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Brent Seabrook taking aggressive approach to end goal drought

Jordin Tootoo (22) celebrates with teammates Dennis Rasmussen (70) and John Hayden (40) after scoring a goal during the third period of the Blackhawks' 3-2 loss to the Bruins on Sunday at the United Center. (Paul Beaty/AP)

Mired in a seasonlong goal-scoring slump, defenseman Brent Seabrook will keep shooting.

Without a goal since Jan. 17 at Colorado, Seabrook took 11 shots, put five on goal and assisted on both goals in a 3-2 loss to the Boston Bruins on Sunday at the United Center.

“I’m just trying to shoot the puck,” Seabrook said. “Some nights you don’t get a lot of opportunities and some nights you do. Tonight was one of those nights where the puck kept finding me. It would have been nice to put one of those in.”

Seabrook has scored three goals this season after scoring a career-high 14 last season. He has not scored in his last 36 games, with 136 shot attempts and 64 shots on goal in that span.

“I’m not really trying to think about it too much,” said Seabrook, who has 36 assists, one more than last season. “I’m trying to get pucks on the net and create opportunities. It doesn’t seem to want to be going in. It is what it is. Hopefully I’m saving them for the playoffs. That would be nice.”

Seabrook was aggressive from the start and seemed to get a boost when he was paired with Duncan Keith after the Hawks fell behind 2-0 in the second period.

“When he’s pounding from the point, he had some good looks,” coach Joel Quenneville said, “[He was] part of the attack and defensively in a good gap and physical, playing his position the right way. It gives us another dimension in zone and coming up on the attack.”

Seabrook has been a clutch player and leader on and off the ice during the playoffs. He’s had up-and-down moments this season but seemed to take a step toward getting into playoff form Sunday.

“I’m just playing,” Seabrook said. “I’m trying to do the best I can out there to help, whether that’s putting pucks in the net or playing defense; trying to be good in my own zone, get the puck to our forwards, all that kind of stuff.”

Tootoo scores again

After falling behind 2-0 on

Patrice Bergeron’s goal in the second period, the Hawks responded with a fourth-line goal 45 seconds later when Jordin Tootoo scored in front of Anton Khudobin off a nice feed from rookie John Hayden from behind the goal line. It was Tootoo’s second goal of the season and Hayden’s third assist in 10 games.

“Hayden’s a great player. He’s a big body,” Tootoo said. “Our mentality as a fourth-line unit is to grind ’em down low, hold onto the puck and any time we get a chance to get the puck to the net, get to those second and third chances. He made a great play. He rolled off. He has great vision out there.”

The home stretch

With home-ice advantage through the Western Conference final clinched and only an outside shot at the President’s Trophy, the Hawks likely will rest some veterans but also still sharpen a playoff edge in the final three games of the regular season — at Colorado on Tuesday, Anaheim on Thursday and Los Angeles on Saturday.

“Play the right way,” Quenneville said. “Keep everybody fresh and focused on what we need to do to do the best we can [when the playoffs begin]. We want to make sure we’re doing the right things — habits and the simple things.”

Follow me on Twitter @MarkPotash.

Email: mpotash@suntimes.com

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