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Blackhawks know power play must improve

Published: Friday, June 7, 2013 6:15 p.m. CDT
Caption
(Reed Saxon)
Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews (19) clears the puck against the Los Angeles Kings including goalie Jonathan Quick (32) in the first period of Game 4 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoffs Western Conference finals, in Los Angeles on Thursday, June 6, 2013. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

CHICAGO – By now, Jonathan Toews knows the questions well.

What’s up with the Blackhawks’ power play? And how can it improve?

“A series ago, we were asking ourselves the same thing and answering the same questions about our power play early in the series,” Toews said. “And we came on strong late in the series, and it helped us a lot in winning that series.

“It’s something we’re always focused on and we’ll keep trying to work on. We know that it can make a difference in the series, so we’re very aware of that.”

Although the Hawks have a 3-1 series lead against the Los Angeles Kings in the Western Conference finals, the power play remains in need of improvement heading into Game 5 at the United Center. The Hawks went 0 for 4 on the power play in Game 4 and have scored only one goal in 12 power-play attempts during the series.

Overall, the Hawks have scored seven goals on 49 power-play attempts in the playoffs for a success rate of 14.3 percent. Six of the Hawks’ power-play goals have come at the United Center while only one power-play goal has come on the road.

Stare of respect: Patrick Kane took a long look at Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick after a hard shot found its way into Quick’s glove instead of the back of the net during Game 4.

It wasn’t a stare down from Kane to Quick. It was more like a look of wonder.

“He made a great glove save, you have to give him credit,” Kane said. “I remember being on the Olympic team with him. He worked hard in practice. He was a fun guy to shoot on.”

Both Kane and Quick played key roles with Team USA in the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. Kane is from Buffalo, N.Y., while Quick was born in Milford, Conn.

Making the grade: Hawks coach Joel Quenneville was happy with how defenseman Michal Rozsival stepped up in Game 4 with Duncan Keith out of the lineup.

Rozsival logged more than 25 minutes of ice time, which was his heaviest workload in more than a month. His role likely will diminish with Keith on the ice for Game 5.

“He can play in all situations and play against top guys,” Quenneville said of Rozsival, a 34-year-old veteran of 12 NHL seasons. “I think offensively [he] has the puck a lot, has real good patience. And he’s a pretty heavy defender, as well.”

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