Patrick Kane enters Blackhawks’ record book
BY MARK POTASH email@example.com March 15, 2013 11:14PM
Patrick Kane became the third-youngest player in Blackhawks history with 400 points Thursday. | Getty Images
BLACKHAWKS AT STARs
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Updated: April 17, 2013 6:12AM
Patrick Kane’s assist on Johnny Oduya’s second-period goal in the Blackhawks’ 2-1 shootout victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday was his 400th career NHL point.
At 24 years, three months and 23 days, Kane is the third-youngest Hawks player to reach that milestone, behind Denis Savard (23 years, one month) and Jeremy Roenick (23 years, nine months).
‘‘It’s nice to reach those milestones,’’ said Kane, who has 31 points (14 goals, 17 assists) in 27 games. ‘‘You don’t really think about those things when you’re playing. But after the game ... it’s a cool feeling. Hopefully there are many more to come, and I’d love to keep going up the Blackhawk list.’’
Kane scored his 400th point in his 426th game. Only Savard (300), Roenick (350), Steve Larmer (398) and Stan Mikita (405) reached that milestone in fewer games. Bobby Hull scored his 400th point in his 427th game. Both Mikita and Hull were two months shy of their 25th birthday when they reached 400 points.
Kane is on pace to score 25 goals in the lockout-shortened season — one more than he scored in 82 games last season.
Rested and ready
Though the Hawks struggled to beat the Blue Jackets, coach Joel Quenneville thought the three-day break between games made a difference after back-to-back losses ended the Hawks’ historic 24-game point streak to start the season.
The last six times the Hawks have had two or more days between games, they are 6-0-0, outscoring their opponents 19-6, including the shootout Thursday.
‘‘I think we came in refreshed. We got better as the game went on,’’ Quenneville said. ‘‘Hopefully we’ll continue to improve off that level.’’
The extra rest actually allowed the Hawks to work harder. Quenneville put his team through a practice Friday in Dallas. It was the first time the team practiced the morning after a game.’’
Don’t look back
As well as the Hawks (22-2-3) have played, they still can’t shake the Anaheim Ducks (23-3-3), who also won Thursday to stay within four points of the Hawks with one game in hand. The Hawks are 15 points ahead of everybody else in the Western Conference.
The Ducks beat the Hawks 3-2 in a shootout Feb. 12 at the United Center. They scored the tying goal with 2:40 left in regulation.
‘‘[The Ducks are] having a great year,’’ Quenneville said. ‘‘They’re much improved from last season. We saw first-hand how good they are this year. Very dangerous team.’’
The Hawks play the Ducks next Wednesday in Anaheim.
Defense steps up
Hawks defensemen combined for 14 shots against the Blue Jackets. Oduya scored the only goal, and Duncan Keith missed a golden opportunity to score in the second period. The Hawks’ defense improved after lapses led to 12 goals allowed in their two losses.
‘‘[The Blue Jackets] had some good chances. But our guys did a good job keeping them to the outside for the most part,’’ said goalie Corey Crawford, who stopped 29 of 30 shots. ‘‘We played really strong defensively. I saw a lot of pucks. Our team game was there all game. It was definitely a strong game for us overall.’’
Crawford made big saves to thwart a Blue Jackets power play in the final 1:32 of regulation and in a wild overtime in which the teams combined for 13 shots, seven by the Blue Jackets.
‘‘Our defense was very good in front of [Crawford],’’ Quenneville said, ‘‘making sure the quality [of the opportunities] was not at the high end.’’