Blackhawks' Kane carries goal streak into game vs. Lightning
Tampa Bay Lightning at Chicago Blackhawks
- The Blackhawks defeated the Lightning in a six-game Stanley Cup Final in 2015 -- and have not won a playoff series since. The Hawks have beaten Tampa Bay only once since that series (1-3-2); the Lightning have won the last five meetings, including two in overtime.
CHICAGO -- Jonathan Toews may have gotten the Chicago Blackhawks' offense rolling in the right direction.
Patrick Kane has taken the baton.
Kane, who has scored seven goals in the past seven games, looks to extend his streak when the Blackhawks host the Tampa Bay Lightning on Sunday at the United Center. Kane accounted for two of Chicago's three third-period goals in a 4-1 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday night.
Chicago (4-1-2) won for the first time in regulation this season and hopes to build off of it against the Lightning, who lost 5-4 in overtime to the Minnesota Wild on Saturday.
The Blackhawks' offense provided plenty of goal-scoring for Corey Crawford, who logged 37 saves in his second game back after making his first appearance in 10 months earlier this week.
Given the back-to-back nature of Sunday's game after Crawford made the start Saturday in Columbus, whether he is back in net Sunday against the Lightning likely won't be decided until Sunday.
But Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville liked what he saw Saturday.
"That was vintage Crow," Quenneville told reporters afterSaturday's win, according to NBC Sports Chicago.
Kane added, "As (Quenneville) would say, that's a goalie win for us."
As Kane continued to surge ahead offensively, Crawford appears to be fully back despite the amount of time he missed with the concussion. Crawford posted the victory by stopping 37 of the 38 shots he faced to secure his first victory.
"Felt really good," Crawford told reporters, according to the Chicago Tribune. "(I) was reading plays really well. I thought our (defensemen) were blocking shots and I don't know how many we tipped into the net. (Columbus) had a lot of speed and we were taking that away."
Now, Chicago, which many pundits predicted would miss the playoffs for a second straight season, will look to carry the momentum of Saturday's solid performance on the road into Sunday's game back at home.
Before the season began, Kane and his teammates stressed the importance of a strong start. The Blackhawks have gotten what they wished for.
"That was really our focus this year," Kane told reporters, according to the Tribune. "We're happy with our start, (but) we can play a little bit better."
Tampa Bay (4-1-1) won't have much time to recover from Saturday's loss to the Wild in which the Lightning watched a 3-1 lead disappear after the first period and needed an Anton Stralman goal in the third period to force overtime.
Andrei Vasilevsky made 29 saves for the Lightning, who saw their three-game winning streak end with Saturday's loss.
"This one stings," Lightning defenseman Ryan McDonaugh told reporters after the loss, according to TampaBay.com. "We've got to learn here to not take a period off."
After such a quick start when Tampa Bay got goals from Ryan Callahan (his first of the season) and J.T. Miller, it appeared the Lightning were on their way.
"I think we stopped doing the things that made us successful in the first period," Stralman told reporters.
Updated October 21, 2018