Kane, Blackhawks veto Senators in shootout

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Kane, Blackhawks veto Senators in shootout

Friday, Jan. 7, 2011
Posted 10:08 PM Updated 11:22 PM

By Tracey Myers
CSNChicago.com

The Chicago Blackhawks didnt play their prettiest game against the Ottawa Senators on Friday night. But for a team thats looking to get points any way they can, it was effective.

Patrick Sharp scored his 24th goal of the season and Patrick Kane scored for the first time in his last eight games as the Blackhawks took a 3-2 shootout victory over the Senators at the United Center.

The Blackhawks had another slow start and held a slim 2-1 lead in the third before Milan Michalek tied it with 1:25 remaining in regulation.

But the Blackhawks, who have lost a lot of points late, forced it to the shootout, where Jonathan Toews got the winner.

We were looking pretty good at 2-1 and it was tough to give up (the Michalek) goal there, Kane said. But we kept our composure. All of us knew this was a game we had to have.

It was also a welcome night for Kane, who had been trying to get his scoring touch back since returning from his left-ankle injury. Kane caused Erik Karlssons turnover, then beat Ottawa netminder Brian Elliott 5-hole to put the Blackhawks up 2-1.

I thought he made a great play there and got better as the game progressed, coach Joel Quenneville said. It was nice to see the timeliness of the goal.

Defenseman Brent Seabrook said Kane has been scratching at the door the last couple of games here. Hes been getting some points, but its nice to see him put one in and get that excitement back.

WATCH: Patrick Kane excited, optimistic

But it was Sharp with the resuscitating goal in the second period, a deflection of Brian Campbells blue-line shot that woke up the Blackhawks and the fans.

Sharp is just one goal shy of his total all of last season (25).

The timeliness of that goal was huge for us, Quenneville said. We didnt have a lot going offensively until that went in. Whether its power play or timeliness, game in-game out hes been the one staple for us all year.

The Blackhawks got just enough on Friday night.

No, it wasnt the most stylish game and the Blackhawks definitely would like a better start. But the two points they got are nevertheless vital in a tight Western Conference race.

Weve had a lot of games where we havent gotten two points out of the third and it was disappointing to give up the tying goal, Sharp said. There are definitely areas we can be better at, but were all going home with the win.

Leddy returns

Nick Leddy, who was recalled from Rockford Friday morning, logged 15:41 of ice time against Ottawa. Quenneville was happy with the rookie and partner Jordan Hendry.

I thought he did a good job; that was a nice pair for us, Quenneville said. They skated well together, skated out of trouble. They had good zone presence in the offensive end, very nice and patient with the puck.

Briefly

Toews shootout winner was the sixth of his career. He has now converted 17 of 30 (57 percent) shootout shots in his career.

Ryan Johnson, Nick Boynton and John Scott were the Blackhawks healthy scratches on Friday night.

The Blackhawks were credited with 44 hits to the Senators 37.

The Blackhawks will have a Heritage Night for the 1961 Stanley Cup championship team on Sunday night when they face the New York Islanders.

Tracey Myers is CSNChicago.com's Blackhawks Insider. Follow Tracey on Twitter @TramyersCSN for up-to-the-minute Hawks information.

Jonathan Toews sets up game-winner as Team Canada wins World Cup

Jonathan Toews sets up game-winner as Team Canada wins World Cup

Jonathan Toews set up the game-winning goal to Brad Marchand as Team Canada rallied back to beat Europe, 2-1, to complete the two-game sweep in the final at the World Cup of Hockey.

After Patrice Bergeron tied the game with a tip-in on the power play late in the third period, Drew Doughty was sent to the box for tripping, giving Europe a power play for a chance to respond.

But midway through the man advantage, the Blackhawks captain retrieved the puck and carried it into Europe territory before dropping it off to Marchand, who snapped home the shorthanded game-winner with 43 seconds remaining in regulation.

It was the second goal in a span of 2:09, helping Canada capture their second straight World Cup title (2004).

Sidney Crosby was named MVP of the tournament after scoring four goals and seven assists in six games. 

Toews was fourth among all players in the tournament with five points (three goals and two assists).

Erik Gustafsson knows landing roster spot with Blackhawks won’t be easy

Erik Gustafsson knows landing roster spot with Blackhawks won’t be easy

Erik Gustafsson looked around the Blackhawks’ room at where fellow defensemen stalls would probably be as the season approached.

“You have Brian (Campbell) back, (Michal) Kempny here, obviously and all the other guys,” Gustafsson said. “It’s going to be tough, but I like it.”

The Blackhawks’ biggest Achilles heel last season was defense, especially after Trevor Daley was traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins. That opened the door for young players, including Gustafsson, to get bigger opportunities. This year the defense should be stronger with Campbell’s return. So for guys like Gustafsson, cracking this lineup just got that much tougher.

During the summer, assistant coach Mike Kitchen talked potential pairings as Duncan Keith-Niklas Hjalmarsson, Campbell-Brent Seabrook, Kempny-Trevor van Riemsdyk. As of now, the team is expecting Keith to be ready for the season opener. Keith has been participating in a practice a day but whether or not he plays in any preseason games is uncertain right now.

If it starts out that way, Gustafsson would be on the outside looking in.

But first things first: Gustafsson is focused on building off experience gained last season — he played 41 games, recording 14 assists — and cleaning up a few errors committed in training camp practices.

“You know all the guys on the team, you know how they want to play over here and in the NHL. Just go out and show them. I didn’t do that [Saturday] but this was the first game,” Gustafsson said. “I felt good with the puck but I have to play more defense in my own zone. Just a couple of small things I have to be better.”

[SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]

Nothing comes easy when you’re trying to make an NHL roster but it got that much tougher for a young defenseman with the Blackhawks this season. Hey, that’s the way it is, and players know it.

“Of course it’ll be tougher,” Gustafsson said. “It won’t be easy to take a spot. You just have to go out there, do your best and see what happens.”

BRIEFLY

- Patrick Kane could play in the Blackhawks’ game against St. Louis on Saturday. Assistant coach Kevin Dineen said, “don’t be surprised to see 88 politicking to get in the lineup. Pretty good chance we’ll see him on Saturday."

- The Blackhawks were off on Thursday. Artemi Panarin, Artem Anisimov, Marcus Kruger and Hjalmarsson were expected to join the team at Friday’s practice

- Alexandre Fortin, who signed a three-year contract on Sunday, played 12 1/2 minutes in Wednesday’s loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins. That included about two minutes of power-play time. Dineen wouldn’t mind seeing Fortin in another game. “He showed himself well all camp and I think [Wednesday] we saw some good spurts out there, and we’ll find that consistency in a young player as we move forward.”