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Blackhawks not concerned with Kane's scoring slump

by Shawn Roarke

TAMPA -- Chicago Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane has the most points on his team in the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs and is tied for the team goal-scoring lead.

Yet his "struggles" were a primary topic of conversation when the Blackhawks arrived here for Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Tampa Bay Lightning (8 p.m.ET; NBC, CBC, TVA Sports) at Amalie Arena. The best-of-7 series is tied 2-2.

Kane had an assist in Game 4, a 2-1 win by the Blackhawks at United Center, which was his first point of the series. He has not scored a goal since Game 6 of the Western Conference Final against the Anaheim Ducks.

Yet none of the Blackhawks seems concerned.

"I mean, there's a lot of little things that could go differently and you wouldn't be asking those questions from a player like Kaner or even myself," said captain Jonathan Toews, who scored his first goal of the series in Game 4 on Wednesday. "In the first game, he had like [three] shots, a bunch of chances. Game 2 he was making plays. He would have been on the board a few times.

"There's no doubt there's going to be situations where the scorers, the guys that score on a regular basis, if they don't produce or get on the scoreboard or score sheet, then those questions and pressure starts to come around. I don't think Kaner questions himself, or even myself. We just know you got to keep working, keep finding ways to create chances, eventually believe those bounces are going to go your way."

Kane is a scorer, especially in the postseason.

In 114 Stanley Cup Playoff games, he has 112 points, including 47 goals. This postseason, he has 10 goals, tied with Toews for the team lead, and 21 points in 21 games. In the Final, he was held without a shot in Game 2, but has had three shots in each of the other three games and has been creating chances despite playing with several different linemates in the four games.

"He's had a couple good looks last game," said coach Joel Quenneville, speaking at media availability Friday at a downtown hotel. "He's had chances in all games. I think, you know, when your top guys go through stretches they don't score, I still think they absorb the other team's coverage issues, whether it's their top guys, top defensive guys. Eventually they're going to get their turns.

"I think he goes through stretches where he doesn't produce, but he does a lot of other things that are healthy for our team game. All of a sudden, you know, he hits the scoreboard and then it's tough to keep him off it."

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