Struggling Blackhawks look for a spark vs. Ducks

Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Time could be running short to see Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews play for the Chicago Blackhawks this season.

The Blackhawks will host the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday night, one of five home games remaining before the NHL trade deadline on March 3.

Kane and Toews are in the final season of eight-year contracts, and the future Hall of Famers likely will be highly coveted by teams looking to bolster their lineups before the Stanley Cup playoffs begin.

“There’s definitely opportunities out there that are intriguing and could be exciting,” Kane said. “We’ll see.”

Kane has played all 16 of his NHL seasons with Chicago, and Toews has played all 15. They helped the Blackhawks win Stanley Cup titles in 2010, 2013 and 2015.

Chicago hasn’t made the playoffs since the COVID-shortened 2019-20 season and hasn’t won a playoff series since winning its most recent Stanley Cup.

The immediate future doesn’t look any brighter, as the Blackhawks entered this week tied for the fewest points in the NHL (34).

Toews isn’t expected to play against the Ducks because he’s battling a non-COVID related illness that sidelined him the first two days coming out of the All-Star break.

Kane also has been dealing with an undisclosed, nagging injury, but it’s not something he said affects him mentally.

“When I get on the ice, it’s not like you’re thinking about anything else except playing as well as you can,” he said. “I guess it’s not really something for me to worry about. Just go about it the best I can.”

Kane, who has nine goals and 25 assists in 45 games this season, said his agent, Pat Brisson, has been in contact with several teams.

“We’ll just probably be taking it up to the deadline and making a decision,” Kane said. “(Brisson) has told me a few that have reached out to him, so, yeah, we’ll probably talk about that possibly, too, if that’s an option of getting traded and obviously figure out a team that could be the best fit. But we’re not really at that point either.”

The Ducks are coming off a 3-2 shootout loss at the Dallas Stars on Monday night, ending a season-best three-game winning streak.

Anaheim rallied from a two-goal deficit in the third period but couldn’t take advantage of a power play in overtime.

The Ducks also lost their All-Star representative from last weekend in right wing Troy Terry, who sustained an upper-body injury in the first period against the Stars. He did not return.

Jakob Silfverberg said the Ducks adjusted well without Terry, their leading goal scorer last season.

“Obviously going down one short, it’s going to require a lot of ice time for the guys, especially coming off the (All-Star) break, but I think we did a good job,” Silfverberg said. “Everyone that played stepped up and did a good job. We got one point tonight, and we’ll take that and move on to Chicago.”

Anthony Stolarz likely will start in goal for the Ducks after John Gibson made 39 saves against Dallas.

Stolarz hasn’t played since a 5-2 win at the Arizona Coyotes on Jan. 24.

–Field Level Media

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