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Kane ready to dazzle
By Tim Sassone | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 1/14/2009 12:02 AM

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Patrick Kane claims to have a few tricks up his sleeve. He better if he wants to beat Washington's Alex Ovechkin, the defending champ in the Breakaway Challenge at all-star weekend.

Kane was one of the five players picked by the NHL on Tuesday to compete for the title in the second year of the event to take place on Jan. 24 in Montreal at all-star weekend.

Joining Kane and Ovechkin will be Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby, Anaheim's Ryan Getzlaf and Montreal's Alex Kovalev.

Each player will have one minute to try as many routines as he can as long as it ends with a shot on goal. Creativity is encouraged.

"I've got a couple moves in mind, but I'll take any ideas you guys have to try to put in my arsenal," Kane joked. "I was looking forward to the competition and hoping I'd get called.

"You've got to be all talent, all skill and all hands. I'm hoping I can pull a couple moves off. I think I've got some tricks in the bag I can show off and hopefully they're good enough to win."

Kane said his teammates have thrown a few ideas his way.

"I've got one idea for him and I told him earlier, but I'm going to keep that quiet," linemate Patrick Sharp said. "I'll meet back with you guys after the All-Star Game and see if he uses it. If he uses it and it goes well, then I'll be sure to take credit for it. But if he uses it and it's a disaster I'll have nothing to do with it."

Buffalo boys: Brian Campbell and Patrick Kane are sure to be pumped up for tonight's game against the Sabres at the United Center.

Campbell grew up in the Buffalo organization, spending parts of eight seasons there before being traded to San Jose last February.

"I loved it there," said Campbell, who left because the Sabres couldn't afford to keep him as a free agent. "It was a great place to play hockey and a great place to live. We had a lot of success there."

Kane is a Buffalo native who grew up rooting for the Sabres.

"There are about 20-25 people coming to the game," Kane said. "I'm not buying the tickets though. It's pretty cool they can come and see the game."

Sprint to the break: Hawks coach Joel Quenneville made it a point at Tuesday's practice to remind his players how important the next five games are leading up to the break.

"It's something Joel mentioned how we've got to push through to the break," Brian Campbell said. "These are important points because we've got a tough stretch after that."

The Hawks play four of the next five games at home. After the all-star break they'll head out on an eight-game road trip.

"This is the time of the season you usually see slumps happen," Patrick Kane said. "We've got to try to avoid those as much as we can. With four of the next five at home this is a big time for us to go out and try to get some points."

Tip-ins: Cristobal Huet will start in goal against the Sabres. - A good chunk of Tuesday's practice was spent working on the power play, which is 3-for-21 in the last five games.