Blackhawks-Ducks Preview

Patrick Kane's best run of his career has him sitting atop the league in points while helping provide the Chicago Blackhawks with a formidable second line that also features two newcomers.

The problem is that the other three combinations are having trouble producing, leading to a surprising change in the top six.

After a strong effort, coach Joel Quenneville could choose to go with his new lineup again as the Blackhawks continue their road trip Friday against the Anaheim Ducks.

Kane has 10 goals and 18 assists during a career-best 17-game point streak after assisting on goals by defensemen Brent Seabrook and Duncan Keith in Wednesday's 5-2 win over San Jose.

His 34 points have come mostly while playing with rookie standout Artemi Panarin and center Artem Anisimov, who was acquired from Columbus in the Brandon Saad trade. Panarin also had two assists against the Sharks, but Anisimov had his five-game point streak snapped.

''If it ends, it ends,'' Kane said. ''I just want to play my game and make sure I'm doing the right things out there for the team. If it continues, it continues. I'm not too worried about it right now.''

Quenneville has been fretting about why the Blackhawks (12-8-2) haven't been able to get much scoring from elsewhere. He decided to break up Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa from the top line Wednesday, sending Hossa to the third line with Marcus Kruger and Marko Dano.

Toews played with Andrew Shaw and Ryan Garbutt, and they each earned an assist on Toews' goal in the first period. Chicago improved to 2-1-1 on a six-game trip that ends Saturday against Los Angeles.

"Maybe on the road it was our best complete game," Quenneville said. "I thought we had a really good game in Vancouver (on Saturday) with nothing to show for it. I thought (Wednesday) we got rewarded. Good back-to-back efforts as far as playing the right way and doing a lot of good things."

Toews scored in overtime to give the Blackhawks a 1-0 win over the Ducks on Oct. 26 in the first meeting since Chicago won Game 7 of last season's Western Conference finals in Anaheim.

The Ducks (8-11-4) are going to need vast improvement to reach that level this season. They haven't won back-to-back games since a four-game run Nov. 1-7, going 3-4-2 since after losing 4-2 at Arizona on Wednesday.

''We can play really good on certain occasions and the next night we don't play nearly as well,'' coach Bruce Boudreau said. ''We had pockets and there were times we looked like we were brain dead.''

Ryan Kesler and Sami Vatanen scored in the third period as Anaheim's rally fell short. It trailed by two goals early the previous night against Calgary before coming back to win 5-3 and end a three-game home losing streak.

''It's frustrating,'' said Ryan Getzlaf, who had a franchise record-tying five assists against the Flames and another Wednesday. ''We're trying to build off a pretty good game and should have come in with some excitement, but we came out flat.''

John Gibson has started back-to-back games in net with Frederik Andersen out with an illness. It's unclear if Andersen, who made 23 saves in the first meeting and started each game against the Blackhawks in the postseason, will be able to go in this one.

Corey Crawford stopped 39 shots against the Ducks last month. Quenneville hasn't announced if Crawford or Scott Darling will be in net.

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