PHILADELPHIA – Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews are looking find their scoring touch on the road in the Stanley Cup final.
Neither of the Blackhawks young stars got a point as Chicago won the opening two games of the best-of-seven final at home against the Philadelphia Flyers.
Game 3 is set for Wednesday night at the Wachovia Center, normally a hyper-hostile bulding for visitors.
”I hope it helps that we’re on the road,” Kane said. ”Things slow down a bit and you’re not trying to force too much.
”That’s probably what I was trying to do in the first two games—trying to force the puck instead of letting things come to me.”
Toews, the playoff scoring leader, said his line with Kane and Dustin Byfuglien played better in Game 2 than in the opener, a wild 6-5 victory in which Troy Brouwer and Tomas Kopecky led the scoresheet. Byfuglien picked up an assist in Game 2.
But for the Blackhawks to claim their first Stanley Cup since 1961, they’ll likely need their top line to come through, despite their scoring depth.
”The biggest thing for us is that we were much, much better defensively and we worked harder on our side of the puck,” said Toews, the team captain who along with Kane was minus-3 in Game 1. ”That’s where we wanted to start—from the ground up—and we know the offence would come.
”It worked out for our team in the last couple of games where we didn’t need to score for us to win, but we know we want to come up big on one of these nights (in Philadelphia).”
Going into Game 3, Toews had scored six of his seven goals and 17 of his 26 points in the post-season on the road. He agreed that players can be guilty of trying too hard in front of their home fans.
”Sometimes in those types of games you’re trying to create something when there’s no play there,” he said. ”We’re just going to keep things simple.”
The road has been a productive place for the Blackhawks.
They went into Game 3 with a seven-game road winning run, tied with four other teams for the NHL record—the 1980 and 1982 New York Islanders, the 1995 New Jersey Devils and the 1999 Colorado Rockies.
”I think we can bring that confidence we had on the road in previous series,” said Toews. ”When you’re on the road, you spend more time as a team. We’re together.
”For us, that’s where we want to be. That’s where we’re in our comfort zone.”
Winger Andrew Ladd skated with his teammates Wednesday for the first time since he injured his left shoulder in Game 4 of the Western Conference final against San Jose. However, coach Joel Quenneville said Ladd will not play in Game 3 against the Flyers.
The Flyers did not appear to have any changes planned.