Blackhawks end slide with win over Pens

Chicago Blackhawks left wing Alex DeBrincat, left, scores against Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Casey DeSmith during the second period of an NHL hockey game Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago Blackhawks finally got to celebrate Wednesday night.

It had been a while.

Jonathan Toews had a goal and two assists, and Chicago stopped an eight-game losing streak with a 6-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins.

“I think we played a winning style tonight,” coach Jeremy Colliton said. “Direct, hard-nosed. Hopefully that’ll turn into more points.

“So nice to see them get rewarded, because we played really hard in some other games and didn’t come out with a point.”

Marcus Kruger, Brent Seabrook, Andreas Martinsen, Brandon Saad each had a goal and an assist in Chicago’s first win since Nov. 24 at Florida. Alex DeBrincat scored a power-play goal.

Toews became the 16th active player to reach 700 career points with the same franchise. He assisted on Saad’s empty-netter for his 701st point.

Kruger snapped a 3-all tie when he beat Casey DeSmith from the front of the crease 3:49 into the third period. Martinsen set up Kruger’s fourth goal of the season with a centering pass from below the goal line.

Toews also had an empty-netter before Saad made it 6-3 with his ninth goal at 19:39.

“It’s a relief, but it’s definitely just a good feeling,” Toews said. “The guys have something to celebrate, something to enjoy. It’s something we’ve got to be aware of and build off.”

Bryan Rust scored three times for Pittsburgh in his second career hat trick. The 26-year-old forward, who entered with one goal in 29 games this season, missed on several other prime chances.

“He had a great night,” coach Mike Sullivan said. “I thought he worked hard for all of his opportunities. He was one of the guys that we had that was skating, that was on the puck, that was playing the game on his toes.”

Sullivan said many of his other players didn’t have the same level of “jump” Rust did.

“We scratch and claw and get ourselves back in the game,” Sullivan said. “It’s disappointing we didn’t find a way to win.

“It’s a missed opportunity from our standpoint.”

The Penguins entered 3-0-1 in their previous four and 6-2-2 in their last 10.

Corey Crawford made 40 saves for last-place Chicago. DeSmith blocked 23 shots in his sixth straight start and 10th in the last 12 games.

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