GLENDALE, Ariz. — Jamal Mayers punched Raffi Torres in the face, then Patrick Kane punched the rest of the Coyotes in the gut.
It didn't take long for the Blackhawks to get their reprisal on Torres and not much longer to get the last laugh, too, as they drilled the Coyotes 6-2 on Thursday night at Jobing.com Arena.
Jobing.com Arena, Westgate City Center, Glendale, AZ 85305, USA
United Center, 1901 West Madison Street, Chicago, IL 60612, USA
In Torres' first appearance against the Hawks since his 21-game suspension for an illegal hit that seriously injured Marian Hossa during the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs ended, Mayers confronted the Coyotes veteran just 2 minutes, 35 seconds into the game.
Hossa watched from the bench as the two dropped the gloves and threw flurries of punches during the spirited bout. With that out of the way, it was time for Kane & Co. to get to work.
Kane had two goals and an assist — all in the first period — Jonathan Toews, Bryan Bickell and Viktor Stalberg each had a goal and an assist and Dave Bolland also scored as the Hawks remained unbeaten in regulation at 9-0-2.
"I realize what my job is at this point," Mayers said. "It still doesn't excuse what (Torres did) but give (him) credit that he was willing to go."
Said Torres: "(The Hossa incident) is in the past and part of the game but I understand that if I go out there and run around and throw some hits then I'm going to have to answer the bell sometimes. (Thursday night) was a perfect example."
Patrick Sharp added three assists and Ray Emery earned the victory in goal to help the Hawks move to 3-0-2 on their season-long, six-game trip. Martin Hanzal and Torres scored for the Coyotes and Mike Smith, who was yanked in the second period, suffered the loss.
"What Jamal did was great for the team and put that to rest," said Emery, who made 22 saves to up his record to 3-0-0.
"More important was to get the two points and stay focused, not let that whole situation get the best of us. I think we did that."
After the Mayers-Torres showdown, the Hawks exploded with four unanswered goals: one from Stalberg and two from Kane surrounding one from Bolland.
"We had a great start," Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said. "We had real good purpose to our game. … It was a great effort across the board. I was pleased with every aspect of our game, the contribution from each guy."
After Hanzal's goal early in the second, Toews and Bickell put the game out of reach.
Kane has eight goals and 10 assists in 11 games.
"It's always nice scoring goals when you're winning," Kane said. "Hopefully it's something I can continue and we can keep winning games."
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