EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Patrick Kane could have felt déjà vu on Sunday.
A season ago, Kane demanded more of himself after going goalless through three games against the Los Angeles Kings in the Western Conference finals. A season later, Kane stood before the media Sunday and stated nearly the same objectives for himself after again being shut out in the first three games against the Kings in the Western Conference finals.
Kane said last season, "It’s something I’ve just got to go out and do. I can’t take no for an answer, and go out and do it."
On Sunday, he said, "Just demand it. That's the biggest thing, probably. Demand the puck, and when I do get it, be confident with it. Those two things usually will lead to better games for myself."
Kane did just that in Game 4 against the Kings last season, and it led to a goal. He scored a hat trick in Game 5.
Kane wouldn’t mind those same results this season.
"You hope history repeats itself and you can do the same thing," Kane said. "I think scoring a goal like that last year probably propelled me into playing well the rest of the playoffs, but you can’t go into games thinking about scoring, or thinking you’ve got to have a big point night. That’s only going to set yourself up for failure. The better way to engage it is try to play fast, try to command the puck, try to get in and make plays and, hopefully, see a result at the end of the night."
Kane has had a few quality looks on Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick over the first three games of the series, but his opportunities have been, for the most part, limited compared with how he’s played against other teams. Kane scored six goals in the first two series, and he had a Corsi percentage (shot differential) of better than 50 percent in nine of his first 12 playoff games.
Kane’s numbers have dropped against the Kings. He has zero goals and assists, seven shots on goal and a 43.5 Corsi percentage in the series. He’s been on the ice for 30 shots for and 39 against, according to extraskater.com.
Kane didn’t deny he hasn’t met his usual expectations.
"I don't think I've played up to par for myself the first three games of the series," Kane said. "It would be nice to turn that around and play good in Game 4.
"You’ve got to give them credit. They’re playing pretty well, but at the same time, I think you probably take it upon yourself a little more when things aren’t going well, so I don’t really go into a game saying, 'They’re doing this or that,' and say, 'That’s why it’s affecting my play.' Usually, you put it on yourself personally."
Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews thought Kane might put too much pressure on himself at times.
"Just think he tends to be harder on himself when he’s not producing or getting the results on paper," Toews said. "Doesn’t necessarily mean he’s not playing as well with the puck or not creating anything. He just has to stay with it, and once that first one goes in, he’ll be back to himself again. As his teammate, you can see what he brings to the team every single night, whether he scores or not. But for him personally, he’s hard on himself in that way. He wants to contribute. We know it’s just a matter of time before he gets going again."
With Game 4 on Monday, Kane was going to approach it with a simple plan.
"Take it as a new game," Kane said. "Wipe the slate clean, come out with a good attitude Monday and see what happens."