Huet, Kane keep Senators reeling on the road

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CHICAGO (Ticker) -- Cristobal Huet is making a case to remain

the Chicago Blackhawks' No. 1 goaltender.

Huet made 23 saves and Patrick Kane scored a power-play goal as

the Blackhawks extended their home winning streak to three games

Wednesday with a 2-0 triumph over the Ottawa Senators.

Troy Brouwer added an empty-net tally for the Blackhawks, who

improved to 3-0-1 in their last four games overall and 9-1-4 at

the United Center this season.

"Their top line is very dangerous and Huet was spectacular,"

Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said.

Making his sixth consecutive start in place of the injured

Nikolai Khabibulin, Huet turned aside nine shots in the first

period and seven in each of the final two sessions en route to

his first shutout of the season and 18th career.

"It feels great, but the guys did a great job on the penalty

kill," Huet said. "I was able to move well and made some good

saves."

Huet was signed to a four-year, $22.54 million contract over the

summer despite the fact Khabibulin had one year at $6.75 million

remaining on the four-year, $27 million deal he inked in July

2005.

Khabibulin has missed Chicago's last six games with a lower body

injury but served as Huet's backup for this one.

Martin Gerber made 28 saves for the Senators, who fell to 0-5-2

in their last seven road games.

"They are much better than when the lockout ended," Gerber said

of the Blackhawks. "They are a much-improved team. They have

young players who play with a lot of energy."

With Ottawa's Jarkko Ruutu in the penalty box for roughing, Kane

gave Huet all the support he needed less than 5 1/2 minutes into

the game.

After receiving a pass from Patrick Sharp at the bottom of the

right faceoff circle, Kane skated toward the hash marks and

unleashed a shot. As he was releasing the puck, it hit the

blade of Antoine Vermette's stick and fluttered past Gerber and

inside the left goalpost at 5:17, giving the Blackhawks a 1-0

lead.

"Sharp made a great pass to me and I saw an opening on low

blocker," Kane said. "But the puck went up and in. You get

those once in a while, and I'll take it."

"He just circled out and got position in front of me," Gerber

said. "Then the puck took a hop and someone tried to bat it

away. When he shot it, it went up over me and wobbled in."

Kane then made things a bit difficult for Huet, committing four

high-sticking penalties, including a double-minor with six

minutes remaining in the second period.

"He sure was on the scoresheet a lot," Quenneville said. "The

goal was great, but we need him on the ice, and we will have a

talk about that. ... We did a great job on the 5-on-3."

Kane defended taking the double-minor but had no excuses for the

other two penalties.

"The double-minor was a case of them starting to take runs at

me," he said. "If that is going to happen, I will protect

myself. Teams need to know that. The other two penalties were

undisciplined."

But the French-born Huet stood tall, making his best save on

Dany Heatley during a power play created by Kane three minutes

into the middle session.

"Yeah, that was good, but I owed the team after I didn't see a

shot during the 5-on-3," Huet said of the stop on Heatley.

The Senators, who went 0-for-6 on the power play, admitted their

futility was the difference in the game.

"Special teams hurt us tonight," Senators coach Craig Hartsburg

said. "Our power play has to be better than that. We didn't

move the puck very well when we had the advantage."

"We had chances on them and did not take advantage of it,"

Gerber added. "Our PK was good, but not good enough."

Brouwer tallied with 41 seconds remaining in the third to seal

the win as Chicago improved to 6-2-2 all-time at home against

Ottawa.

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