January 12, 2020 / 4:25 AM / 17 days ago

Kubalik scores 2, Blackhawks down Ducks

Rookie Dominik Kubalik scored twice, and Jonathan Toews had a goal and an assist to lead the host Chicago Blackhawks to a 4-2 victory against the Anaheim Ducks on Saturday night.

Goaltender Robin Lehner stopped 35 of 37 shots in his return from injury, as Chicago snapped a two-game losing streak to conclude a four-game homestand with a 2-2 mark.

Anaheim has lost six of seven overall and three straight on the road. The Ducks fell to 6-14-2 away from Honda Center as they opened a five-game road trip.

Kubalik’s pair of second-period goals were the difference. The forward now stands tied for the league lead in rookie goals after netting his 15th and 16th of the season. Both tallies came off rebounds — the first after Toews set up Patrick Kane, and the second off a long shot by Connor Murphy.

Kubalik’s goals came 8:01 apart and gave him five goals and eight points in his past five games. He narrowly missed an empty net in the waning seconds in a bid for his first career hat trick.

Appearing for the first time since suffering a right-knee injury in a Jan. 2 loss at Vancouver, Lehner looked sharp in his first start in four games, rebounding after Anaheim opened the scoring at 3:37 of the first period.

Max Jones buried a feed from Ondrej Kase past Lehner, as a firm forecheck on Murphy forced a turnover behind the net that created the opportunity.

Persistence proved equally helpful on Chicago’s equalizer at 8:13 of the first. Moments after hitting the post to miss a wide-open net, Toews finished a rush by wristing a shot through the five-hole of Ducks goalie John Gibson.

Rickard Rakell scored on a rebound at 2:29 of the third to bring the Ducks to within 3-2, but the Blackhawks answered with an Olli Maatta goal 90 seconds later on a blast from just inside the blue line.

Gibson, who stopped 29 of 33 shots, has lost four of his past five starts.

Kane has 10 points — including four goals and six assists — in a six-game point streak.

Both clubs were 0-for-1 on the power play.

Chicago has defeated Anaheim in both meetings this season. The teams are set to conclude the season series March 3 in Chicago.

—Field Level Media

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