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updated: 5/25/2014 11:55 PM

Blackhawks' Kane looking for more

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  • Chicago Blackhawks' Patrick Kane (88), right, controls the puck against Los Angeles Kings' Jeff Carter (77) during the first period in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals in the NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoffs in Chicago on Sunday, May 18, 2014.

      Chicago Blackhawks' Patrick Kane (88), right, controls the puck against Los Angeles Kings' Jeff Carter (77) during the first period in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals in the NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoffs in Chicago on Sunday, May 18, 2014.
    Associated Press

  • Chicago Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane returns to the ice with his helmet askew after trying to check a Los Angeles Kings player into the Kings' bench during the second period of Game 2 of the Western Conference finals in the NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoffs Wednesday, May 21, 2014, in Chicago. The Kings won 6-2.

      Chicago Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane returns to the ice with his helmet askew after trying to check a Los Angeles Kings player into the Kings' bench during the second period of Game 2 of the Western Conference finals in the NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoffs Wednesday, May 21, 2014, in Chicago. The Kings won 6-2.
    Associated Press

 
 

LOS ANGELES -- Patrick Kane is bummed.

"I don't think I've played up to par the first three games of the series," Kane admitted after practice Sunday.

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The numbers back him up. In each of his last two games -- both losses -- Kane was held without a point and had a minus-2 rating.

And that lack of production is starting to get to him.

"I just think he tends to be harder on himself when he's not producing or getting the results on paper," Jonathan Toews said. "It doesn't necessarily mean he's not playing as well with the puck or not creating anything; he just has to stay with it, and once that first one goes in he'll be back to himself again."

The good news for the Blackhawks is that No. 88 thinks he knows exactly what it's going to take for him to shake his mini-slump.

"Just demand the puck," Kane said. "That's the biggest thing. Demand the puck, and when I do get it be confident with it. Those two things usually will lead to better games."

But it's not like Kane hasn't had some good scoring chances against the Kings -- he has -- it's just that he's not burying them the way he's used to doing.

"I think Kaner in the last two games had a great look both games, right down the barrel," coach Joel Quenneville said. "It could've given us a 2-goal lead both times. For guys who are scorers, they get more excited, more confidence, and their play can elevate by looking at production."

Kane's teammates sense his struggles these past few games but think it won't be long before the magic returns.

"You can see what he brings to the team every single night, whether he scores or not," Toews said. "But for him personally he's hard on himself in that way.

"He wants to contribute. We know it's just a matter of time before he gets going again."

The Kings' strategy has been to put the body on Kane whenever possible -- which usually is easier said than done -- while also trying to limit the space in which he has to operate when he does have the puck.

"He's a player you've got to play hard on," Kings defenseman Jake Muzzin said. "He wants a nice game where he can do what he wants to do, and if you take that away, that's your best chance.

"He's undercover fast -- so he doesn't look like he's going fast, but he is. He's going to get chances, but if you limit the chances and keep them to the outside, hopefully they're not the chances that cost you.

"You've got to play hard on that guy, or he'll make you look silly."

Kane hopes to start making guys look silly again beginning Monday night in Game 4 at 8 p.m. at the Staples Center. "Take it as a new game," he said. "Wipe the slate clean and come out with a good attitude Monday and see what happens."

It won't be easy, however, against a Los Angeles team that will continue to try to limit the space not only Kane but also the rest of the Hawks' offensive stars are given when in the Kings' zone.

"We want to frustrate them; we want to be in their face, and be smart," Jarret Stoll said. "It's no secret that when you have a lead on a team in a series you want to keep pushing.

"We all know what can happen with momentum, especially in these playoffs."

Changing the momentum of this series, which is solely in L.A.'s favor right now, is all the Hawks are thinking about heading into Game 4.

"That's our No. 1 task right now," Toews said. "We'll go into (Monday's) game planning on winning and go from there."

mspellman@dailyherald.com

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