Patrick Kane talks Prague, Crawford


Chicago Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane (88) celebrates with teammates after scoring against the Arizona Coyotes during the second period of an NHL hockey game Monday, March 11, 2019, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Kamil Krzaczynski)

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The NHL announced Patrick Kane and the Blackhawks will take on the Philadelphia Flyers to start the 2019-2020 season in Prague on Oct. 4.

“I think it’s pretty exciting,” Kane said. “It’s nice to go and see some new places and go over to Europe and represent the NHL and try to help grow the game a little bit.

“The Blackhawks are always a team that’s involved in a lot of these big events. We take pride in that and we’re looking forward to heading over there.”

Kane realizes there will be a decent amount of down time abroad for the team.

“Yeah, you look at the schedule and we’re there 7-10 days and we only have two games, so we’ll be spending a lot of time together,” he said. “Good to get to know the team we’re about to have and obviously a good situation to be bonding with your teammates.”

Chicago, now four points shy of the second wild card spot in the West, has Philly as their dancing partner Thursday night. The Flyers, six points out in the East, are also looking to gain some ground in the standings.

“Just treating it like playoffs,” Kane said. “Obviously a big game tonight in our home building, where we lost last game, so we want to respond to that. This is a team that’s fighting for a playoff spot as well, so they’re gonna be coming out hard and heavy, too.

“Worry about tonight, then obviously we have a big matchup against Colorado this weekend—two huge games. Travel’s not easy where you’re here, going to Colorado, coming back, then back out west for a few games. Just really gotta dial in and focus on the right things right now.”

The winger, who recently tallied his 100th point of the season in Monday’s 3-2 shootout loss to Vancouver, knows the Hawks have been getting a lift from their last line of defense Corey Crawford.

Crawford is 5-0-1 with a .948 save percentage and a 1.74 goals-against average in his past six games.

“It gives us a lot of confidence,” Kane said. “He’s been great for us. I think our goaltending has been pretty good all year, to be honest with you.

“I don’t know if we’ve given them much help with the way we’ve played in front of them, but he’s been unbelievable. Even last game, he made some huge saves to keep us in the game and get that extra point and a big reason why we’re 5-0-1 in our last six.”

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