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It's a bad trip in every way
With the New York area digging out from a massive snowstorm, the NHL considered postponing Saturday's game between the Blackhawks and New York Islanders.
From the Hawks' standpoint, that might not have been a bad idea. Their winless streak is now 13 after the Islanders routed them 5-2 before a sparse turnout of 3,863 at Nassau Coliseum.
The victory snapped a seven-game losing streak for the Islanders. It was only the second loss in Long Island for the Hawks in their last 20 games there.
Saturday night was a continuation of a bad two days for the Hawks on the East Coast. They were scheduled to leave Chicago on their charter flight at 1 p.m. Friday for LaGuardia Airport.
They finally took off at 4 p.m., bound for JFK because LaGuardia was shut down. By the time they got off the plane and their bus inched its way through the blizzard to their hotel, it was nearly 10 p.m.
The Islanders were the only one of the three New York-area teams to play at home Saturday, and late in the morning the league pondered whether the game should be postponed as heavy snow and high winds were expected to continue throughout the day.
The Hawks' bus from the hotelwhich is just behind the arenagot stuck in a snowdrift and had to be pushed out by a group of teenagers.
After the game, the Hawks didn't know if their charter would be able to fly them home, where they are to play Phoenix at the United Center on Sunday night.
Despite all that, the Hawks got off to a good start against an Islanders team that had been struggling just as badly as its guests.
Mark Bell gave the Hawks the lead for the first time in five games when he took a Mikhail Yakubov pass, turned and fired a shot over the right shoulder of goalie Rick DiPietro four minutes into the first period.
The Hawks then killed off a two-man Islanders advantage for more than a minute.
But on the first shift after killing the two penalties, the Islanders' Alexei Yashin scored the first of his two goals when he put a rebound of his own shot through Craig Anderson from a bad angle at 8:15 of the first.
At 8:25 of the second period, Dave Scatchard scored his first goal of the season off a rebound from a Mariusz Czerkawski shot and the rout was on.
DiPietro made a diving stop on an Igor Korolev shot and Kyle Calder hit the postthe first of three posts the Hawks hit on the nightbefore rookie Trent Hunter banged in a rebound from a goal-mouth scramble to make it 3-1 going into the third.
"We had our opportunities and we didn't put them away," Hawks coach Brian Sutter said in what has become a familiar refrain.
The Hawks have scored two or fewer goals in eight out of their last nine games.
Yashin scored his second goal 1:24 into the third period. Yashin came into the game with only one goal in his previous 13 games, and as a team, the Islanders had only seven goals in their previous seven games.
Eric Cairns made it 5-1 with a shot through a screen from just inside the blue line. The Hawks' Tyler Arnason closed the scoring with his first goal in 11 games.
Tribune staff reporter Bob Foltman contributed to this report.