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Kane pushes streak to 25; Blackhawks blank Jets

by Brian Hedger

CHICAGO -- Patrick Kane extended his point streak to 25 games, Corey Crawford made 25 saves, and the Chicago Blackhawks won 2-0 against the Winnipeg Jets at United Center on Friday.

Kane's power-play goal at 10:36 of the second period put the Blackhawks up 2-0 and pushed his streak into a tie with Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby for the longest since the 1992-93 season, when Mats Sundin had a 30-game streak for the Quebec Nordiques. Crosby's 25-game streak was in 2010-11.

"It's not really important, but I think it's one of those things when you realize what elite company you're in, when you're with these great players that have had these great streaks, it definitely humbles you," said Kane, who leads the NHL with 45 points and is second in goals with 19. "I obviously feel honored and very fortunate to be involved with names like those."

Jonathan Toews scored his ninth goal to help the Blackhawks (16-10-4) rebound from a 5-1 loss to the Nashville Predators on Thursday.

Chicago went 2-for-5 on the power play; Winnipeg (14-14-2) was 0-for-5 and had one shot on goal during 8:59 of man-advantage time.

"The power play was rolling, [and] our [penalty kill] was solid," said Crawford, whose shutout was his third this season and the 15th of his NHL career. "I don't know how many we killed off tonight, but it felt like a lot. There [were] maybe some [penalties] we could've avoided taking, but it was a good game for us."

Connor Hellebuyck made 29 saves for Winnipeg, which split a back-to-back set after defeating the Columbus Blue Jackets 6-4 at MTS Centre on Thursday. Hellebucyk lost for the first time in five NHL starts (4-1-0).

The Jets finished with a big advantage in shot attempts (57-45), but the Blackhawks outshot them 31-25 because they blocked a season-high 23 shots.

"[The Blackhawks'] sticks are probably as good as it gets in the League," said Jets center Blake Wheeler, who had one of his two attempts blocked. "They're not a very physical team, but they skate so well and their sticks are so strong that you think you have maybe more than you do, and then they knock it down and go the other way."

The Blackhawks took a 1-0 lead on Toews' goal at 4:34 of the first, on the first of three Chicago power plays in the period.

Toews cleaned up a scramble in front of the crease by pushing the puck into the net. Andrew Shaw and Marian Hossa got the assists after defenseman David Rundblad put the puck on net with a slap shot from the left point.

The Blackhawks power play, which has battled inconsistency the past few seasons, is fifth in the NHL at 22 percent (22-for-99). Chicago has at least one power-play goal in seven of its past 10 games.

"There's definitely a focus on it this year," Kane said. "We want to make sure we're doing the right things on the power play to try and create chances and score goals, and not lose the momentum. That's probably the biggest thing, as we we've seen in the past, sometimes on our power plays we can lose momentum and kind of give that team an extra edge. I think we're doing a good job of not only keeping that momentum, but cashing in when we get those chances."

Kane cashed in for Chicago's second power-play goal midway through the second. After a tape-to-tape pass by Teuvo Teravainen, who looked a different direction before moving the puck, Kane beat Hellebucyk high to the short side with a snap shot to extend his point streak.

"It was a great goal," Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said. "What a play. What a shot. It continues on. It's fun being a part of it and fun watching him continue finding ways [to extend it]. He gets some looks every single night, and for an opponent, he's tough to contain."

The Blackhawks have defeated the Jets in two of their first three games. Crawford has allowed one goal on 56 shots in Chicago's two victories (.982 save percentage) and four goals on 87 shots in the three games (.954).

His busiest period this time was the third, when Winnipeg outshot Chicago 13-10 and created a couple quality scoring chances.

"I think we simplified a little bit in the third period and just had a focused mindset of just trying to get some shots at their goalie," Wheeler said. "From that, we created some really high-quality chances that we just couldn't get to go in the net."

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