Kane on media attention for Chicago’s streak: ‘It’s huge’

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As much as the Chicago Blackhawks try to “one game at a time” their way through questions about their record-breaking point streak, guys like Patrick Kane told the Chicago Daily Herald that the increasing national coverage around the team is pretty great.

Here’s what Kane said about the fact that reporters from ESPN, TSN, The Wall Street Journal and Sports Illustrated joined the media fray for the ‘Hawks morning skate on Tuesday.

“It’s huge,” Kane said. “For me, personally, I’m a guy that has watched ESPN since I’ve been growing up and now you turn it on and it’s one of the first stories, the Blackhawks and hockey, which you don’t really see on that station.

“It’s cool to see. Anything to get the game out there and see how we view it; we view it as the best game in the world, and hopefully other people will start seeing it that way too.”

Fellow forward Dave Bolland admits that “you can’t ignore it,” so the team is trying to embrace it in a productive way.

“I think it’s great that it has become a national story,” Bolland said. “It’s always great when hockey is getting in the national spotlight or is big news. The game of hockey has really grown, and for this to help it in any way, it’s always great for it.”

You know things are really picking up when Toni Kukoc raves about your team.

Chicago hopes to extend this season’s streak to 23 games and break a tie with the 1977-78 Montreal Canadiens for second place overall with 29 stretching back to last season by getting a point against the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday night.

Auston Matthews’ 33rd goal includes a dash of comedy (Video)

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This wouldn’t have been worth a chuckle if not for the correction. (Well, maybe a chuckle at Auston Matthews‘ expense.)

On the 33rd goal of his brilliant rookie season, Auston Matthews made it 2-0 for Toronto on the power play. Crusty “act like you’ve been there” types might grumble that he actually celebrated before a goal really happened, only to tap it in for real the second time around. The rest of us, again, get a mild chuckle.

William Nylander‘s pass was nothing to laugh at, however. That one just gets a big thumbs up.

Hnnngmgghh indeed.

That goal could end up being key as the Blue Jackets quickly scored to start the second period, shrinking Toronto’s lead to 2-1 on Wednesday.

Video: Leafs’ Carrick delivers thunderous hit on Blue Jackets’ Anderson

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Both the Columbus Blue Jackets and Toronto Maple Leafs have motivation to win their Wednesday game, but the Maple Leafs need it more.

So far, it shows, too.

The Maple Leafs have raced off to a 2-0 lead, with Auston Matthews scoring his 33rd goal of the season. If generating such offense didn’t highlight the urgency, Connor Carrick‘s huge hit on Josh Anderson makes a compelling argument. Witness that big impact in the video above.

There was also another high-impact moment when Nick Foligno went crashing into the boards:

Ouch, Blues consider Paul Stastny out week-to-week

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The St. Louis Blues announced that Paul Stastny is out week-to-week with a lower-body injury.

Stastny was limited to less than four minutes of ice time during last night’s 4-2 win against the Colorado Avalanche. Initially, head coach Mike Yeo indicated that the issue wasn’t serious.

There are only about three weeks left in the regular season, so it’s tough to tell if “week-to-week” would mean that the Blues will be without Stastny for any playoff time.

With Stastny out for an expended period of time and other injuries affecting Blues forwards, it sounds like Nail Yakupov gets another chance to prove himself:

Stastny generated 18 goals and 40 points in 66 games so far this season. He has played more of a defensive role this season (46.2 offensive zone start percentage after being closer to 50 earlier in his Blues days) and has been impressive in the dot, winning 53.8 of his faceoffs.

WATCH LIVE: Islanders at Rangers – Wednesday Night Rivalry

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A night after a feisty matcuhup with the Devils, the Rangers host an even bigger rival in the Islanders at Madison Square Garden for Wednesday Night Rivalry on NBCSN.

As nasty as Tuesday’s contest got at times, this one means more.

While the Rangers seem pretty safely seated as the East’s first wild card, the Islanders stand three points behind the Maple Leafs for the final spot in the conference. They’ve seen other bubble teams stumble, so this is their chance to close in on Toronto in what might be a shrinking field of contenders.

Spiting the Islanders might just give the Rangers a little extra life on back-to-back nights … especially since their fans would probably let them have it if they sleepwalk through this one.

It should be a fun, physical and dramatic one on NBCSN. You can also watch online and via the NBC Sports App.

Click here for the livestream.