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Kane likely out as Blackhawks try for 1st win of season

CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago Blackhawks star Patrick Kane likely will miss Sunday night’s game against Detroit because of the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol.

The Blackhawks announced Sunday morning that forward Ryan Carpenter and defenseman Erik Gustafsson had been removed from COVID-19 protocol. But there was no word on Kane.

All three players missed practice Saturday after entering the protocol.

Asked if Kane could play against the Red Wings, coach Jeremy Colliton responded: “With all these COVID guys, there’s so much going on. We’re just going to take it one day at a time, so we’ll see what we have tonight.”

Assistant coach Tomas Mitell also remains in the protocol. Former NHL forward Chris Kunitz replaced Mitell behind the bench for Thursday’s 4-1 loss to Vancouver.

The COVID-19 protocols for the Blackhawks don’t necessarily mean that Mitell or any of the players tested positive. They could have been deemed a close contact of someone who tested positive. General manager Stan Bowman said during training camp that the team was 100% vaccinated.

The struggling Blackhawks are off to a 0-4-1 start. Kane leads the team with four assists and five points.

“If he’s not in, that’s obviously a huge loss,” defenseman Connor Murphy said. “He creates so much for us offensively. … But we know we have a lot of good players, a lot of depth that guys can step up.“

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More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Chicago Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane waves to fans as he is honored for his 1,000th NHL hockey game, before the team's matchup against the Vancouver Canucks in Chicago, Thursday, Oct. 21, 2021.

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