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Kane point streak ends at 26, 'fun while it lasted'

by Brian Hedger

CHICAGO -- Patrick Kane seemed relieved after his point streak ended at 26 games at United Center on Tuesday.

Kane's streak, which ended in a 3-0 loss to the Colorado Avalanche, is the longest by an American-born NHL player, longest in Chicago Blackhawks history, longest by an active NHL player, and longest since Mats Sundin had a 30-game streak in 1992-93 for the Quebec Nordiques.

"It was a fun run," Kane said. "I think you never know what's going to happen with the streak, or there's a lot of games when it seemed like we were down and out, and you end up getting something at the end, whatever it may be. But, you know, it was fun breaking the American record. I was happy with that, and to break the franchise record too, that was pretty special as well. It was definitely fun while it lasted."

Kane passed the 18-game streak established by Eddie Olczyk (Toronto Maple Leafs, 1989-90) and Phil Kessel (Boston Bruins, 2008-09) for longest by an American, and Bobby Hull's 21-game streak in 1971-72 as the longest in Blackhawks history. He also surpassed Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby's 25-game streak (2010-11), which had been the longest since Sundin's.

"That's awesome," Avalanche forward Jarome Iginla said. "It's been pretty tight the last few years in the NHL in scoring and stuff, and everybody wants to stop [the streak] when you get to anything after 10 or 15. At 15, for sure, you're like, 'OK, they're trying to stop it,' and he's been able to keep it going."

Iginla's NHL career-high point streak is 16 games, in 1999-00 for the Calgary Flames.

"I was excited about it," Iginla said. "I thought I was really rolling when I had that. This is a whole [different] level. It's fun to watch, but not to play against."

The Avalanche stopped Kane with suffocating defense. He rarely got the puck in good position to score and wasn't given much time or space to work with it.

He played 23:11, had no shots on goal, and his three attempts were blocked.

"That was a team effort, no doubt," Colorado captain Gabriel Landeskog said. "It's impressive what he's done over the last month [plus]. In this day and age, with the salary cap and how good all teams are, that's an impressive thing to do, 26 games. I'm happy if I get two or three games, so that's really impressive."

The Blackhawks went 15-7-4 during Kane's streak, which began with an empty-net goal against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Oct. 17, Chicago's sixth game of the season. He had 16 goals and 24 assists during the streak and has scored a point in 29 of 32 games.

"It was pretty spectacular in today's game to be on the board 26 games," Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said. "[This was the] first time we've been shut out in a long time, so it was fun to be a part of. Game in, game out, and that's part of what's going on in your team. I've been around maybe some different situations, but never been around a streak like that. It was fun."

Kane kept the streak alive with an empty-net assist in Game 22, an empty-net goal in Game 23, and a third-period goal in Game 24.

"I can just focus on playing hockey and it'll be nice not to talk about it anymore," Kane said. "When you have to talk about it every day, it gets a little taxing, but I'm excited just to play hockey now."

Wayne Gretzky holds the NHL record with a 51-game streak for the Edmonton Oilers that started the 1983-84 season. There are 10 streaks of at least 28 games in NHL history.

"That was unbelievable," Avalanche forward Matt Duchene said of Kane's streak. "He's probably the best player in the game right now. He's been so dominant this year. I think even for him, that's probably something that he never probably thought was possible in today's game. It's a tough league to get points in now, and huge congrats to him. It's well-deserved, absolutely."

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