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Blackhawks' Kane, Toews on road to recovery

by Brian Hedger

CHICAGO -- They're still out for the remaining three games of the regular season, but Chicago Blackhawks forwards Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane are on the mend.

Kane, who's out with a lower-body injury, started skating on his own this past weekend in Chicago. Toews, who has missed three games with an upper-body injury, isn't scheduled to get back on the ice for individual work until later this week.

"[Saturday] and today, and he did very well," Quenneville said of Kane's on-ice work. "We're in no hurry [with Toews]. We want to give him a break. I would say towards later in the week.

Without them, the Blackhawks are missing 57 goals, 80 assists and a combined plus-33 rating.

Chicago went 2-4-0 in the six games after Kane appeared to injure his left leg in a 4-0 victory against the St. Louis Blues on March 19 at United Center. The Blackhawks are 3-0-0 since Toews, their captain, joined the high-scoring Kane on the sidelines.

That includes a 4-2 victory Sunday against the Blues in Chicago. Without their dynamic duo, the Blackhawks are getting increased production from young players such as right wing Jeremy Morin, forward Ben Smith and forward Joakim Nordstrom.

Morin and Smith have scored in back-to-back games, and Nordstrom has added some juice to the fourth line. Playing right wing on that unit, he put six shots on the goal and hounded the puck in a tough assignment against the Blues' top lines.

"It's important," Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford said. "If you want to win hockey games, you have to have some other guys step up when you're missing your big players. The [top line's] been playing well, but it's the young guys and the other guys on the other lines that really have to give a little more."

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