Blackhawks

Quick Hits from Blackhawks-Predators Game 1: Get to the net

Quick Hits from Blackhawks-Predators Game 1: Get to the net

The second and third period were pretty good. The first wasn't. Overall, it wasn't a bad game for the Blackhawks but they got away from what worked for them, including traffic in front of the net. The Nashville Predators didn't do too much on their end, either, but they did enough.

So the Predators take Game 1, 1-0. Before we head out for the evening, let's look at some of the notables.

What worked: The Predators' checking game. It's probably not a formula that's going to work over the long haul but it worked to take Game 1. After getting that first-period lead the Predators bent but didn't break, giving up a little but not too much. Said coach Joel Quenneville, "they were happy to check the rest of the game and they did a good job of having the lead and trying to frustrate us."

What didn't work: The Blackhawks' net-front game. Credit the Predators for part of this. As Niklas Hjalmarsson said, "they out-battled us a bit," making it difficult for the Blackhawks to get around Pekka Rinne. But the Blackhawks reverted back to an old habit of not working hard enough to get that space in front. Their slow start to the first period was a problem, too. But even when they were getting shots early, they were from too far away.

Star of the game: Pekka Rinne. The Predators were on the attack in the first period but were otherwise on the defensive against the Blackhawks. Enter Rinne, who denied the Blackhawks at every opportunity. Sure, the Predators blocked their share of shots in front of him. And coach Joel Quenneville thought the Blackhawks could have had much more quality against him. But a postseason shutout is a postseason shutout, and Rinne earned it.

He said it: "We know it's going to be a long series. We knew we were not going to sweep them. It's a good hockey team. It's a really good team. So we knew it was going to be a big challenge. It's a new game on [Saturday]. Just have to regroup." Hjalmarsson on the Blackhawks' Game 1 loss.

By the Numbers:

24:23 – Time on ice for Patrick Kane, the most of any forward on Thursday. Artemi Panarin was next with 21:31 of ice time.

13:46 – Amount of time the Blackhawks went without a shot in the first period, from Artemi Panarin's attempt at 6:08 to Duncan Keith's with six seconds remaining in the period.

26 – Shots blocked by the Predators. They had 19 of those through the second period. Roman Josi led the Predators with five blocks.

7 – Hits logged by Richard Panik, a game high.

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.