LIVE: Blackhawks down 3-0 in 3rd period

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LIVE: Blackhawks down 3-0 in 3rd period

Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Posted: 10:45 a.m.

(AP) -- While the Boston Bruins have already clinched a playoff spot, the Chicago Blackhawks have plenty of work left in order to do the same.

The Blackhawks look to build on a emotional victory to open a three-game trip with a third straight win over the Bruins on Tuesday night.

Chicago (41-26-8) remained eighth in the Western Conference with a 3-2 overtime win at Detroit on Monday. Winners in three of four, the reigning Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks are one point behind seventh-place Anaheim and three ahead of ninth-place Calgary and four up on 10th-place Dallas with seven games remaining.

READ: Hossa makes former 'mates pay with OT winner

Despite blowing a pair of one-goal leads against the Red Wings, the Blackhawks were able to prevail and bounce back after giving up a third-period lead in Saturday's 2-1 home loss to the Ducks.

"We just have to keep it simple," said forward Marian Hossa, who scored the game-winner and added an assist Monday. "We're coming off a tough game and Boston is playing great now. We are real desperate to get points."

The Bruins (42-23-10), who earned a playoff berth with a 2-1 victory at Philadelphia on Sunday, are third in the East and four points behind second-place Washington.

With seven games remaining and a seven-point lead over Montreal in the Northeast Division, Boston still believes it has much to play for down the stretch. Having a hungry Chicago club in town also raises the bar.
WATCH: Toews enjoying new celebration moves

"(Chicago is) a desperate team," coach Claude Julien told the Bruins' official website. "Those kind of games should be helpful for us to stay on top of ours and realize that if you are not ready for games like that you can get embarrassed pretty easily."

After losing four straight in the series, Chicago swept the Bruins in 2009-10, including a 5-2 win at Boston on Jan. 7, 2010.

Though Hossa has been held without a point in six straight games against Boston, he has 11 goals and nine assists his last 16 contests overall.

Patrick Kane, who had two assists Monday, has two goals and three assists in five career games against the Bruins while captain Jonathan Toews has four with an assist versus Boston during that same span.

"They are a great team," Boston forward Patrice Bergeron said. "They have a lot of talent. "It's going to be a tough one, we'll make sure we're ready."

Nathan Horton and Brad Marchand each scored on the power play Sunday as the Bruins won for the third time in four games.

"We're focused on where we are and not where we're going to be," said Bruins forward Mark Recchi, who has two goals and two assists his last three games versus Chicago. "We're pretty confident we're not going to slip past third (in the East). We just want to be playing our best hockey full speed ahead."

Horton has three goals in three games, but has been held without a point his last four against the Blackhawks.

All-Star Tim Thomas, who made 27 saves against the Flyers, has allowed two goals on 83 shots during his personal three-game winning streak. He is 4-1-1 lifetime versus Chicago, but posted a 5.04 goals-against average in losing his last two starts against the Blackhawks.

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Blackhawks fire assistant coach Mike Kitchen

Blackhawks fire assistant coach Mike Kitchen

When Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman addressed the media on Saturday, he said that there would be change. That started on Monday when assistant coach Mike Kitchen was fired.

The move came five days after the Blackhawks were swept out of the first round by the Nashville Predators. Bowman said in a statement that, “we believe this decision is best for our organization moving forward. Mike had an impact on two different Stanley Cup championship teams during his tenure in Chicago. We appreciate his many contributions and wish he and his family success in the future.”

Kitchen has been a member of coach Joel Quenneville’s staff since 2010. The two go back to their playing days, however, when they were teammates with the Colorado Rockies and also the New Jersey Devils. Kitchen was Quenneville’s assistant when the two were with the St. Louis Blues and when Quenneville was fired as Blues coach midway through the 2003-04 season, Kitchen was promoted to head coach.

As part of the Blackhawks’ staff Kitchen’s focus on special teams, mainly the penalty kill. That kill finished the regular season 24th overall in the league, although that has to come with an asterisk. The penalty kill started the 2016-17 season so poorly that it was never going to get too far out of the basement. It did get stronger as the season wore on, and it was fourth overall during the Blackhawks’ short stay in the playoffs.

Which Blackhawks will be participating in 2017 IIHF World Championships?

Which Blackhawks will be participating in 2017 IIHF World Championships?

The Blackhawks' season ended much sooner than expected after being swept in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs by the Nashville Predators.

But for some players, their hockey season may not be finished yet.

The IIHF World Championships begin May 5, and an early postseason exit gives several Blackhawks an opportunity to play in the tournament.

With the National Hockey League saying it will not participate in the 2018 Winter Olympics, players may be more inclined to join given the uncertainty of when they'll be able to represent their countries again — if ever, for some.

Here's an update on which Blackhawks players could be participating:

— Patrick Kane said Saturday he's taking the weekend to mull over Team USA's offer, and will make a final decision in the next "day or two."

— Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook and Jonathan Toews each declined their invites from Team Canada, electing to use a lengthy offseason to recharge and focus on training for the 2017-18 NHL season.

— Corey Crawford and Nick Schmaltz said they have not been contacted by their respective countries, but both said they would consider going if they are.

— Artemi Panarin has reportedly already accepted Team Russia's offer to play.

— Niklas Hjalmarsson said he's "thinking about" Team Sweden's offer after the NHL's decision not to attend the 2018 Winter Olympics. "Who knows when I'll ever get a chance to play for my country again, so that might be factor," he said.

— Marcus Kruger said he's talking with Team Sweden officials, and has expressed interest in going.

— Marian Hossa said he informed Team Slovakia that he will not be playing: "Let the young guys play."

— Richard Panik will not be participating either, saying he doesn't want to risk injury as he seeks a new contract.