Patrick Kane out 'about 3 weeks'

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CHICAGO -- Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane will miss "about three weeks," according to coach Joel Quenneville, after leaving Wednesday's game against the St. Louis Blues with an apparent lower-body injury during the second period.

Quenneville said he is unsure whether Kane will return prior to the playoffs.

Kane suffered the injury when the Blues' Brenden Morrow landed on Kane's left leg near the right boards in the Blues' zone at 7:16 of the second period. Morrow fell after colliding with Blackhawks defenseman Sheldon Brookbank against the boards.

Kane fell to the ground after the contact and remained on his hands and knees on the ice for a few seconds. He stood up and slowly skated to the Blackhawks' bench. He went to the team's dressing room shortly afterward.

"It was a freak play and can happen," Quenneville said. "We've been fortunate most of the year [to not have injuries], so we'll deal with it."

Kane leads the Blackhawks with 69 points. He has 29 goals and 40 assists in 69 games. He had an assist in the first period against the Blues.

As the Blackhawks prepare to adjust with Kane gone, Quenneville and the players know it won't be one player who will replace him.

"Whether it's the power play or the quality or the quantity of the ice time he absorbs, everybody else is going to get a little bit more," Quenneville said. "I still think that four-line rotation that makes us consistent a lot of games is something that we'll even have to exaggerate as we go along here."

Defenseman Duncan Keith said it will be a chance for other players to emerge.

"It's a big loss," Keith said. "Obviously, he's our leading points scorer. He brings so many things to the table offensively for us. But I think when you get guys like that out with an injury, you have to look at the positives from it.

"The only positives come from other guys getting opportunity to play more minutes and develop their game a little bit more and get confidence going into playoffs."

Forward Ben Smith is confident he and his teammates can get by until Kane returns.

"It's hard to pick up the slack for a guy like Patrick Kane, but as a team, guys will have to step up, play some bigger minutes," Smith said. "We're definitely capable of that, but it has to probably be a group effort."

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