Patrick Kane hits All-Star break scoring at sizzling rate

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Nobody is scoring better than Chicago Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane at the NHL's All-Star break.

Kane leads the league in goals (30), assists (43) and points (73) putting him 15 ahead of Dallas Stars forward Jamie Benn in points. To illustrate how dominant Kane has been through 53 games played this season, Benn won the scoring title in 2014-15 with 87 points.

Kane, who missed the final 21 regular season games last season with a broken clavicle, still scored 27 goals and added 37 assists in 61 games played. Kane returned at the start of the playoffs and helped the Blackhawks win their third Stanley Cup in six seasons.

"I've kind of trended upward pretty much every one of my seasons," Kane said. "I was at a point where I was happy last year and it would have been fun to see what would have happened those last 20 games. I think some people want to talk like this has kind of come out of nowhere this season, which I tend to disagree with."

Kane posted a 25-game point-scoring streak this season, setting both a Blackhawks franchise record as well as by an U.S.-born player.

On the ice, Kane can make the life of his opponents miserable, but they marvel at the talent he possesses.

"He's one of those players that is dominant," Winnipeg's Dustin Byfuglien said. "What he can do with that puck and controls the game, it's amazing. It's fun to watch. It's fun playing against him, but it's also fun playing on the same side as him, too. He's tricky. He's smooth. He's fun to watch."

Byfuglien and Kane were teammates for three seasons in Chicago.


THE KID: Kevin and Dense Larkin, parents of All-Star Dylan Larkin, had ear-to-ear grins Saturday afternoon as they gathered with family members in a hotel lobby. The 19-year-old Detroit Red Wings center is the only rookie in the All-Star game and the youngest player in the league's midseason showcase.

"It's unreal that he's here four months into his career," Kevin Larkin said. "Four or five years ago, he was playing video games with NHL players. Now, he's one of them. What a fun ride."

Larkin, tied for the league lead in plus-minus rating, is the first Red Wings rookie to be an NHL All-Star since Steve Yzerman in 1984.


WALKING THE RED CARPET: Nashville has done its best to put Music City's touch on this All-Star weekend, so players walked a red carpet Saturday afternoon before the skills competition. Surrounded by a few thousand fans, San Jose Sharks defenseman Brent Burns showed he could fit right in come November on the red carpet for the Country Music Association's annual awards show.

Burns wore red cowboy boots, black silk pants topped by a red and black coat. Burns topped his outfit off with a black Stetson, red bow tie and his flowing beard.


ONE-TIMERS: The NHL announced a $200,000 donation for Denna Laing's rehabilitation along with a van. Bettman said Laing's mother and sister will attend Sunday's All-Star Game. Laing crashed into the boards at Gillette Stadium the day before the NHL's Winter Classic on New Year's Day, and her family says she has limited feeling in her arms and none in her legs. ... Each All-Star will be taking home a very nice trophy with the gift bag featuring an electric Gibson guitar with a variety of Nashville items.


AP Hockey Writer Larry Lage and AP Sports Writer Teresa M. Walker contributed to this report.