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Power play to be a key against Predators
By Tim Sassone | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 4/11/2010 9:53 PM

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The Blackhawks got a power-play goal for the second straight game in Sunday's loss to Detroit, which should be viewed as a major positive.

The power play had been 0-for-18 in seven games before connecting at Colorado on Friday, and counting Sunday's goal is 6-for-61 in the last 18 games.

With Nashville ranking 28th in penalty-killing for the season, the Hawks' power play could be a key to the first-round playoff series against the Predators.

"We've got some goals in the last couple games on the power play and it's going to be important for us in the playoffs," Hawks winger Patrick Sharp said.

Hawks coach Joel Quenneville has tinkered with different combinations, hoping for the light to go on, including using forwards Sharp and Dave Bolland at the point.

Bolland scored the power-play goal Sunday, but it came when he crashed the net. Jonathan Toews scored at Colorado when he cut in front of the net from the side.

"We've still got a few kinks to figure out as far as the power play goes, but I think it's getting better," Patrick Kane said. "We're starting to score and get some good chances. We're going to need it."

Brouwer returning: Troy Brouwer is expected to be available for the start of the playoffs after missing his fourth straight game Sunday due to a family matter.

"I think he should be back and on the ice (Monday for practice)," Joel Quenneville said.

As for defenseman Kim Johnsson, it's unlikely he will be ready to start the playoffs. Johnsson missed the final 15 games with concussion-like symptoms.

"I can't give you an idea exactly now," Quenneville said. "It's still day to day."

Wrapping it up: Patrick Kane led the Hawks in goals with 30 and in points with 88.

Duncan Keith led the defense in scoring with 69 points and was tops among defensemen at plus-21.

Patrick Sharp and Marian Hossa led the forwards at plus-24.

Ben Eager finished with a team-high 120 penalty minutes and led the Hawks with 8 fighting majors. Colin Fraser was second with 6 fights.

Antti Niemi and Cristobal Huet tied in wins with 26 - Niemi going 26-7-4 and Huet 26-14-4.

The Hawks closed 29-8-4 at home and sold out every game for the second year in a row.

Tip-ins: The Hawks cannot play in the United Center on Thursday because the Harlem Globetrotters are booked. -Adam Burish was a healthy scratch Sunday with Joel Quenneville deciding to play Bryan Bickell.