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.
Toews, who leads Chicago with 27 goals, has goals in four straight games and extended his points streak to six games. But Kane's goal was just his second in 14 games.
"A lot of guys have been producing around here, so it was nice to come up for the team tonight and score a big one," Kane said. "Any time you can score after a slump and a lot of focus on it, it's a good feeling."
Kane, who took a team-leading five shots, has been playing right wing on a line with Toews at center and Viktor Stalberg on left wing. The trio has been clicking, but Kane has been missing on scoring chances.
"It was a matter of time, because in the last couple of games he was trending where he had great looks, more looks and more quality looks," Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said. "I expect him to get more confident and keep it going."
Emery wasn't heavily tested as Chicago's built a 3-0 lead and allowed a season-low 19 shots. Garrison connected on one of only four Florida shots in the third period.
"We stayed focused and kept the lead," Emery said. "We did a really good job defensively."
The Panthers dropped their eighth straight on the road and slipped to 1-3-3 in their last seven overall.
"They just have a strong defensive team and they have a real good system over there," said Florida forward Jack Skille, who returned to the Panthers lineup after missing 13 games with an upper-body injury.
But the Panthers problems go beyond just running into a streaking Chicago team.
"We have to start playing as a team like we played the first 30-35 games of the season," Kopecky said. "Right now we are maybe trying too much and squeezing the stick a little too much."
Campbell, who was traded to Florida last summer, and Kopecky, who left as a free agent, returned to the United Center for the first time. Versteeg, traded to Toronto shortly after the Blackhawks hoisted the Cup, also made his first appearance since leaving. Skille played in Chicago last season with the Panthers and Madden played two games in Chicago with Minnesota.
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.
The Panthers' bus from their downtown hotel arrived at the arena at about 6:45 p.m.
Toews and Keith scored just over two minutes apart late in the first.
Toews opened the scoring with 2:20 left on a breakaway. After taking Kane's feed, Toews got behind Garrison and beat goalie Jose Theodore with a backhand shot.
Keith made it 2-0 with 17 seconds left in the period on a low screened shot from the top of the slot. It was his first goal since Nov. 13.
Kane extended Chicago's lead to 3-0 with 6:55 left in the second on a 2-on-1 with Stalberg. Kane held the puck, then fired a shot from the right circle under Theodore's glove.
Emery lost a shutout bid early in the third when Garrison blasted in a screened shot from the blue line. He connected from a faceoff, just 4 seconds after Toews was sent off for tripping.
Theodore made 19 saves.
|Patrick Kane (88) puts an end to a seven-game goal drought and also sets up Jonathan Toews for one of Chicago's goals. (AP)|
|Chicago (29-13-6) «||2||1||0||3|
Chicago Blackhawks T-Shirt
$19.95 Shop Now!
|17:40||- Jonathan Toews (27), Backhand Shot. Assist: Kane, Stalberg|
|19:43||Power Play - Duncan Keith (3), Slap Shot. Assist: Hossa, Leddy|
|13:05||- Patrick Kane (11), Wrist Shot, Unassisted.|
|43.0||Power Play - Jason Garrison (13), Slap Shot. Assist: Kulikov, Kopecky|
|06:45||Seabrook, 2 min, Tripping|
|07:37||Upshall, 2 min, High-Sticking|
|11:36||Madden, 2 min, Tripping|
|18:16||Ellerby, 2 min, Boarding|
|03:53||Toews, 2 min, Hooking|
|07:00||Skille, 2 min, Hooking|
|39.0||Toews, 2 min, Tripping|
|Shots On Goal|