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It’s no secret that Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews are the two most important players on the Chicago Blackhawks’ roster, but as they prepare for Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Tampa Bay Lightning, their collective struggles have made it difficult for the Hawks to gain traction in this series.
Toews finally broke out of his slump on Wednesday night as he scored a goal in the 2-1 victory over the Lightning in Game 4 of the series, and Kane also broke his point drought as he secured an assist on Brandon Saad’s game-winner in the third period of the game.
Even with that slight spike in production, the team will still need them to do more as the series moves forwards and the Hawks try to set up a potential Cup-clinching game on Monday night at the United Center.
For fans looking for reason for optimism that the two players will get their struggles figured out, their past history in Game 5’s is a good place to start.
For Toews, Game 5 has been kind, as he’s scored seven goals and dished out 11 assists in the 17 starts he has in those contests. On the eight occasions that the Hawks have been tied at 2-2 in a best-of-seven series, Toews’ production goes up even more, with four goals and six assists in those games.
Even though Toews’ numbers are good, Kane’s are slightly better.
In those 17 games (in which the Blackhawks have a 14-3 record), Kane has nine goals and 11 assists, including a hat trick against the Los Angeles Kings in 2013. What’s more, he’s been especially effective in the Stanley Cup Final, combining for three goals and an assist in wins over the Philadelphia Flyers and Boston Bruins.
In the eight series in which the Blackhawks have been tied at 2-2 under Kane and Toews, the team has 7-1 record in those games. Their only loss came earlier in this postseason to the Anaheim Ducks, and they ultimately came back to win the series.
The Hawks have won all eight series during the Kane/Toews era when tied after four games of play.
When you add that track record of success to the line changes that the Blackhawks have made going into this game, there is plenty of reason to be optimistic as the Hawks look to secure their second consecutive win and put the Lightning on the brink of elimination in this series.