Patrick Kane’s hat trick in return carries Blackhawks to long-awaited victory

After missing four games on the COVID list, Kane scored a hat trick Monday as the Hawks beat the Senators 5-1 for their first victory of the season.

SHARE Patrick Kane’s hat trick in return carries Blackhawks to long-awaited victory

Patrick Kane’s hat trick carried the Blackhawks to a win Monday.

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Patrick Kane — at the time still stuck in COVID-19 protocol — was texting Blackhawks coach Jeremy Colliton on Sunday, begging to play when he was eligible to return Monday.

Colliton had his doubts. But Kane cleared all his tests, made it into the lineup, played 19 minutes and 40 seconds — well more than the mere 12 minutes he had asked for — and delivered a big performance at a crucial time.

Kane’s hat trick lifted the Hawks to a 5-1 victory against the Senators, finally snapping their season-opening nine-game losing streak.

‘‘You could feel not having a win weighing on us,’’ Kane said. ‘‘It’s just huge to get the first one. We kind of got the monkey off our back. It’s a new month for us.’’

The dam at first showed small signs of cracking, with the Hawks leading 1-0 at the first intermission and 2-0 at the second, before bursting entirely in the third period and rewarding a crowd of 15,946 at the United Center.

Kane looked like his vintage self, lurking quietly but dangerously before grabbing a loose puck in the crease on his first goal and exploding through the defense for a breakaway on his third. He said he felt ‘‘rejuvenated’’ despite having experienced mild symptoms and not being allowed to leave his house during his 10-day quarantine.

The Hawks’ record now stands at 1-7-2 — still not pretty, but better than before.

‘‘There’s been a lot of adversity for this team early, some [of which] was created on our own,’’ Colliton said. ‘‘The hockey gods, they have a funny way of working. [Kane] coming back, it was a lift, and we’ve got more guys coming. We’ve got to take advantage of that.’’

‘‘Hopefully we get a little bit of our confidence back,’’ said wing Brandon Hagel, who scored the Hawks’ other two goals.

Bettman defends decisions

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman defended several controversial decisions he made in the fallout of the Hawks’ sexual-assault investigation in his news conference Monday.

Bettman said he let Joel Quenneville coach the Panthers’ game Wednesday against the Bruins — before meeting with him Thursday, leading to his resignation that night — because he ‘‘wanted to make sure that no one, including coach Quenneville, thought that I had prejudged him.’’

Bettman also said that he chose not to discipline Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff because his lesser role with the Hawks in 2010 meant he didn’t know the allegations weren’t being investigated and that the $2 million fine levied against the Hawks was ‘‘substantial by any measure.’’

He said the NHL has sought the assistance of outside professionals to evaluate its policies on and resources for sexual abuse and will try to create a network of organizations for abuse victims to make available to hockey players outside the league.

Settlement talks starting

Settlement talks between Susan Loggans, the lawyer for Kyle Beach, and Hawks lawyers are scheduled to begin Tuesday.

The Hawks requested the sides use a third-party mediator to determine a ‘‘fair financial settlement’’ and proposed a 60-day stay on filings in the still-pending lawsuit while the talks progress, according to letters obtained by the Sun-Times.

Hawks chairman Rocky Wirtz and CEO Danny Wirtz also asked Loggans whether Beach would be willing to have a direct conversation in which they ‘‘each personally apologize’’ for the Hawks’ mishandling of his allegations.

More notes

  • NHL Players’ Association director Donald Fehr called Monday for a law firm to investigate his and the NHLPA’s response to Beach’s allegations in 2010. The NHLPA allegedly was notified several times but did not take action.
  • Marian Hossa’s legacy night — scheduled for Nov. 9 against the Penguins — has been postponed by the Hawks, who in a statement called it an ‘‘important time for our organization to reflect rather than celebrate.’’
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