Blackhawks

4 takeaways: Blackhawks lose to Coyotes in shootout

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USA TODAY

4 takeaways: Blackhawks lose to Coyotes in shootout

The Blackhawks lost 4-3 to the Coyotes in a shootout on Sunday. Here are four takeaways:

Hawks lose steam, but grab five of six points

The Blackhawks had momentum from big wins on the road heading into Sunday's game against the Coyotes at the United Center. On Thursday, the Hawks beat the Bruins 4-3 in overtime in Boston then went to New Jersey on Friday to win 2-1 in a shootout.

After leading 3-1 in the first period off of goals from Jonathan Toews, Alex DeBrincat and Dominik Kubalik, the Hawks' momentum fizzled out as they allowed two unanswered goals from the Coyotes in the second period and went on to fall 4-3 in the shootout. 

As disappointing as it might be that the Hawks were again unable to put a decent winning streak together - they only have one of three or more wins through 30 games this season; Nov. 10-17: four games - they did grab five out of a possible six points in their past three games. 

Toews me, bro

Jonathan Toews picked up a goal and two assists in the first period against Arizona, recording at least three points in a period for the ninth time in his career.

His goal came 53 seconds into the game, deflecting a Calvin de Haan backhand pass from the opposite side of the crease into the net off the back of his blade. It was career goal No. 333 (Hi, Mr. Foley) for the captain.

Toews has four points in his past three games.

DeBrincat stays hot

DeBrincat recorded a three-game goal streak with a first period power-play goal on Sunday. It was the first time since Feb. 22-27 of last season that the Blackhawks recorded power-play goals in three consecutive games. 

DeBrincat made a move to the net and scored from in front of the crease, shooting the puck under the crossbar after getting a pass from Patrick Kane on the power play.

He was goalless in his past 13 games prior to Thursday. 

Schmaltz has triumphant return to UC

Nick Schmaltz returned to the United Center for the first time since Chicago traded him to Arizona for Dylan Strome and Brendan Perlini on Nov. 25, 2018. Schmaltz, who had 14 points (five goals, nine assists) in 17 games with the Coyotes before a season-ending knee surgery, had 91 points (29 goals, 62 assists) in 162 games with the Blackhawks from 2016-2018. 

The 23-year-old center picked up two assists and scored in the shootout for the Coyotes Sunday against his former team. Schmaltz has 22 points (five goals, 17 assists) in 32 games with Arizona this season. 

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Jonathan Toews named NHL's Third Star of the week

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USA Today

Jonathan Toews named NHL's Third Star of the week

The Blackhawks (24-20-6, 54 points) are on fire, having won five straight games to vault them back into the Western Conference playoff picture.

Jonathan Toews has been key to that stretch, and on Monday, he was recognized for his recent stellar play by being named the NHL's Third Star of the week. Alex Ovechkin and Elvis Merzlikins nabbed the top two spots:

In four games between Jan. 14 and Jan. 19 (all Blackhawks wins, of course), Toews led the NHL in points with nine (three goals, six assists). And none of them were empty. Among myriad highlights was this game-winning slingshot to beat the Senators 3-2 in overtime to kick off the week (the 15th overtime game-winner of his career):

His two-goal, two-assist outing against the Maple Leaf days later was pretty fun, too:

Toews rides a six-game point streak into Tuesday night's bout with the Florida Panthers. If he extends it, he'll become the sixth player in Blackhawks history to reach 800 career points. 

The milestones and accolades are piling up for The Captain and, crucially, they're translating in the win column for the Blackhawks.

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What 1,000 NHL points means to Patrick Kane and what's next for Blackhawks superstar

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AP

What 1,000 NHL points means to Patrick Kane and what's next for Blackhawks superstar

It was never a matter of if and only a matter of when Patrick Kane would reach 1,000 career NHL points. He tried his best not to let it creep into his mind as he got closer to the number, but it was difficult not to.

Kane entered Sunday's game sitting at 999 points after picking up one the night before on Hockey Night in Canada to extend his point streak to nine games. He needed only one more to make history and did so, fittingly, in front of a sold-out United Center crowd of 21,487.

Kane recorded the secondary assist on Brandon Saad's goal in the third period to make it 4-1 and the entire team left the bench to mob Kane thanks to captain Jonathan Toews, who orchestrated the ordeal and cleared it with league officials. 

"What a moment, obviously, with everyone coming onto the ice and sharing that moment with me," Kane said following a 5-2 victory over the Winnipeg Jets. "You see some faces in that pile that have been a big part of a lot of those points, whether it’s been [Toews] or [Duncan Keith] or [Alex] DeBrincat recently, [Saad] to finish it off I think was pretty cool. ... As far as everyone coming onto the ice and sharing that with me is something I’ll never forget."

Kane became the youngest American-born player to hit the 1,000-point mark and fourth player in Blackhawks history to accomplish that feat, joining Denis Savard (1,096), Bobby Hull (1,153) and Stan Mikita (1,497). Only 89 other players in NHL history are part of the 1,000-point club; Kane makes it 90.

[RELATED: Kane first star interview]

"He's one of those elite players," Brandon Saad said. "He's one of those few who can achieve goals like that. All you can say is good things about him. He's a special player. He keeps getting better with age. He's fun to play with."

It was a memorable night in Chicago, but there was something missing. Kane’s parents couldn't attend due to inclement weather in their hometown of Buffalo. His dad, Pat Kane Sr., made it to all 41 home games last season.

“It’s tough not having them here,” Kane said. “They’ve been a big part of my career. I’m sure I’ll talk to them after this and hopefully there will be some better moments in the future that they’ll be here for.”

Kane’s list of accolades in his NHL career is only getting longer and will continue to get longer. Three Stanley Cups. Conn Smythe Trophy recipient. Art Ross Trophy winner. League MVP. Now a member of the 1,000-point club.

"It’s special," Kane said. "I’ve been very fortunate in my career, whether it’s been getting drafted by Chicago or making some decisions when I was younger to move away at 14 years old, a freshman in high school, forgo college and play in London for a year.

"Obviously, Chicago winning the lottery, getting drafted by Chicago, then having a lot of good pieces in place here with some great players where we could turn the corner pretty fast and become a good team. There were a lot of things that were lined up. When you reach a milestone like this you think of all those players you played with that had a big part of it. It’s been a fun ride."

Even though he’s accomplished just about everything in his hockey life, Kane is still hungry for more.

[RELATED: Kane's road to 1,000 career points]

So what’s next?

"1,001," Kane laughed. "Start there and then move forward."

But really, there's only one goal.

"Maybe a few more Cups," Kane said to Chicago crowd after being named No. 1 star of the game. "That would be nice, right?"

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