CHICAGO -- The United Center crowd saluted Dave Bolland with a standing ovation as the Maple Leafs center returned to the arena for the first time since scoring the goal that lifted the Blackhawks to the 2013 Stanley Cup.
The Hawks commanded the applause for the rest of the game as they used a stifling defense and timely scoring in their most complete effort of the season to skate to a 3-1 victory over the Leafs in an Original Six matchup Saturday night.
"Start to finish it was what we're looking for," Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said after the Hawks outshot the Leafs 40-20 and controlled the pace of the game to extend their points streak to five consecutive games with their fourth victory in the last five.
Brandon Pirri had a goal and an assist while Bryan Bickell and Michael Kostka also scored to provide the offense for goaltender Corey Crawford as the Hawks improved to 5-1-2.
Crawford allowed only Nazem Kadri's second-period power-play goal to win the netminding battle over Jonathan Bernier.
"That was a better 60 minutes," Bickell said. "We had a good team game. Our (defense) ... was stopping and facing the play and shutting things down."
Bickell showed tremendous patience to record his first goal of the season to put the Hawks in front early in the second period. After the winger sent a shot on goal that Bernier stopped but fumbled the rebound into the slot, Bickell scooped it up, circled to the side of the net with the puck on his backhand before tucking in a forehander as the goalie dove to stop it.
"I didn't really know I had that in me," Bickell said. "I know (Marcus) Kruger and (Andrew) Shaw were driving the net creating havoc. To get that opportunity and to score was huge."
Not long after with the Leafs on the power play, Kadri was camped in the slot and scored when he redirected a pass from Joffrey Lupul past Crawford.
Kostka became the fourth Hawks player this season to notch his first-career regular-season goal -- and it came against his former team -- when the defenseman walked into the right circle and ripped a wrist shot past Bernier to the stick side.
The Hawks scored their first power-play goal in three games when Pirri shoveled in a pass from Brandon Saad. The 6-foot, 183-pound Pirri had just gotten up after hitting the ice following a crosscheck from Leafs defenseman Paul Ranger.
"It's a little different being in front but there's so much skill, everyone moves," Pirri said. "Saad made a great pass and found me back door. If you're going to score in this league you have to get in the gritty areas (so) I stuck with it."
It was Pirri's second goal in three games this season as the rookie looks to solidify a roster spot.
"The puck is just finding my stick right now," Pirri said. "I'm just trying to do the little things right."
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