A team’s best players always wants the puck in crunch time, and they more often than not deliver when it counts. Knowing that, it should be no surprise to anyone that Patrick Kane
rose to the occasion and gave the Blackhawks a boost when they needed it Monday night, with an awe-inspiring goal that sealed the Blackhawks' 3-1 win over Minnesota.
Having just seen their lead cut to 2-1 following an Andrew Brunette
power play score, the Blackhawks were looking to rebound early in the third period. Though Chicago managed to keep the puck inside the Wild’s zone for more than a minute before Kane’s goal, they couldn’t seem to get the look they needed against Minnesota goaltender Niklas Backstrom.
However, after a nice takeaway, Kane took the puck behind Minnesota’s net, stepped out to his right, spun and lofted a shot above Backstrom’s blocker pad for the score.
“We had the puck in the zone for a while, and I don’t know if [Backstrom] was tired from the series, but we kept the pressure up” said Kane. “I wanted to step out behind the net and shoot it high. It’s one of those things that you work on, shoot and pray that it goes in. It's nice to see it work finally.”
It was a nice-looking goal, for sure, but Kane’s coaches and teammates also acknowledged how pivotal and timely it was.
“It was a great goal,” said head coach Joel Quenneville. “It was 2-1 and suddenly anything can happen. He got that insurance goal on a nice play and great shot. Kaner can make nice plays and finish them off, as well. It’s was a very needed goal and pretty to watch.”
“I was standing there, sort of waiting for a pass,” Dave Bolland
joked. “He’s got a tremendous shot. He only had an inch or two and he snuck it in there. I knew it went in; that was a pretty sick shot from were I saw it.”
“I was thinking pass, but then I pulled it to my backhand and walked it out the other way,” Kane recounted. “I didn’t know if I was going to be able to walk it out and backhand it. I ended up having to turn around and fire it.”
Kane’s tally was a noteworthy one on several counts: not only did the highlight-reel tally seal the Hawks 3-1 victory over the Wild, but it also marked the 50th of Kane’s young career.
“I wish it was [my total] for one season,” Kane said jokingly. “[Blackhawks Media Relations Director] made me feel really good; he said I only have 560 more to go to tie Bobby Hull. At least I know I have a long way to go.”