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FEATURE: Teammates Clear Bench in Appreciation of Kane's 1,000th Point

Patrick Kane's milestone sends teammates into frenzy with bench-clearing celebration

by Chris Kuc @ChrisKuc / Blackhawks.com

As he was being mobbed by teammates after recording his 1,000th career NHL point, Patrick Kane looked at the faces of many of the players who helped make it happen.

"I was kind of at the bottom of the circle there and I got pushed back pretty far up against the boards by all the guys," Kane said after reaching the milestone with an assist on Brandon Saad's goal during the Blackhawks' 5-2 victory over the Jets on Sunday night at the United Center. "I'll never forget that moment and I told the team that after. Just kind of looking at everyone's face and everyone's excitement was a cool moment."

Video: WPG@CHI: Kane gets 1,000th NHL point on Saad's goal

Kane became the 90th player in NHL history - and youngest American-born player - to reach 1,000 points and it sent the United Center crowd and the winger's teammates into a frenzy. Those Blackhawks not on the ice jumped over the boards to join in the celebration.

Talk about many men on the ice.

"I don't know who orchestrated that or what that was about but I'm sure (Jonathan Toews) probably had something to do with that," Kane, 31, said. "That's a special moment."

Indeed, Toews had previously cleared with officials that if Kane were to reach the milestone Blackhawks players would be allowed to join in the celebration.

Included in the group was Saad, who stopped to scoop up the puck for Kane to have as a keepsake before joining the group celebration.

"It was unbelievable," Saad said. "I was kind of surprised at the time. There were five of us in the huddle and then you kind of get pushed from behind and then we're all in the corner. The whole bench cleared. It's awesome.

"What a guy, what a player," Saad continued. "I know we're all happy to have him, so it's big special moment for him."

Added Lehner, who made 36 saves to backstop the Blackhawks to their fifth consecutive victory: "It was obviously a very big moment, special moment for him, but it was a special moment for all of us to share with him. He's obviously a hell of a hockey player, but he's an even better person. Everyone was truly and genuinely happy for him, so it was cool to be a part of."

Video: Kane thanks teammates for unforgettable moment

In the dressing room afterward, Kane reflected on his journey to 1,000.

"I've been very fortunate in my career, whether it's been getting drafted by Chicago or making some decisions when I was younger to move away at 14 years old as a freshman in high school, forgo college and play in London for a year," Kane said. "(Then) Chicago winning the lottery, getting drafted by Chicago, then having a lot of good pieces in place here with some great players where we could turn the corner pretty fast and become a good team. There were a lot of things that were lined up. When you reach a milestone like this you think of all those players you played with that had a big part of it. It's been a fun ride."

Blackhawks Senior Vice President/General Manager Stan Bowman was there to see every step of Kane's evolution into one of the NHL's all-time top scorers, including at the beginning when an 18-year-old Kane lived in Bowman's basement during his first season with the Blackhawks.

"You admire his accomplishments knowing you saw him when he was just starting out and you could see how bad he wanted it and how he worked at his game," Bowman said. "He's such a competitive guy and he really does take to heart wanting to be the best player in the world. And he doesn't just rely on his talent. The thing that I've always been impressed with is he's always trying to find ways to be better and he pushes himself and he's hard on himself. He expects to be the best so you see what he's been able to do these last few seasons.

"He keeps getting better every year, which is hard to do as you get into the age of 30," Bowman continued. "A lot of guys start slowing down but he seems to be speeding up his offensive game. So we're just lucky to be able to be here watching him as much as we have and he's still got a lot of great hockey ahead of him."

Video: Kane reaches 1,000 career points

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