December 28, 2019 / 4:27 AM / a month ago

Blackhawks bounce back, rip Islanders

Dennis Gilbert scored his first NHL goal, and the Chicago Blackhawks pulled away for a 5-2 win over the visiting New York Islanders on Friday night.

Dec 27, 2019; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews (19) is defended by New York Islanders defenseman Scott Mayfield (24) during the first period at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Dominik Kubalik, Alex DeBrincat, Jonathan Toews and Matthew Highmore also scored for Chicago, which bounced back from a 7-1 defeat against the New Jersey Devils in its previous home game. Dylan Strome and Duncan Keith had two assists apiece.

Ross Johnston and Casey Cizikas scored for the Islanders, who are winless in their last three contests.

Blackhawks goaltender Robin Lehner, who played for the Islanders last season, made 38 saves against his former team to improve to 10-6-4 on the season. He stopped 13 shots in the first period, 16 in the second and nine in the third.

Islanders goaltender Thomas Greiss gave up three goals on 11 shots before he was pulled 11:56 into the first period. Semyon Varlamov replaced him and fared slightly better, allowing two goals on 19 shots.

New York opened the scoring before Chicago netted the next five. Johnston went to the front of the net and scored on a pass from Josh Bailey at the 5:50 mark of the first period.

Less than two minutes later, Gilbert evened the score at 1-1 on a backhand shot. The 23-year-old out of Notre Dame grinned after his milestone goal, which came in his 16th career game.

Kubalik put the Blackhawks on top with a goal 9:46 into the first period. Another 2:10 passed before DeBrincat scored to make it 3-1, chasing Greiss after giving up three goals in a span of 4:22.

After a scoreless second period, Toews struck in the first minute of the third to increase Chicago’s lead to 4-1. He stole the puck at center ice and buried a wrist shot for his ninth goal of the season.

Highmore continued the barrage with a sharp-angle goal at 3:03 of the third period. It was his first goal of the season and his third career goal with the Blackhawks.

The Islanders capped the scoring on a short-handed goal by Cizikas with 3:28 remaining.

—Field Level Media

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