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posted: 3/26/2012 8:47 PM

Power play still an issue for Blackhawks

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The urgency is there, but the results haven't been as the Blackhawks continue to try to figure out what's wrong with the power play.

"We're not waiting for the playoffs to get the power play going. We know we have to get better now," coach Joel Quenneville said. "We need it to be improved game in and game out. We've got to have more consistency whether we're scoring or not."

The Hawks were on the power play four times Sunday against Nashville and put together a combined total of zero shots en route to a 6-1 loss.

"We're trying to find answers for it before we get in the playoffs," Patrick Kane said. "It's a big part of the game -- it could've gotten back into the game (against Nashville).

"Every time we've been successful we've had a good power play in the playoffs. It's a huge part of it. Usually that's the difference in a series."

3-2-1 ... contact?

After skating for seven straight days, it appears the next logical step for Jonathan Toews (concussion) is to test things out via contact.

"Yep, I'm feeling pretty close to that," Toews said after practice Monday. "Every day I'm pushing myself a little harder, and the harder I do go, the better I feel. That gives me a lot of confidence."

Toews has been able to participate in more and more drills in practice, and Joel Quenneville is liking what he's seeing from the captain.

"In watching him and talking to him; there's progress there," Quenneville said. "I think he feels better about where he's going and he adds a little more each day. He feels stronger and his attitude is good.

"He's getting closer. We'll have a better idea maybe when we see him get inserted with some contact."

Coming and going:

After missing Sunday's game with Nashville, center Marcus Kruger will be back in the lineup Tuesday against New Jersey.

Defenseman Steve Montador (concussion) may not be too far behind in joining him.

"He's close; he could play (Tuesday)," Joel Quenneville said of Montador.

Goalie Ray Emery, however, will not be going to New Jersey because of an upper-body injury that Quenneville deemed day to day.


Brandon Bollig's thumping of Nashville's Jordin Tootoo in the first period of Sunday's game forced the Preds' agitator to the locker room for the remainder of the game with an undisclosed upper-body injury.

"You want to win a fight, but I don't know if you're going out there looking to hurt guys," Bollig said. "Unfortunately he did get hurt. But that's kind of the risk of our job."

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