Chicago Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane (88) looks to score against Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Fredrik Norrena (30), of Finland, during a shootout of an NHL hockey game in Chicago, Sunday, March 30, 2008. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS/Brian Kersey
CHICAGO - It's been quite a rookie season for Patrick Kane. The 19-year-old forward is setting records and keeping the Chicago Blackhawks in the hunt for a playoff berth.
Kane scored the only goal in a shootout and the Blackhawks boosted their slim playoff chances with a 5-4 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Sunday night.
"I don't know what it is," Kane said. "Last year, I was 4-for-10 in junior (in shootouts). It's crazy to think about that. You just develop moves to become successful with. In pressure situations like that, it comes in handy."
After Nikolai Khabibulin denied Joakim Lindstrom to open the shootout, Kane deked to his forehand and slipped a backhander past Fredrik Norrena. Khabibulin then stopped Nikolai Zherdev before clinching the victory with a pad stop on Rick Nash.
Jonathan Toews, Jason Williams and Patrick Sharp scored power-play goals for the Blackhawks, 4-1-1 in their last six games. Chicago is four points behind eighth-place Vancouver with three games remaining. The Canucks won late Sunday night to move past Nashville with 88 points.
The Blackhawks host Detroit on Wednesday and Nashville on Friday before closing the regular season April 6 at Detroit.
"We jumped over a few hurdles in this game today," Toews said. "It's a game that brings you together as a team. We didn't get frustrated.
"There was a lot of chatter on the bench and during the intermission. We were really up in the locker room. That was a big goal by Yannic (Perreault) in the third period."
Chicago converted three of seven power plays.
"We made some adjustments, just shot pucks more," Blackhawks coach Denis Savard said. "That's all we talked about, and we capitalized."
Derek MacKenzie scored his second goal of the season 3:57 into the third period, giving Columbus a 4-3 lead. Chicago netted the equalizer 10 minutes later when Perreault - left unchecked at the left post - scored off a rebound of Cam Barker's shot from the high slot.
Andrew Murray, Michael Peca and Zherdev scored for the Blue Jackets, who lost their fifth straight on the road. Columbus was denied a franchise record-tying 35th win.
Chicago scored a pair of power-play goals in the second period to erase a 3-1 deficit. Williams made it 3-2 at 8:19, just 6 seconds Rostislav Klesla was called for interference. The Blackhawks converted on a two-man advantage with 2:43 left in the period when Sharp poked home a rebound of Robert Lang's shot for his team-high 36th goal.
Toews staked Chicago to a 1-0 lead 3:54 into the game. He received a pass from Kane behind his own goal line and threw a centring pass in front that caromed past Norrena.
The assist was Kane's 48th of the season, breaking the Blackhawks rookie record set by Savard (1980-81) and Steve Larmer (1982-83).
"I thought about it the last couple of games," Kane said of the record. "Now it's out of the way and I can just go out and play hockey. That's a bonus."
Notes: Columbus was without six regulars: D Ron Hainsey, D Dick Tarnstrom, D Ole-Kristian Tollefsen, LW Fredrik Modin, C Dan Fritsche and G Pascal Leclaire. ... Kane's assist was his 66th point, tying him with Washington's Niklas Backstrom for the rookie scoring lead. ... Each team won four games in the season series.
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