Blackhawks Blank Islanders

It took 10 tries. But finally, the Chicago Blackhawks found a way to win on their home ice.

They used an aggressive offense from the opening faceoff, scoring four first-period goals. And they got 24 saves from Steve Passmore to beat the New York Islanders 5-0 Friday night.

"A huge win for us," said Passmore, who started for the struggling Jocelyn Thibault for his first NHL shutout. "We needed it, our confidence did. The shutout didn't matter, it was the win."

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  • The Blackhawks, whose nine-game winless streak at home (0-6-3) opening a season was their longest in 63 years, gave fans at the United Center something to cheer about with a scoring deluge against Felix Potvin, who had blanked Carolina two days earlier.

    "It was a long time coming. We got our offense started the way we wanted to," said Tony Amonte, who scored twice.

    "It was nice the fans stayed behind us. It was a long haul here at home with no wins. They were feeling the pain like we were."

    Passmore (3-2-1) held on to his shutout when an apparent New York goal with three seconds left was wiped out because a penalty was called before the puck went into the net.

    "Almost, but they called it off. There might be an asterisk beside it. But I'll take the win," he said. The early scoring, he said, "made my job easier and let me calm down."

    "I don't think goaltending won us the game."

    Two minutes into the game, Chicago's Josef Marha scored on a rebound of Eric Daze's shot that hit hard off the boards behind the net and ricocheted right to him.

    Amonte got a centering pass from Doug Gilmour and his shot just got by Potvin for a two-goal lead less than three minutes after. Chicago was far from finished. Blair Atcheynum took a pass from Bob Probert and scored again for a 3-0 lead less than eight minutes into the game.

    A frustrated Potvin was then pulled in place of Wade Flaherty and slammed his stick against the boards as he departed. He was back on the ice in 25 seconds.

    He gave up his fourth of the period when Sylvain Cote scored on a power play at 16:42.

    Amonte got his second goal and seventh of the season early in the second, skating behind the net and then cutting quickly and beating Potvin on the glove side. Potvin, who gave up six goals to Florida on Oct. 26, was pulled again.

    "At that point, it's 5-0. I've been taken out before. It's no big deal," Potvin said.

    "We have no excuses. We just weren't ready. I can't explain it. I wish I could. I didn't make it. I can't let the team go down three goals right off the bat."

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