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Kane 'very fortunate' heading into 1,000th NHL game with Blackhawks

Forward has been with Chicago since being No. 1 pick at 2007 Draft

by Tracey Myers @Tramyers_NHL / NHL.com Staff Writer

Patrick Kane will play his 1,000th NHL game when the Chicago Blackhawks visit the Dallas Stars on Tuesday (8:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, FS-SW, NBCSCH, NHL.TV).

The forward was the No. 1 pick at the 2007 NHL Draft and has played his entire career with the Blackhawks. He won the Stanley Cup three times (2010, 2013, 2015) and has scored 1,060 points, including his 400th goal Feb. 28 against the Detroit Red Wings.

"It's crazy that you get to 1,000 so quickly," Kane said Tuesday. "It seems like yesterday I was just starting in the League or playing for the London Knights [in the Ontario Hockey League], so it's amazing to get to this number. I feel very fortunate to play in the League for this long, for this many games. I'm excited to reach 1,000 tonight and to have a good game. Hopefully the team can get a win and we can move on after."

The 32-year-old will become the 353rd player to play 1,000 NHL games and the latest since Florida Panthers defenseman Keith Yandle reached the milestone in a 4-2 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes on Sunday.

"It's an honor to be part of it, and it's easy to repeat yourself, but he's fun to coach and you're privileged to be able to put a guy like that on the ice," Chicago coach Jeremy Colliton said Monday. "He makes some of the ideas you have work sometimes."

The Stars have had several thousand fans in attendance for their games at American Airlines Center.. Kane said he is looking forward to the atmosphere, especially if Blackhawks fans are in attendance too.

"Our fans usually travel to well Dallas or any other city," Kane said. "It's amazing to have the support from the Chicago fans. It would be nice to have it at the United Center with 21, 22,000 people and be able to share it with them, but hopefully we can do something in the future to include them and just enjoy it here tonight."

Kane won the Calder Trophy voted NHL rookie of the year in 2007-08 when he scored 72 points (21 goals, 51 assists) in 82 games. He won the Conn Smythe Trophy voted most valuable player in the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs, scoring 19 points (nine goals, 10 assists) in 23 games and won the Hart Trophy voted as NHL most valuable player in 2015-16, when he scored 106 points (46 goals, 60 assists) in 82 games.

"He's been one of the best players in this League for a long time, he's won three Cups, MVP and all that," Stars defenseman John Klingberg said. "He's just a really good player, and when he has the puck on his stick, you have to be aware and you have to be aware when he's on the ice all of the time. It's going to be fun to play against him, and congratulations to him."

Video: Best of Patrick Kane

Dallas coach Rick Bowness said he remembers facing Kane during the playoffs when he was a member of the Vancouver Canucks coaching staff from 2006-13, and as an assistant with the Tampa Bay Lightning from 2013-18. The Blackhawks defeated the Canucks in six games in the Western Conference Second Round in 2009 and 2010 before Vancouver eliminated Chicago in seven games in the 2011 Western First Round. The Blackhawks defeated the Lightning in six games in the 2015 Stanley Cup Final.

"We've had some great playoff battles with Chicago, so I've seen a lot of Patrick and he's just a great player," Bowness said. "It's his poise, it's his confidence. I just love watching the kid play, so good for him for playing his 1,000th game.

"He's an elite player, he's an elite goal-scorer, and the skills haven't dropped off. The desire hasn't dropped off."

Kane leads the Blackhawks this season with 38 points (11 goals, 27 assists) in 26 games and is second in the NHL behind Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid, who has scored 45 points (15 goals, 30 assists) in 27 games. 

Chicago (13-8-5) enters the game against Dallas fourth in the Discover Central Division.

"Is this the best we've seen him? I think every year I've been involved with the Blackhawks that he's been here has been very special," Blackhawks radio analyst Troy Murray said on the "NHL @TheRink" podcast Thursday. "There hasn't been a year where he's dropped off. A lot of times when you see the top players, they'll have some good years, then they'll have a bad year and it might take them a year or two for them to rebound and then they're back playing the way you'd expect them to. Patrick Kane hasn't had a drop-off."

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