It didn't take long for the Blackhawks to erase any fear they would lose momentum during their Christmas break.
The Hawks picked up right where they left off as they scored 1 minute 13 seconds into Friday night's 5-1 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers before a franchise-regular-season-record crowd of 22,712 at the United Center.
The crowd eclipsed the previous regular-season mark of 22,690 on Oct. 25 against the Detroit Red Wings.
The victory extended the Hawks' winning streak to a club-record-tying eight games, matching the mark set during the 1971 season and again in '81. Their fifth victory in a row at home extended the Hawks' points streak to 10 games (9-0-1).
Brian Campbell and Dave Bolland each had a goal and an assist, and Andrew Ladd, Patrick Sharp and Kris Versteeg scored to lift the Hawks' record to 11-1-4 at home and 19-6-7 overall.
Martin Havlat and Patrick Kane each added two assists as the Hawks, playing for the first time in five days, jumped on a Flyers team that experienced travel problems earlier Friday and was unable to have a morning skate.
Early on, Havlat sent a shot that Philadelphia goaltender Martin Biron deflected before it went to Ladd, who knocked in the rebound to give the Hawks a 1-0 lead.
"We came out with lots of energy," Ladd said. "We needed to play the way we had been — skating and pressuring the puck all over the ice. We did a really good job of that. When guys had chances, they finished."
Sharp kept the Hawks' good times rolling 1:22 later with his team-leading 19th goal. Kane stole a Flyers clearing pass and found Sharp alone between the circles. Sharp picked his spot and fired a wrister over Biron's left shoulder into the top right corner of the net.
"I'm not sure if that played a factor or not," Sharp said of the Flyers missing their morning skate. "We were a little rusty as well, and you're always a little hesitant after a couple of days off. But [we] played physical right away, and we were able to get a couple of goals."
Mike Richards scored for Philadelphia, which had defeated the Hawks six straight times and had come in 7-1-2 in its last 10, before the Hawks exploded to put it away.
Campbell gave the Hawks a 3-1 lead early in the third while on a two-man advantage with a shot from the top of the right circle.
Just less than four minutes later Versteeg also scored with the Hawks on a five-on-three. Versteeg's goal from the left of the net came off a rebound of a Dustin Byfuglien shot.
Bolland boosted the lead to 5-1 a minute later when Campbell sent him a pass between the circles, and Bolland shot it past Biron.
"We kept it close for two periods and still had a chance as late as early in the third period," Biron said. "We ended up getting into too much penalty trouble in the third. Chicago is a tough team to beat in their own building."Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun