Munro, Ruutu ignite victory

Tribune staff reporter

Youth was served Friday night when the Blackhawks rallied to defeat the Washington Capitals 4-3 and end their winless streak at seven games (0-4-2-1).

Playing his third NHL game, 20-year-old goaltender Adam Munro stopped 27 shots in recording his first victory. Munro was at his best in the final two minutes when the Capitals had a two-man advantage for 88 seconds.

"Your best penalty-killer has to be your goalie," coach Brian Sutter said. "He made three or four unbelievable saves when we were playing five-on-three."

In the forefront on offense was fellow rookie Tumo Ruutu. The 21-year-old Finn put the Hawks ahead 3-2 late in the second period. Then—after Washington tied the score on Brian Willsie's short-handed goal in the third period—Ruutu poked the power-play game-winner past Capitals goalie Olaf Kolzig with 6:22 remaining.

Another catalyst was Tyler Arnason. Continuing the offensive surge that began one game after Sutter backed him against the wall in a Nashville bar Feb. 29, Arnason assisted on the second, third and fourth goals. In Sutter's opinion, "Arnie was the best player on the ice tonight."

Arnason downplayed the infamous episode as a factor in his scoring four goals and assisting on six in those last six games to take over the team's scoring lead.

"I think the correlation is that we traded away [Steve] Sullivan and [Alex] Zhamnov," the 24-year-old center said. "When you get the opportunity, you have to make the most of it. I've been getting a lot of playing time and the chemistry [with linemates Ruutu and Eric Daze] is very good. That's definitely the reason."

Jason Strudwick and Bryan Berard also scored.

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