Just moments from seeing a 21-game point streak end, Patrick Kane set up an empty-netter with a hand pass to keep it alive
To celebrate 25 years of Blackhawks hockey at the United Center, Blackhawks.com looks back on the top 25 moments with '25 in 25'
Patrick Kane was running out of time. But with him, it's never over until it's over.
Kane began the evening of Dec. 6, 2015, with a streak of having registered at least one point in 21 consecutive games, tying a franchise record established by Bobby Hull in 1971-72. However, with the Blackhawks leading the Winnipeg Jets, 2-1, late in the third period, Kane needed to make some magic.
With his back to the boards midway in the Blackhawks' end, not far from the home bench where teammates were openly rooting, the puck somehow popped into the air, as if looking for a friend. Kane calmly swatted it with an open left glove. The puck skittered across the ice to Artemi Panarin, who pounced on it and punctured a vacated Winnipeg cage from just inside the red line with 1:46 remaining. The United Center erupted, as did Panarin.
"He was more excited than I was," noted Kane. "He skated to me yelling 'ASSEEST!! ASSEEST!!' Pretty cool moment."
"I'm only too proud to be able to watch a guy like him play," said The Golden Jet. "Patrick is a fabulous talent, and as I always believed, he understands this is the entertainment business."
Kane does not throw left handed, but he mentioned that before every game, he volleys with Strength and Conditioning Coach Paul Goodman, tossing a tennis ball with either arm. Kane's father, Pat, observed the insurance goal from his usual seat, just above the west net.
"It looked like the streak was going to end," said Dad. "But it's good Panarin was part of it continuing. Patrick and the 'Bread Man' are like brothers."
Dad revealed that his son has this habit.
"Always wants the ball around," continued Kane Sr. "Since he was a kid. It develops his instincts and peripheral vision. Whenever we go out, he always tells Mom or me, 'Bring the ball.' The other night we had dinner downtown. Before we went into eat, we played catch in the restaurant parking lot."
No. 88 said, "during this stretch, it just seems like everything's clicking for us, 'Bread Man' and (Artem) Anisimov."
Kane's run extended to 26 games, during which he amassed 16 goals and 24 assists. His streak remains the longest in the National Hockey League since 1993 and most for any American-born player.