Two former Chicago Blackhawks played huge roles in Arizona’s 4-1 win over the ‘Hawks Thursday night.

The Blackhawks traded Vinnie Hinostroza to the Coyotes on July 12. Hinostrontroza scored the go-ahead goal shortly after Chicago tied the game at 1 in the second period, and he netted an empty-netter to make it 4-1.

“Our line was having a great shift,” Hinostroza said of his first goal. ” Oliver Ekman-Larsson made a great pass to me, looking at the net, passed it over to me, I timed it, just collected it and put it in.” Watch it: https://www.nhl.com/video/hinostroza-beats-crawford-up-high/t-299943486/c-61973503

On the Arizona end of the ice, former ‘Hawks goaltender Antti Raanta made 33 saves to hand Chicago its first regulation-time loss of the year. Raanta played for Chicago between 2013 and 2015; he improved to 16-0-3 at Chicago’s United Center.

Red Army-like

The Blackhawks created hockey poetry on their only goal, with weaving and tape-to-tape passes reminiscent the old Soviet Red Army teams. Alex Debrincat was the major maestro, deftly dishing a backhand pass to Jonathan Toews, who sent the puck to the right side of the net to unguarded defensemen Erik Gustafsson who roofed it on a one-timer. Watch it: https://www.nhl.com/video/toews-sets-up-gustafsson/t-299943486/c-61972803

Clayton Keller made it 3-1 in the third after picking off a horrible, D-zone cross-ice pass by 39-year-old Chris Kunitz. Keller walked in and easily beat Chicago goalie Corey Crawford.

The Blackhawks had not played since the weekend, and it showed: “I guess when you’re not playing in as many games, you’ve got to do a better job of focusing and getting into your rhythm,” Toews told NHL.com writer Scott King. “It’s early in the season, but when you get rest, you gotta take advantage of it and do what you gotta do to be mentally ready. Like I said, we didn’t do that well enough tonight.”

Puck Patter

  • Chicago falls to 3-1-2 and plays at Columbus (4-2) Saturday at 6 p.m. CDST. Arizona (2-4) heads north to Winnipeg to play the Jets (4-2-1) Saturday at 3 p.m. CDST.
  • Toews (five goals, five assists) and DeBrincat (six goals, four assists) each extended point streaks to six games.
  • Crawford played in his first game of the year and stopped 27 of 30 shots. Crawford’s teammates didn’t help much. Arizona’s first goal came on a 2-on-1 and the Coyotes’ third goal resulted from Kunitz’s D-zone blunder.
  • Defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson played in Chicago for the first time since being traded by the Blackhawks to the Coyotes on June 23, 2017. He received a standing ovation after a video tribute was played during the game.
  • Hjalmarsson had three of Arizona’s 27 blocked shots.
Cover Photo Credit: Associated Press
Roger Dier
Roger Dier covers the Chicago Blackhawks and the Minnesota 
Vikings for Full PressCoverage.
Follow Dier on Twitter @rogerdier.

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