Blackhawks

Predators 'will not go away quietly' after Game 4 loss

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Predators 'will not go away quietly' after Game 4 loss

The visiting locker room inside the United Center was dead silent early Wednesday morning. 

After 101 minutes of play in Game 4 against the Blackhawks, the Nashville Predators sat at their stalls at the end of their longest game in team history, only to pack up after a disappointing loss that left them down 3-1 in their opening-round playoff series.

"We were in it. It was a fun game," Craig Smith said. "We played hard. Just sucks."

[MORE: Blackhawks win triple-OT thriller over Predators in Game 4]

The players were exhausted by the time Brent Seabrook's game-winning goal went in to end Tuesday's triple-overtime contest. And like the previous three games in the series, the Predators felt they were right in it with the Blackhawks, only to miss out on a look that Chicago managed to capitalize on.

"I thought we did all the right things," Smith continued. "We had a lot of emotion on our bench, we were fired up. These types of games there are going to be funny bounces so that's why you shoot. We had some really good looks, we had the chance to put the puck in the net but just couldn't quite get it."

The Predators took the lead in the first period off a goal from Colin Wilson, but it took Antoine Vermette just over a minute to score his first goal with the Blackhawks to tie things up. 

The Predators then managed to use second period to their advantage after being outscored 18-4 during that frame in their last 10 contests. James Neal found the back of the net, closing out a strong 40 minutes for Nashville before the Blackhawks outplayed them in the third.

"I think we played two really good periods," Roman Josi said. "In the third we sat back a little bit and they came at us. But even in OT we had our chances. They had their chances too, but just didn't go our way.

[SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]

"We have to play the same way as we did for two periods today. I thought we were the better team the first two periods. We were up 2-1. We just have to come out with a lot of energy, these games are so tight. Little mistakes are going to burn you so we have to limit those."

After such an emotionally-charged game, the Predators couldn't help but feel tremendous disappointment. But they're confident that a return to Nashville could be just the boost they need to get the series back to Chicago.

A 3-1 deficit is a tough pill to swallow, but the Predators have no doubt that they'll be ready to bring their best performance for their most important game of the season on Thursday.

"Eventually the sun will come up tomorrow," head coach Peter Laviolette said. "Our guys are resilient. They will not cave. And they will not go away quietly. So they'll be ready to play Game 5, I promise you."

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?"

Attention Dish and Sling customers! You have lost your Blackhawks games on NBC Sports Chicago. To switch providers, visit mysportschicago.com.

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Patrick Kane receives the championship belt from Jonathan Toews after getting to 1K

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USA TODAY

Patrick Kane receives the championship belt from Jonathan Toews after getting to 1K

Patrick Kane added a special milestone onto the Blackhawks' fifth-straight win, scoring the 1,000th point of his NHL career.

Kane was emotional after the overall awesome night capped off by his amazing feat. Jonathan Toews made sure that Kane received the "championship belt" that the Blackhawks give to the team's top player after every win. Toews called it a  "no brainer" of a decision. 

Kane was overjoyed and emotional speaking tp his teammates, stating, "that was absolutely unreal, obviously getting 1,000 points but having you guys come on the ice there and share it with me was a great moment."

Obviously the big focus on the night was Kaner's amazing career achievement but even he wanted to make sure the overall team success doesn't go unnoticed. Kane knows how confident the team is right now and wants to keep the wins going. 

[RELATED: Patrick Kane makes NHL history]

"It's been fun here for a long time," stated Kane, and with 1,000 career points and No. 88 hopefully a Chicago Blackhawk for the rest of his career, it will be fun for much, much longer.

Attention Dish and Sling customers! You have lost your Blackhawks games on NBC Sports Chicago. To switch providers, visit mysportschicago.com.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Blackhawks easily on your device.