Kane strikes three to lead Blackhawks to victory


Patrick Kane was at his mercurial best as he scored his first ever regular season hat-trick and an assist to help the Chicago Blackhawks record a 4-1 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The deadlock could not be broken in the first period, but Kane let lose in the second, scoring two goals in four minutes to put the Blackhawks 2-0 up.

Artemi Panarin made it 3-0 before Toronto's Morgan Reilly pulled one back but it was of little consolation and Kane sealed the win with his third of the game and 28th of the season.

Kane's coach Joel Quenneville was shocked to learn he had never scored a regular season hat-trick before.

"It might be my fault that he never had a hat trick because we don't play him much when we get leads like that," Quenneville joked.

"I had no clue it was his first hat trick. I would have bet he had more than a handful. He nearly had one the other night but he missed the empty net so it was nice to see him come back with one tonight."

Elsewhere, a blistering first period from the Anaheim Ducks set up a 4-2 win over the Dallas Stars.

The Ducks stormed to a 4-0 lead within six minutes and though they would not score for the rest of the game, their lead was too big for the Stars to pull back.

Goals from Mattias Janmark and Jamie Benn - his 26th of the season - were not enough for the Stars who were left to rue a shocking start.

Elsewhere, the Boston Bruins posted a comfortable 4-1 win against the Buffalo Sabres.

The Sabres took a 1-0 lead into the first break but were overrun in the second and third periods.

The Vancouver Canucks beat the Carolina Hurricanes 3-2 thanks to a clinching overtime goal from Bo Horvat, while the Vladislav Namestnikov scored an overtime goal - his third of the game - to seal the Tampa Bay Lightning's 5-4 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Blake Wheeler scored the only goal as the Winnipeg Jets completed a shutout against the Minnesota Wild in a 1-0 win.