Five Things: Patrick Kane keeps going in Blackhawks win


Five Things: Patrick Kane keeps going in Blackhawks win

ANAHEIM, Calif. — The Anaheim Ducks probably already had the Blackhawks in their nightmares, considering how the Western Conference Final went last spring. The Blackhawks added to their angst on Friday.

After faltering for a good deal of their afternoon game, the Blackhawks came back with a crazy four-minute span, split between regulation and overtime, to beat the Ducks, 3-2. It was a wild finish for what was otherwise a mundane game for the Blackhawks, but they’ll certainly take the end of it.

So before we end this day, let’s look at Five Things to take from the Blackhawks’ comeback victory over the Ducks.

1. Patrick Kane keeps on going. The Blackhawks looked like they were going to get shut out, and Kane’s point streak looked like it would end at 17. But then there was Duncan Keith’s goal, on which Kane had the secondary assist, with a scant 26.6 seconds remaining in regulation. And just like that, Kane’s got a career-best, 18-game point streak, equaling the best run by a U.S.-born player (he shares it with Eddie Olczyk and Phil Kessel). Corey Crawford said, “He could be the best American player of all time, and he’s still young. But he continues to do so many things and be that sort of game changer he’s been his whole career.”

2. Keith keeps scoring. The Blackhawks knew Keith’s return would mean a boost in their game, including on offense. Well, this is what his return has meant: In his six games prior to right-knee surgery, Keith had just two assists. In his seven games since returning, Keith has four goals — including two in as many games — and two assists. Yes, the Blackhawks missed him.

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3. Brent Seabrook quietly goes about his business. It was Seabrook feeding Keith on what would be the game-tying goal and Seabrook again setting up Artem Anisimov for the game winner. Seabrook recorded his second three-point game of the season with three assists during the Blackhawks’ late comeback. Not a bad finish for him, either.

4. Crawford big when necessary. Yes, Crawford got beat on two goals. Those two goals were a 2-on-0 and another odd-man rush, respectively. Otherwise Crawford was strong, holding off a Ducks team that was getting way too good of chances through the first and second periods. He also stopped two of his teammates’ inadvertent shots on him, so credit for those, too.

5. Ducks stunned. The Ducks were the better team through most of this one, there’s no doubt about that. And we’ve seen sturdier tripping calls than the one Ryan Getzlaf got whistled for on Andrew Shaw. But even after giving up the Marian Hossa power-play goal, the Ducks needed to stay calm. They didn’t. As Bruce Boudreau told the Ducks media after the game, “We’ve got to have better composure when we get the puck. We have to go to spots, make plays and not just throw it at (the Blackhawks). That’s what we ended up doing in the last two minutes. We were panicking and throwing it at them.”

Three Things to Watch: Blackhawks collide with Senators

NBC Sports Chicago

Three Things to Watch: Blackhawks collide with Senators

Here are Three Things to Watch when the Blackhawks take on the Ottawa Senators tonight on NBC Sports Chicago and streaming live on the NBC Sports app. Coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. with Blackhawks Pregame Live.

1. Trade chips.

The Blackhawks have reached the point in their season where they have no choice but to become sellers before the Feb. 26 deadline, and we saw that when they traded Michal Kempny to the Washington Capitals on Monday for a conditional third-round pick in 2018. Tommy Wingels could also be an attractive piece for a team looking to fill out their depth.

The Senators will definitely be sellers, and wow do they have some names potentially on the market that can fetch large returns: Derrick Brassard and Mike Hoffman are two players who log top-six minutes on a nightly basis and also have term left on their contract, which is great for teams looking to load up for this year and beyond.

The biggest name to watch, probably in the league altogether, is Erik Karlsson, who could be on the move if a team offers a big enough package for the Senators to pull the trigger now as opposed to in the offseason if they feel him re-signing is a long shot. He was the best defenseman last season, and if a team steps up to get him, they're getting two possible postseason runs out of him.

2. Artem Anisimov's experiment at left wing not working.

Joel Quenneville has tried rekindling the magic between Anisimov, Nick Schmaltz and Patrick Kane as of late, only this time Anisimov is playing the wing and it just hasn't been very effective. The trio was on the ice for each of the two 5-on-5 goals the Kings scored on Monday, and Anisimov completely lost his man on the first one.

It's important to establish a consistent left winger for Schmaltz and Kane, and maybe putting Alex DeBrincat up there is something you consider going forward as part of a long-term solution. Move Anisimov back down as the third-line center to play in more of a defensive role and continue using his big body on power plays for his offensive abilities might be the best bet.

3. Win the special teams battle.

In their last meeting against Ottawa on Jan. 9, the Blackhawks went 4-for-6 on the power play and 4-on-4 on the penalty kill in an 8-2 win. And those are two areas to look out for again.

The Senators own the 28th-ranked power play with a 16.1 percent success rate and 29th-ranked penalty kill with a 74.5 percent success rate. Get ready for another offensive outburst?

Podcast: Which Blackhawks could be on the move before trade deadline?


Podcast: Which Blackhawks could be on the move before trade deadline?

On the latest Blackhawks Talk Podcast, Adam Burish and Pat Boyle discuss which Blackhawks could be on the trading block and what players are building blocks for the Hawks future.

Burish also shares a couple memorable trade deadline days and his “near” return to the Blackhawks in 2012. Plus, he makes his bold trade deadline prediction for the Hawks.

Listen to the full Blackhawks Talk Podcast right here: