While Patrick Kane nears a significant milestone, the Chicago Blackhawks are in position to record their longest winning streak of the season.
Kane and the Blackhawks eye a fifth straight victory Sunday night against the visiting Winnipeg Jets, who have fared well in Chicago in recent years.
Kane's assist in Saturday's 6-2 win at Toronto, which allowed Chicago to sweep a three-game eastern Canadian trip, moved him to within one point of 1,000 in his career. He has four goals and 10 assists during a nine-game point streak for the Blackhawks, who have won 10 of 14 to move closer to playoff position in the Western Conference.
"It's just a matter of time" before he gets to 1,000, fellow Chicago star Jonathan Toews told NBC Sports Chicago.
Chicago has outscored its last four opponents 17-7, and Kane has not been the only one playing well at the offensive end. Toews and rookie Dominik Kubalik each scored twice at Toronto, and combined for three assists.
Through eight games on the new year, Kubalik has nine goals with four assists, while Toews scored five times with 10 helpers.
"It's all kind of clicking, and we're having fun out there. You build confidence, and we're building momentum, building and building," said Blackhawks forward Brandon Saad, who had a goal in his first game after missing 12 with an ankle injury.
Winnipeg native Toews, though, failed to register a point while Chicago split the first two games of the season with Winnipeg. Kubalik recorded one of his 20 goals and one of his 11 assists against the Jets.
Winnipeg, meanwhile, is barely outside playoff position in the West and two points ahead of Chicago, but the Jets have dropped three of four, most recently a brutal 7-1 home loss to Tampa Bay on Friday night.
It marked the third time this season the Jets have allowed seven goals. They yielded one combined in their previous two contests.
"When this team has had success, we've looked a certain way," forward Blake Wheeler, who takes a five-game road point streak into this contest, told the Jets' official website.
"We've had to battle extremely hard to get to a certain point. It could be losing sight of some of those little details."
The good news for Winnipeg is that it can pile up some points in a hurry. The Jets will play three road games over a four-day stretch before the All-Star weekend.
"It's a good hockey league. It's tough to get wins," Winnipeg star Mark Scheifele said.
"We just have to get past this one."
A visit to Chicago could help. Though the Jets fell 4-1 at home to the Blackhawks last month, they'll aim for a fourth consecutive victory at Chicago after winning 3-2 there in overtime on Oct. 12.
Scheifele has six goals with two assists in his last six road games against the Blackhawks. Connor Hellebuyck, pulled after allowing five goals on 12 shots versus Tampa Bay, is 5-2-0 with a 2.00 goals-against average at Chicago. Backup Laurent Brossoit has allowed 11 goals in his last two starts.
Chicago's Robin Lehner stopped 66 of 70 shots in those two games versus Winnipeg this season. He has a 1.99 goals-against average in winning his last two overall.
Teammate Corey Crawford, who has posted a 1.51 goals-against average in the Blackhawks' last two games, has a 4.62 goals-against during an 0-1-2 stretch against the Jets.
--Field Level Media