The Chicago Blackhawks might be a longshot to make the playoffs this season, but Patrick Kane is certainly doing his part to keep them competitive. That includes some strong play against the Minnesota Wild in 2018-19.
Following a milestone evening, the eight-time All-Star will try to help the visiting Blackhawks record a season-high fourth consecutive victory Saturday night against the Minnesota Wild.
Kane recorded the 900th point of his stellar career, and then some, while extending his point streak to 10 games with two goals and two assists in Friday’s 7-3 win at Buffalo — his hometown. The 30-year-old Kane, who has now recorded at least 30 goals four times in his career, has nine and 16 assists in those 10 games for Chicago, which also won three in a row from Dec. 18-21.
“Sometimes things are just going your way,” Kane, who has 903 points in 873 games, told the Blackhawks’ official website.
Kane also has three assists against the Wild this season, and recorded a hat trick in Chicago’s 5-2 home victory in the teams’ most recent meeting on Dec. 27.
Brandon Saad also scored twice in his 500th career game Friday, as the Blackhawks scored at least three goals for a ninth consecutive contest. They have averaged 4.3 non-shootout goals during that stretch.
“We got a little momentum, and want to keep it going,” Blackhawks coach Jeremy Colliton said. “We don’t have much time to reload, but (Saturday) is a big one.”
Minnesota, which is in the mix for a wild-card spot in the Western Conference, won the first meeting between these clubs, 4-3 in overtime at home in October. However, the Blackhawks have taken the last two matchups, both at Chicago.
The Wild, who had not played since Jan. 23, saw their three-game winning streak end with Friday’s 3-1 loss at Dallas. It was a costly defeat as the Stars climbed over Minnesota into third place in the Central Division for the time being.
Brad Hunt scored the tying goal in the first period for the Wild, but Tyler Seguin delivered the go-ahead goal and an empty-netter in the third to secure Dallas’ win. Wild coach Bruce Boudreau would not use the extended time off for the All-Star break and bye week as an excuse for his team’s latest effort.
“Every team is doing (the break) in the league,” he told the Wild’s official website site. “So, what are we going to do? Complain about it?”
Despite the defeat, Eric Staal had an assist, giving him seven points in the last four games for the Wild. He has two goals and three assists against the Blackhawks this season.
Devan Dubnyk made 29 saves against the Stars as his three-game winning streak came to an end. That could mean backup Alex Stalock, who has a 1.96 goals-against average in two appearances against Chicago in 2018-19, could get the start in this back-to-back scenario.
Cam Ward stopped 40 shots for Chicago on Friday, but Collin Delia might get the call for this contest. The rookie, who has a 3.00 GAA in his nine starts this season, made 46 saves in the December win over Minnesota.
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