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Brendan Perlini had a goal and two assists, and the Blackhawks held off a furious Toronto comeback to beat the Maple Leafs 5-4 on Wednesday night.

 

Brandon Saad had a goal and an assist, and Duncan Keith, Dominik Kahun and Alex DeBrincat also scored as Chicago jumped out to a 5-0 lead before holding on. Dylan Strome added two assists for the Blackhawks, who have won four straight and crept within four points of the Arizona Coyotes for the second wild card in the Western Conference.

 

Chicago led 5-1 after two periods but then gave up 29 shots in the third.

 

Corey Crawford stopped 17 of 18 shots through two periods before leaving the game due to illness. Colin Delia had 26 saves during the onslaught in the third.

 

Before their current win streak, the Blackhawks had lost four of five. However, the trend has been positive lately in a streaky campaign as they won for 15th time in 21 games.

 

Auston Matthews, Morgan Rielly, and Andreas Johnsson each had a goal and an assist for Toronto, and John Tavares also scored. William Nylander and Mitch Marner each had two assists. Frederik Andersen gave up four goals on 14 shots in the first before he was replaced by Garret Sparks, who finished with 24 saves.

 

The Maple Leafs were coming off a 6-2 home loss to Tampa Bay on Monday after a three-game trip to western Canada, and followed it up with a sloppy, uninspired performance through two periods.

Chicago dominated from the opening faceoff and went ahead 1-0 at 3:19 of the first period when Keith's shot that was deflected by Nylander, rattled around between Andersen's pads and slid over the goal line.

 

The Blackhawks went up by two with 7:05 left when Perlini cut into the middle and whipped a knuckling puck against the grain on Andersen for his 12th of the season and fifth in the last four games.

 

Tavares lost the puck at the offensive blue line, leading to a 2-on-1 break the other way that saw Patrick Kane feed Kahun for his 12th with 2:47 remaining.

 

Saad was left all alone in front to tuck his 23rd with 1:14 left in the period as four Toronto players were caught puck-watching.

 

Andersen was replaced by Sparks to start the second, marking the first time in his career he's been pulled in consecutive games.

 

Chicago made it 5-0 with 7 1/2 minutes remaining in the middle period when DeBrincat roofed a shot past Sparks for his 38th.

 

Toronto finally got on the board with 1:33 left in the second when Rielly had his shot deflected in by Johnsson for his 20th.

 

Matthews pulled the Maple Leafs to 5-2 at 7:57 of the third with his 32nd. Rielly's shot on the power play got through traffic and beat Delia with just over 9 minutes remaining, and Tavares stuffed his career-high 39th with 1:31 left.
 

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