Blackhawks lose Patrick Kane to injury, lose game against Lightning


Colin Blackwell and the Blackhawks lost 4-1 to the Lightning on Tuesday.

Michael Reaves/Getty Images

The Blackhawks had a plan entering their matchup Tuesday against the Lightning.

They intended to reunite their original first and second forward lines from the season opener, putting Andreas Athanasiou back with Max Domi and Patrick Kane and Tyler Johnson back with Jonathan Toews and Taylor Raddysh.

But then Johnson came down sick in the afternoon, Kane aggravated a lower-body injury during the game and the plan went awry in the Hawks’ 4-1 loss, their 27th in their last 31 games.

‘‘They’re going to come and execute in your offensive zone,’’ Hawks coach Luke Richardson said of the Lightning. ‘‘We just ran out of gas at the other end. We didn’t get a lot of offense and pucks to the net.’’

The sudden absences of Johnson and Kane left the Hawks in a pinch with only 10 forwards available for the third period. MacKenzie Entwistle and Jujhar Khaira also are injured and are day-to-day.

Defenseman Caleb Jones was forced to operate as the third-line left wing — his first time playing forward since age 12.

Richardson said Kane suffered the injury Sunday against the Sharks but felt healthy enough in warmups to play. He was to be checked out by doctors Tuesday night.

Streak broken

The Hawks needed only three days in 2023 to break their infamous streak of no power-play goals by a defenseman.

Early in the first period, Seth Jones took advantage of a sloppy line change by the Lightning’s penalty kill, crashed the net and knocked in a pass from Raddysh for the Hawks’ only goal. He became the first Hawks defenseman to score with the man advantage since Connor Murphy in May 2021, snapping a 123-game drought.

‘‘I’m sure it’s a relief for him to get on the scoresheet, but it’s just a really smart play by the whole power-play unit,’’ Richardson said.

Feeling chilly

Forward Philipp Kurashev’s excellent start to the season has cooled off considerably.

Since Nov. 29, the 23-year-old wing has one goal and two assists in 16 games. He’s still on pace for a career-high 31 points, but a major breakout season no longer appears to be destined.

‘‘It has been a little bit up and down,’’ Kurashev said. ‘‘Sometimes we have really good games, and sometimes it’s kind of hard. We’re struggling a bit, but still we’ve had some pretty good looks.’’

He identified finishing as one particular area he’s working on. His shot is typically a strength, but only one of his last 83 attempts during five-on-five play has found the net.

King’s regret

Hawks assistant Derek King said he wishes he had done many things differently as interim head coach last season.

It sounded as though one of those regrets was relinquishing so much day-to-day control to assistant Marc Crawford — who functioned at times, especially early in King’s tenure, as the real head coach — and Crawford’s old friend Rob Cookson, whom he brought in as the Hawks’ third-in-command. King didn’t name names, however.

‘‘I would’ve maybe taken over a little more in the video part, preparing the guys and stuff like that,’’ he said. ‘‘In the American [Hockey] League, I was always giving guys — whether it was [then-assistant] Anders [Sorensen] or somebody else — [duties like], ‘You guys run the drill. It’s your drill.’ That’s how I approached it last year.

‘‘Watching how things are run now, I probably should’ve run the drills myself. Whether they were my drills or not, [I should] just take it over and be that voice.’’

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