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Blackhawks happy with play of new-look top line

by Corey Masisak

DETROIT -- Chicago Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville had been looking for balance with his forward lines, and he had gone back and forth on the issue with the power play, but after the performance of the team's new-look top line in Game 5 of the Western Conference Semifinals, it's hard to imagine him not sticking with it at the start of Game 6.

Patrick Sharp, Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane played together at even strength from the start of a contest for the first time a while and the results certainly were positive in a 4-1 victory at United Center to pull the Blackhawks to within a game of the rival Detroit Red Wings at 3-2.

The Blackhawks will hope that solid play continues in Game 6 Monday in Detroit (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC, RDS).

"I thought we played pretty well last game," Kane said. "We had some chances. We moved the puck around pretty good and created some power plays, too. I think that's what we're trying to do, is show our skill out there and get our team some chances."

The trio produced 13 shots on goal, including 12 at even strength. Toews scored a goal on the power-play, his first of any kind in the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Kane assisted on the first goal of the game from Bryan Bickell, and put all seven of his attempts in the game on target.

In total, the trio combined for six shots on net in the first period alone. Toews and Kane also drew the penalties that led to each of the Blackhawks' power-play goals Chicago scored to build a 3-1 lead in the second period.

"It was a good start," Kane said. "We hadn't played together in a long time, maybe a couple of years. It was nice to get back with those guys and have a good first couple shifts. Hopefully we can do that [in Game 6] to get some momentum for our team."


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