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Professional

NHL: Hawks whip wheeled wing

Right around the time Jakub Kindl was flicking the puck into his own goal, the Red Wings probably were happy they will face the Blackhawks only twice per season in the future, thanks to NHL realignment.

In the final Central Division meeting between the teams in Detroit, the Hawks (26-5-3) annihilated the Wings 7-1 on Sunday at Joe Louis Arena.

It was the Hawks’ sixth straight win over their Original Six rival.

“After [Sunday’s] game, we’re going to miss them, seeing it was 7-1,” said Hawks center Dave Bolland, who snapped a scoring slump with two goals.

Brandon Saad had two goals and an assist, Jonathan Toews a goal and two assists, and Jeremy Morin and Nick Leddy also scored. Corey Crawford made 33 saves, narrowly missing a shutout. Cory Emmerton scored with 33 seconds left.

The Hawks hit goaltender Jimmy Howard with three goals during a span of 1 minute, 39 seconds, kicked off by rookie Morin’s score 2:33 into the game. After Saad notched his first of the game to make it 2-0, Kindl scored into his own goal.

Toews made it 4-0 early in the second to end Howard’s day and Saad greeted Jonas Gustavsson with another tally 8 seconds later. Then it was all frosting, as Bolland and Leddy added third-period goals.

Star of the game: Brandon Saad, Blackhawks, 2 goals, 1 assist

Off the schneid: Blackhawks rookie Jeremy Morin opens scoring with first NHL goal

Up next: Predators at Blackhawks, 7:30 tonight, CSN/720 AM

Last clash: Teams meet for last time as Western Conference rivals April 12 at the United Center

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