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updated: 12/24/2013 1:14 AM

Kane still can't catch Penguins' Crosby

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By Caitlin Swieca
Special to the Daily Herald

Although he has put together two long point streaks, Patrick Kane hasn't been able to catch up with Pittsburgh Penguins star and NHL points leader Sidney Crosby, who has 8 points in his last four games.

Heading into Monday, Crosby had a 6-point lead over Kane's 48. Kane admitted he has been keeping tabs on the competition.

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"I think you know where each other are," he said. "If you said otherwise, you'd probably be lying. I've watched a few of his games lately, and it seems like, when he wants to take over the game, he just does it. He's fun to watch."

While Kane said he was focused on his own scoring, he also said he could "take some notes" from watching Crosby's style of play.

"First and foremost, you want to worry about yourself and not worry about what anyone else is doing and try to produce as much as you can personally, but he's a guy that always seems to be ahead of the pack," Kane said.

Crosby played only 36 games last season while battling injury but still finished 1 point ahead of Kane, who played in 47. Kane had scored in 23 of his last 24 games before Monday and is the only NHL player to have multiple point streaks of at least 10 games this season.

An unfamiliar foe:

Because of last year's lockout-shortened season, the Blackhawks' most recent meeting with the New Jersey Devils before Monday had been in March 2012.

"We haven't seen them in a bit here, but watching them on tape, they're playing well," coach Joel Quenneville said. "They're coming off a big win. Same style they've played in the past, but they've got a lot of guys who can play the right way."

Before Monday's loss to the Hawks, the Devils had won three of four, including a come-from-behind overtime victory over Washington on Saturday. The Blackhawks will face the Devils again Jan. 3 in New Jersey. The Blackhawks did get a familiar opponent in net, as former Vancouver Canucks goalie Cory Schneider got the start.

Finishing strong:

After blowing a 2-goal lead in Friday's shootout loss to Vancouver, the Hawks stressed a need to finish strong against the Devils heading into the three-day Christmas break.

"We want to go into the break with a good feeling, finishing strong," Patrick Kane said before the Hawks' 5-2 victory Monday night.

The Blackhawks will resume with back-to-back games against conference foes, hosting Colorado on Friday before traveling to St. Louis on Saturday.

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