Blackhawks win 12th game in a row, set franchise record: 3 things to know

They are the defending Stanley Cup champions, they have been champions three times in the past six years, and somehow the Chicago Blackhawks keep finding ways to get better. 

On Tuesday night in Nashville, the Blackhawks won their 12th consecutive game by topping the Predators, 4-1.

They have now won more games in a row than any other team in Blackhawks history and are starting to close in on the longest winning streak in NHL history.

After Tuesday's win, they are just five away from matching the 1992-93 Pittsburgh Penguins for the longest winning streak in league history.

They also continued to distance themselves from the rest of the pack in the Western Conference.

Here is what stood out about their latest win.

1) Patrick Kane has already matched his career high in goals

Kane, the NHL's leading scorer, scored his 30th goal of the season in Tuesday's win and has already matched the career high he set during the 2009-10 season.

It is only the 49th game of the season.

That goal on Tuesday has him on a 50-goal pace for the season while his two points put him on an 118-point pace for the season. Nobody has topped 118 points in the NHL since Sidney Crosby had 120 during the 2006-07 season. 

He is only 16 points behind the point total Dallas Stars forward Jamie Benn recorded a year ago when he won the league scoring title. Again: It is the 49th game of the season.

2) Corey Crawford stopped a lot of pucks and outshined All-Star Pekka Rinne

As I argued this past week, the greatest All-Star screw-up this year wasn't John Scott getting voted into the game by fans.

It was the NHL sending a clearly inferior goalie in Pekka Rinne to the game over Corey Crawford, one of the best goalies in the NHL this season, most likely because Rinne's team was hosting the game.

With both goalies going head-to-head on Tuesday, it was easy to see the gap in play this season.

Crawford was sensational once again for the Blackhawks and stopped 38 of the 39 shots he faced while Rinne ... well ... he was bad. Again. 

3) Artem Anisimov showed again why he has been such a huge addition

Brandon Saad is an outstanding player, but the Blackhawks somehow found a way to make themselves better when they traded him to the Columbus Blue Jackets over the summer. How? Because they ended up getting Artem Anisimov as part of the deal, and he has proven to be a huge upgrade at their second-line center spot over Brad Richards

Anisimov scored his 16th goal of the season on Tuesday (that is a 28-goal pace) and has given the Blackhawks a true second-line option. Keep in mind, this Blackhawks team won a Stanley Cup with a second-line center that only scored 12 goals all of last season. They have a better and significantly more productive option this season to complement their already outstanding top-line. 

It's incredible the way general manager Stan Bowman and his staff constantly find ways to restock the cupboards after every salary cap crunch, but their ability to do so is the biggest reason the Blackhawks are consistently one of the best teams in the NHL. Even more so than the superstar players at the top of the roster.

The Chicago Blackhawks have now won 12 games in a row. (USATSI)
The Chicago Blackhawks have won 12 games in a row. (USATSI)
CBS Sports Writer

Adam Gretz has been writing about the NHL and taking an analytical approach to the game since the start of the 2008 season. A member of the PHWA since 2015, he has spent more than three years covering... Full Bio

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