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Blackhawks reunite Toews, Kane, Bickell

by Corey Masisak

BOSTON -- The Chicago Blackhawks, desperate for offense after scoring once in the previous two games, will go back to a line in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final on Wednesday at TD Garden (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS) that worked pretty well for them at the end of the last round.

Jonathan Toews skated between Bryan Bickell and Patrick Kane on the team's top line during the morning session Wednesday. That trio played together near the end of the Western Conference Final, and Kane produced a hat trick in the series-clinching Game 5 victory against the Los Angeles Kings.

"We had some success against L.A. Whatever the combinations are, we've got to find a way to score," Toews said. "We have confidence as a line, with [Bickell and Kane] we can make things happen. We were close last game. We didn't get on the score sheet. Obviously that's not good enough."

Kane had gone seven games without a goal before coach Joel Quenneville put those three together midway through Game 4 of the conference final. He scored in Game 4 and then had a hat trick in Game 5 to finish the Kings, but he has no goals and one assist in the first three games of the Cup Final.

Toews has one goal in the 2013 playoffs, but he did have one of his best games (two assists) in Game 5 against the Kings with Kane and Bickell. He doesn't have any points in this series.

"Every waking moment it's something you think about," Toews said of his goal-scoring slump. "Just got to be hungry. Just got to be that guy that this time of year you don't get denied. No excuses. Got to find a way, and obviously scoring a goal would be huge. Not just one. I'll take whatever I can get."

Bickell had an eight-game stretch from Game 5 of the Western Conference Semifinals against the Detroit Red Wings through the end of the conference final where he had five goals and nine points, including back-to-back two-point games in the final two wins against the Kings.

He also has struggled to produce any offense this series, and finished Game 3 in a tussle with Boston captain Zdeno Chara.

"I just need to stick to my game plan -- up and down the boards, in front, hitting, keeping it simple," Bickell said. "I need to give those two guys room on the ice and time, and hopefully create a little havoc in front.

"There's going to be times when the pucks are going in and there's times when it hasn't, but I just need to stick to my game plan every night. When the puck is going in, I'm fortunate, but I just need to keep working hard."


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