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updated: 3/19/2014 11:31 PM

Hawks' bright night darkened by Kane injury

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  • The Blackhawks' Ben Smith (28) celebrates with teammate Marian Hossa after scoring during the third period to make it 4-0 over the Blues on Wednesday night.

      The Blackhawks' Ben Smith (28) celebrates with teammate Marian Hossa after scoring during the third period to make it 4-0 over the Blues on Wednesday night.
    Associated Press

 
 

There were so many bright spots for the Blackhawks in their 4-0 victory over the division-leading Blues on Wednesday night at the United Center that there's probably not enough room here to do them all justice.

From the night starting with a nice tribute to Michal Handzus for playing in his 1,000th game to it ending with a tip of the cap to coach Joel Quenneville for notching career victory No. 700, just the third coach in NHL history to reach that mark.

And in between there was the play of Andrew Shaw, who was a net presence on the first 2 goals of the night, the second of which he redirected past Ryan Miller for his 18th of the season.

Then there was the shutout effort of Corey Crawford (23 saves), the hustle of Marcus Kruger and Ben Smith, the passing of Peter Regin, the hitting of Brandon Bollig, the stellar team D, the resurgent power play and, well, the list goes on and on.

"Arguably one of our best games all year," Quenneville said. "We were very complete in all areas and had contributions across the board."

And probably the best part of the whole night was the fact that the Hawks handed St. Louis its first division loss of the season. "It was huge," Shaw said. "It just shows we can compete and play with the best."

But despite all the positives there was one large, ominous gray cloud hovering over the festivities late Wednesday night.

And that cloud was there due to the news that star forward Patrick Kane, sixth in the league with 69 points, suffered an apparent injury when Brendan Morrow fell on his leg. Kane will miss most of the rest of the regular season and perhaps even some of the postseason as well.

"We're looking at about three weeks," Quenneville said. "It was a freak play, which can happen.

"He's a special player. It's definitely a huge loss for us. We're going to have to work our way through it -- all the things he brings to our team."

That means having the next guy step up, something Duncan Keith thinks these Hawks are more than capable of.

"I don't know if he'll be out for a while or what, but at the same time, looking at it in a positive way, you'll have other guys who are going to get some opportunities to play more than they would normally," said Keith, who opened the scoring with a blast from the point. "I think that's only going to benefit them."

Even without Kane for half the game, the Hawks were able to withstand early pressure from the Blues before putting the hammer down.

"They're the Stanley Cup champions for a reason. They know when to turn the temperature up," Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said. "They're cranking it up to another level. They competed hard on every puck right from start to finish."

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