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Blackhawks Beat Panthers 3-1 To Take NHL Lead

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CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 20: (L-R) Nick Leddy #8, Marian Hossa #81 and Duncan Keith #2 of the Chicago Blackhawks celebrate Keith's first period goal against the Florida Panthers at the United Center on January 20, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

CHICAGO, IL – JANUARY 20: (L-R) Nick Leddy #8, Marian Hossa #81 and Duncan Keith #2 of the Chicago Blackhawks celebrate Keith’s first period goal against the Florida Panthers at the United Center on January 20, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

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CHICAGO (AP) — Patrick Kane ended a seven-game goal drought and set up linemate Jonathan Toews’ breakaway score in the Chicago Blackhawks’ 3-1 victory over the Florida Panthers on Friday night.

Defenseman Duncan Keith added his first goal in 30 games to help Chicago take the NHL lead, a point ahead of Detroit. The Blackhawks have won three straight and are 5-0-1 in their last six games.

Ray Emery made 18 saves, allowing only Jason Garrison’s power-play goal 43 seconds into the third period.

The Panthers dropped their eighth straight on the road and slipped to 1-3-3 in their last seven overall.

Toews, who leads Chicago with 27 goals, has goals in four straight games and extended his points streak to six games. Kane’s goal was his second in 14 games.

The game started a little over a half-hour late, at 8:08 p.m., because of snow. The announced attendance at the 20,500-seat United Center was 21,555, but about 2,000 seats remained empty.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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