The Blackhawks' Q rating — as in Quenneville — is on the rise.
In their second game with Joel Quenneville as their coach, the Hawks put together their most solid effort of the young season to defeat the Vancouver Canucks 4-2 on Sunday night in front of 21,193 at the United Center.
"The pace of the first period was tremendous," Quenneville said. "The last two games the pace has been really high. I like the way we've competed in a lot of areas."
The victory was Quenneville's first as coach after taking over Thursday for the fired Denis Savard.
"It's a thrill," Quenneville said. "I'm very excited about being here in Chicago. I feel very fortunate to be in this spot. Just being around the guys the last three or four days, I'm really excited about this group."
After Pavol Demitra opened the scoring 9 minutes 32 seconds into the game, the Hawks reeled off four straight goals. And goaltender Cristobal Huet, who finished with 28 saves for the victory, played solidly.
Brent Seabrook took a pass from Kane from behind the Canucks net and blasted a one-timer from the top of the right circle past goalie Roberto Luongo for his first goal of the season a little more than a minute after Demitra's score to tie it.
The Hawks went ahead 2-1 while on the power play at the 15:31 mark as Sharp scored his third goal of the season. The forward found himself all alone to the right of Luongo, took his time and tried to slide a pass to teammate Kris Versteeg. But the puck deflected off Canucks defenseman Mattias Ohlund's stick and into the net.
After a scoreless second period, the Hawks extended the lead to 3-1 while on the power play at 6:58 when Kane scored his fourth of the season. With Taylor Pyatt off for boarding, Sharp's shot from the point was stopped by Luongo. But the puck squirted to Kane, who tucked it in.
Kane and Sharp continued to click as Sharp scored his second goal of the night on the power play at 13:15 of the third period. Kane found Sharp between the circles, and Sharp's wrist shot banged off the right post, then bounced off Luongo and into the net.
"We talked about those games in the third period [being] games we have to learn how to win," said Sharp, referring to Saturday night's 4-3 shootout loss to the Blues in St. Louis when the Hawks blew a two-goal lead in the third.
"I thought our team did a great job coming out into the third period and staying aggressive and really coning away with the win."
Henrik Sedin cut the lead to 4-2 with 4:52 remaining, but Huet shut down Vancouver the rest of the way.
"Going into the third period with a 2-1 lead, it's kind of a tough situation because some teams tend to get satisfied," said Jonathan Toews, who assisted on Seabrook's goal. "We told ourselves in the dressing room we have to keep playing our game and not be satisfied with two goals. We knew we would have to score at least one more to win this game, and we did that."