too, knowing we can play better here at home.
“It seemed like we had a lot of control of the play, put a lot of shots on net.”
Defencemen Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook scored in the first period as Chicago won for the third time in four games.
The Blackhawks took over in the third when they fired off 23 of their 47 shots. But Chicago, considered one of the NHL’s most talented teams, is 10-7-1 overall and hasn’t been consistent.
“We’ll try to string a few together, start playing the right way, start creating more chances and hopefully, some things evolve off that,” Kane said.
Dallas’ Curtis McKenzie recorded his first NHL goal and Shawn Horcoff also scored for the struggling Stars, who have dropped two straight and won just two of their last 11 (2-7-2).
Chicago’s Corey Crawford made 22 saves and Dallas’ Kari Lehtonen finished with 41.
While the Blackhawks surged in the third period, the Stars melted down in the final 20 minutes of game once again. Dallas has been outscored 27-11 in third periods this season.
“We got throught the first 40 (minutes) and actually created a couple of good opportunities and got a couple of key (penalty) kills, but then we just became unravelled,” Stars coach Lindy Ruff said. “We can’t get any lower that that.”
Blackhawks centre Brad Richards had two assists in his 1,000th game and was honoured in a pre-game ceremony. The 34-year-old played 220 of those games with the Stars from 2008 to 2011 at the peak of his career.
The Blackhawks are Richards’ fourth team in a 15-year career. He signed a one-year, $2 million free-agent deal with Chicago last July and was envisioned as a No. 2 centre, but has started slowly and averaged under 13 minutes of ice time entering Sunday’s game.
Richards played a season high 18:20 on Sunday in what coach Joel Quenneville called “his best game of the year.”
“A good game for me personally, but how the team responded to a little adversity, it was a good sign,” Richards said.
Notes: Blackhawks rookie D Trevor van Riemsdyk left the game in the first period with a leg injury. . Chicago F Daniel Carcillo returned after missing 10 games with a lower-body injury. . Dallas F Jamie Benn has gone 11 games without a goal after scoring five in the first seven. . F Travis Moen played his first game with the Stars after being acquired from Montreal last week. .. Blackhawks rookie G Scott Darling was recalled from Rockford of the AHL and backed up Crawford. G Antti Raanta, who has appeared in just three games, was sent to Rockford for playing time. Coach Joel Quenneville said Raanta would rejoin the Blackhawks by Thursday in Calgary. . Long-time Blackhawks TV play-by-play announcer Pat Foley will be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto on Monday.