Patrick Kane ready to focus on hockey after point streak ends


Patrick Kane ready to focus on hockey after point streak ends

Patrick Kane is human after all.

After a remarkable 26-game point streak, the Blackhawks forward was held pointless — as was the rest of the team — in a 3-0 loss to the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday night.

It was only the third time this season Kane was held off the scoresheet, and he's ready to turn the attention back to winning hockey games.

"It was a good run," Kane said after the game. "Didn't have it tonight. Now I can just focus on playing hockey. It'll be nice not to talk about it anymore. When you have to talk about it every day, it gets a little taxing.

"I'm excited just to play hockey now," he reiterated.

[MORE: Patrick Kane's point streak ends as Blackhawks blanked by Avs]

During the run, Kane had 16 goals and 24 assists, including a seven-game goal-scoring streak and 10 multi-point games.

He set a new record for longest point streak by an American-born player — which was previously 18 games by Phil Kessel and Eddie Olczyk — and also broke the franchise record, passing Bobby Hull's 21-game point streak in a 3-1 win over the Winnipeg Jets on Dec. 6.

Before Tuesday, the last time Kane failed to record a point in a game was Oct. 15 in a 4-1 loss to the Washington Capitals.

That was 61 days ago.

"Amazing, amazing streak," coach Joel Quenneville said. "Commend him on the consistency and preparation. I’m sure it was challenging with the stress and trying to sustain it late in games. And then all of a sudden the attention he’s getting from the opponents and then making sure that he touches it when we’re in the offensive zone. So there’s a lot of things that were going on, but the fact that he was able to sustain it for this strength or this length of time was amazing.

"It was pretty spectacular in today’s game to be on the board for 26 games. ... I've maybe been around some different situations, but I've never been around a streak like that. It was fun."

Kane currently leads the NHL in points with 46, in large part because of his consistency to accumulate points on a nightly basis.

Wayne Gretzky called Kane's streak "exceptional." Mike Modano said he'd been following Kane and his streak, even if it meant catching highlights on YouTube when he couldn't catch it live.

[NBC SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]

The 21,473 fans at the United Center on Tuesday were hoping Kane could scrape out a point in any form toward the final minutes of the game like he had recently done in the past.

But the magic ran out.

"It was a fun run," Kane said, reflecting one last time on the streak. "You never know what's going to happen with the streak. There were a lot of games where it seemed like I was down and out and you end up getting something at the end or whatever it may be. It was fun breaking the American record, I was happy with that, and to break the franchise record, too, that was pretty special as well so it was definitely fun while it lasted."

Kane's 26-game point streak is the longest since Mats Sundin's 30-game point streak in 1992-93. Is it possible for Kane — or any other player, for that matter — to go on another run like that?

"You never know," Quenneville smiled and said half-jokingly. "But the attention that top guys get, it's tough to do it game in, game out."

Blackhawks tie franchise record for shots on goal allowed in one period


Blackhawks tie franchise record for shots on goal allowed in one period

Well, things could be going better for the Blackhawks during Sunday's game against the Lightning.

In the second period Sunday, the Blackhawks surrendered 33 shots on goal, tying a franchise record for most in a single period. The previous instance occurred March 4, 1941 against the Boston Bruins, a game that the Blackhawks lost 3-2.

While the Blackhawks tied a franchise record for shots on goal allowed, they actually set an NHL record at the same time. The NHL did not begin recording shots on goal as an "official" statistic until the 1997-98 season.

Consequentially, Sunday's 33 shots on goal allowed in the second period is the "official" record, even though the Blackhawks accomplished the "feat" nearly 80 years ago. Confusing, huh? 

Unfortunately for the Blackhawks, they also surrendered three goals and scored zero in addition to the plethora of shots on goal allowed. They recorded just six shots on goal in the second period themselves, trailing 4-1 by the time the third period started.

Four takeaways: 'Vintage' Corey Crawford steals two points for Blackhawks


Four takeaways: 'Vintage' Corey Crawford steals two points for Blackhawks

COLUMBUS — Here are four takeaways from the Blackhawks' 4-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena on Saturday:

1. Corey Crawford steals the show

The Blackhawks had no business winning this game. They were being outshot 28-15 through two periods, committed four penalties and gave up 18 high-danger chances in the game. 

But Crawford bailed out his team like he often has done in the past, and was zoned in from the moment the puck dropped. He finished with 37 saves on 38 shots for a save percentage of .974, picking up his first win since Dec. 17, 2017.

"Yeah, I felt good," Crawford said. "I think everyone was playing hard, rebounds, taking away sticks. That was a great effort by everyone."

"He was standing on his head for us," Patrick Kane said. "As Q would say, that’s a goalie win for us."

Said coach Joel Quenneville: "That was vintage Crow."

2. Tic-tac-toe leads to go-ahead goal

The Blue Jackets were clearly the better team through two periods. The Blackhawks were fortunate to go into second intermission with the game still tied at 1-1.

The next goal was crucial, and they got it thanks to a Marcus Kruger redirection goal. The next one was the dagger, a beautiful give-and-go play by Brent Seabrook and Kane, who buried home a wide open net to give the Blackhawks a 3-1 lead with 4:14 left in regulation.

Was Kane expecting Seabrook to pass it back?

"No. Not a chance," Kane said laughing. "That’s his wheelhouse, coming right down there. He scores a lot of goals from that area. Saw it was like a 2-on-2, he was coming late, he jumped in the play on the first goal, did a great job, jumped in the play on that goal. Made a great pass. When I saw it come back, I just tried to stay patient, settle it down and make sure I hit the net, because I knew I had the whole open net."

3. Busy night for PK

The Blackhawks penalty kill was very busy. It was also on it's A-game, partly because their best penalty killer was Crawford.

The Blackhawks spent 6:31 of the first 40 minutes killing penalties, allowing 11 shots total on it. But most importantly, they killed off all four penalties.

"We had some tough clears, but I thought we did some good things," Quenneville said. "We withstood some extended PK zone time there and found a way to keep us in the game. Obviously that next goal was huge and that second period was a big part of them having so much zone time, keeping us in our end. We'll say, hey good job, but Crow was the best penalty killer tonight."

4. Catching up with Kane on Artemi Panarin

Kane and Panarin spent only two seasons together, but they brought Blackhawks fans out of their seats on a nightly basis and it was amazing to watch the instant on-ice chemistry they shared. And most of it was non-verbal, which made it even more impressive. They were always on the same wavelength.

"Sometimes it takes time to build some chemistry but that was one of those things where it was like, I don't want to say instant chemistry, but after one or two preseason games we kind of new that maybe something special was going to happen," Kane told NBC Sports Chicago. "I think he scored in his first game in the NHL, we had a really good game, we had the puck a lot, we sensed that this could be a fun way to play hockey."

Off the ice, Kane said Panarin would use Google translate on his phone to communicate while Kane would try using a Russian accent while saying English words.

The two of them got a chance to hang out for a little bit on Friday and Kane still keeps tabs on his former linemate.

"I always really enjoy watching him," Kane said. "If we have an off night or something, he's a really fun player to watch."