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updated: 2/4/2014 12:43 AM

Bickell's Blackhawks teammates stay in his corner

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  • "This is probably No. 1 on my list, I think," Bickell told reporters on Monday of the struggles he faced in January. "But there have been ups and downs through my career. I think anybody's career it's going to be like that, but to get through this one, hopefully I can start (Monday)."

      "This is probably No. 1 on my list, I think," Bickell told reporters on Monday of the struggles he faced in January. "But there have been ups and downs through my career. I think anybody's career it's going to be like that, but to get through this one, hopefully I can start (Monday)."
    Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer, September 2013

  • The Blackhawks' Jonathan Toews celebrates a goal by Patrick Kane, not shown, against Kings goalie Jonathan Quick in the first period Monday night.

      The Blackhawks' Jonathan Toews celebrates a goal by Patrick Kane, not shown, against Kings goalie Jonathan Quick in the first period Monday night.
    Associated Press

 
 

Bryan Bickell's teammates were pulling for the left winger to regain his confidence.

The struggling Bickell returned to the Blackhawks' lineup for Monday's game at Los Angeles against the Kings after- being a healthy scratch in three of the last four contests.

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Bickell scored a goal in the first period of the Hawks' 5-3 win at Staples Center.

Bickell skated at left wing on the third line with Andrew Shaw and Brandon Saad, but the goal came while playing with Patrick Kane, who fed Bickell to cap a 3-on-1.

The Hawks took a 3-2 lead into the third period on goals by Kane (on a power play), Bickell and Marcus Kruger.

Kruger's goal late in the second period snapped a 2-2 tie.

Nick Leddy scored in the third period as did Kane, adding his second. After both his goals, Kane pointed to the sky to honor his grandfather, who passed away before the game.

As for Bickell, the goal was only his third since returning from a knee injury.

"It's not easy for a guy like that," captain Jonathan Toews told reporters. "We're always trying to remind him what he's capable of doing as a player. I think anyone can forget sometimes when things aren't going your way and it just seems to snowball in the wrong direction.

"For Bicks, it's just slowly trying to rebuild that confidence and not being too hard on himself. There's a lot of time for him to get his game back. His teammates are supporting him."

January was the worst month of Bickell's career with 1 point and a minus-7 defensive rating.

"This is probably No. 1 on my list, I think," Bickell told reporters on Monday of the struggles he faced in January. "But there have been ups and downs through my career. I think anybody's career it's going to be like that, but to get through this one, hopefully I can start (Monday)."

It has been a struggle for Bickell ever since he injured his left knee in mid-November in a game at Colorado and missed nearly a month.

Bickell refuses to blame the injury for his downslide and Hawks coach Joel Quenneville agrees.

"I think he's fine," Quenneville said. "I just think having a little more confidence in what you're able to withstand and what you're able to do and won't have a little bit of a hesitation. I think that's going to come. There shouldn't be a hindrance of an inability to do what he can do because he's cleared to play. He's just got to recapture it.

"I would think whether it's a healthy scratch bothers him or his play bothers him I would hope both of them bother enough that he's going to do something about it."

It has been difficult mentally on Bickell more than anything else. Following his big playoff last spring, Bickell signed a four-year, $16 million contract and so far has fallen well short of the lofty expectations the Hawks had for him.

"I think coming into the season there was a high," Bickell said. "Coming off the summer, it wasn't the greatest summer for me. It was fun, but it wasn't the way I wanted to start. I just need to simplify and do the little things.

"Hopefully, I can get my confidence. I know confidence in any league helps you get through things that are not going the right way. But I just need to simplify and do the little things and do what coach wants me to do.

"Everyone has been positive. They believe what I can do. To help this team, I think they need me to be where I was. It takes little steps to get there."

In the Kings, the Hawks were taking on a team that had scored the second fewest number of goals in the Western Conference (150) but that had allowed 2 or fewer goals in 31 of the last 42 games.

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