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Quenneville expects Kane to be OK

12/13/2009
The Hawks' Antti Niemi recorded his third shutout of the season in seven games. Bill Smith/NHLI/Getty Images

The Chicago Blackhawks beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-0 Sunday but got another injury scare when a star player went face-first into the boards.

Patrick Kanescored the game’s first goal but later in that opening period was tripped by Lightning defenseman Matt Smabyas he chased down a puck in the corner.

After the game, Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said he thought Kane would be OK.

“He’s not bad,” Quenneville said. “He got cut above his eye there, and they had to stitch it up and his vision was impaired, but I think he’s going to be all right.”

Kane snapped off a wrist shot for his team-leading 10th goal before getting hit and leaving the game for good with 6:59 left in the first period. Quenneville said if he was a “betting man,” he thinks Kane will play Wednesday when the Hawks play host to the St. Louis Blues.

Lost in the Kane scare was Antti Niemi, who earned his third shutout of the season in just his seventh start. He only needed to stop 18 shots but made some big saves early in the game when it was still in doubt.

The game got chippy as the Hawks pulled away. Smaby also hit Jonathan Toewsin the second period with what looked like a late hit near the head. Later in the third, Todd Fedoruck took an extra step to stop as Niemi covered a puck and Fedoruck bumped him.

“That’s what happens in hockey games,” Brent Seabrook said after the game. “Teams get frustrated. We get frustrated, too. It’s just how it goes. We’re a tight group. We’re going to stick up for each other and help each other out.”

The Hawks scored more than three goals in regulation for the first time since Nov. 25. Marian Hossa had a goal and an assist. His goal came when he caught a puck and then hit it out of mid-air as he dropped it to his stick for one of the more skilled plays of the season.