Kane plays it safe, sits out victory over Arizona
In addition to his offensive prowess, one of Patrick Kane's most impressive traits has been his durability.
The Blackhawks' forward has missed just five games over the past 7½ seasons -- and none came due to injury. That streak ended Friday, however, as Kane was forced to sit out the Hawks' 2-0 victory over Arizona at the United Center with a lower-body injury.
"I probably could play, but it's just certain situations (where) it's kind of lingering pain," said Kane, who participated in the morning skate and doesn't expect it to be a long-term issue. "I think I should be through it here quick enough."
Defenseman Jake McCabe gave the Hawks a 1-0 lead at 11:55 of the second period on a blast from about 45 feet out. It was just the defenseman's second goal of the season, and he nearly scored 2.5 minutes later on a wicked one-timer. McCabe finished with a game-high 5 shots on goal, tying a career high.
Tyler Johnson (4) added an empty-net goal with 45 seconds remaining.
Alex Stalock made 22 saves in net and improved to 5-5-1. It was his 10th shutout in 135 career starts.
The Hawks (9-25-4) registered just their third victory in the last 24 games.
"There haven't been many games where it was like, 'Wow, we've got everyone going,' " said forward Max Domi. "There's always been some issues in some part of our game one way or another. But tonight … every guy was ready to play and every guy stuck with it to the end."
Kane's absence left a gaping hole in the lineup, but it also opened the door for others to shine.
And that's exactly what Lukas Reichel did during a first period in which he was buzzing all over the ice.
• Reichel created a chance on his first shift by maneuvering around Jakob Chychrun in the neutral zone. He drove the net but couldn't finish.
• The rookie showed off his passing prowess by deftly dropping a pass to linemate Philipp Kurashev, who fired a wrist shot at goalie Connor Ingram.
• He zipped in alone with 6:45 remaining and flipped a shot that sailed over the net.
• Most impressively, Reichel connected with a charging Domi by backhanding a pass between his legs from the sideboards. Domi fired a point-blank shot that ended up in Ingram's gut.
"He's gonna be a great player for sure," said Domi, who notched his 15th assist on McCabe's goal. "I find his ability to make a play in traffic is pretty impressive. He draws one or two guys to him -- and it's one thing to be able to do that -- but to be able to thread a needle and make the right play after that is a pretty elite skill.
"You don't see that every day."
Reichel finished with 3 shots attempts (1 on net) in 15 minutes of ice time.
"I'm sure he's pretty happy with his performance (and) I'm sure he'd love to score," said coach Luke Richardson. "We'd like to see that too, but his play is the most important and it was excellent."
As for Kane, who hasn't missed a game because of injury since breaking his collarbone in February 2015, it sounds like he may miss Sunday's game against Calgary then return when the Hawks host Colorado on Thursday.