CHICAGO -- The Chicago Blackhawks haven’t been able to find a formula to create consistent power-play success this season, but they haven’t lost hope in still discovering it.
The Blackhawks have scored seven goals on 49 power-play chances for a 14.3 percentage in the playoffs. In the regular season, they scored 25 goals on 151 chances for a 16.6 percentage, which ranked 19th.
Against the Los Angeles Kings in the Western Conference finals, the Blackhawks have tallied one power-play goal in 12 chances through four games.
“For us, I think it’s important,” Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane said after the team’s morning skate Saturday. “We still want to get the power play going. We’ve had chances. We’ve had opportunities. But at the same time, it’s not good enough. You want to cash in and bury those.
“[They] could be huge goals at any part of the game, any time you get those special-teams goals. If it wasn’t for our penalty kill, maybe we’d be talking more about the power play struggling. Our penalty kill has been great.”
As inconsistent as the Blackhawks’ power play has been, their penalty kill has been performing at the other end of the spectrum throughout the playoffs. The Blackhawks have killed off 53 of 55 power plays for a 96.4 percentage, which is first among playoff teams.
Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews hopes the power play will still ignite and give them some more breathing room in tight games.
“Maybe you look at the game [on Thursday] -- we trailed for at least half the game there until we tied it up in the second [period],” Toews said Friday. “We feel if you take advantage of a few of your power-play chances, maybe you can take the lead, take a little more control of the game, maybe distance yourself a little bit from the other team.
“But, you know, a series ago, we were asking ourselves the same thing. We were answering the same questions about our power play early in the series against Detroit. We came on strong late in the series, and it helped us a lot in winning that series. So it's something that we're always focused on. We'll keep trying to work on. We know that it can make a difference in the series. We're very aware of that.”
Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said he would like to see more production from the power play, but he didn’t think it had been awful in recent games.
“I don't think it's a struggle,” Quenneville said. “I thought we did some good things with our power play in the series. The production maybe not reflecting the zone time, the quality, the momentum that you go into the power play with.
“I know the 5-on-3 was a disappointing miss [in Game 4]. At the same time, they're a pretty good penalty-killing team as well. As long as you don't lose the momentum, I think the power play has been OK. But certainly we'd like, you know, something to show for it.”