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Slumping Kane strives to be more consistent, marvels at Crosby

CHICAGO -- It has been 10 games since Patrick Kane scored a goal, a rather startling stretch considering the Chicago Blackhawks winger hadn't gone more than four without scoring at any point this season.

"I want to get better," Kane said. "I want to improve and get back to the level I was at a little bit before. I guess that starts with hard work -- that's the biggest thing. Hopefully, things kind of create (themselves). I'm hanging in there, (so) hopefully I'll get some chances and bury them."

Kane hasn't scored since Dec. 28 against the Blues and has just three assists during the slump. While once just a few points behind the Penguins' Sidney Crosby in the NHL's scoring race, Kane trailed him by 12 heading into Monday night's action.

"(Crosby) produces every night -- he's fun to watch," Kane said. "Even on nights when he maybe doesn't have his best game, he still comes out of there with two assists or a goal and an assist. Then there are games where it seems like he's determined and he's the best player in the world and just dominates the game. You're like, 'wow, this guy is amazing.' I think he's best the player in the league for sure."

Kane said consistency is what separates Crosby from all others.

"To do that for 82 games is where he's at and I'm not, I guess," Kane said."Consistency is the biggest thing, just to keep that chugging along the whole year. I was real hot and right there with him and then he kind of continues and keeps trotting on."

Shining bright: On Monday, goaltender Corey Crawford was named the NHL's third star for last week. He went 2-0-1 with a 2.22 goals-against average and .916 save percentage in victories over the red-hot Ducks, formidable Bruins and in an overtime loss to the tough Avalanche.

Lightning winger Martin St. Louis and Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick were the Nos. 1 and 2 stars, respectively.

Road warriors: The Hawks took care of business during their four-game homestand with a 3-0-1 record. They hit the road for back-to-back games against the Red Wings and Wild beginning Wednesday night, marking a stretch in which nine of 10 are away from home.

"This four-game homestand I thought we played the right way all four games," coach Joel Quenneville said. "We did a lot of good things. We took it one game at a time and I thought the approach and the four-line rotation was better than we've seen over a recent stretch. Now we have a real intense schedule on the road coming up."

(c)2014 Chicago Tribune

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