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Kane envious of Ovechkin's shot

Blackhawks star praises Capitals dynamo

by Brian Hedger / Correspondent

CHICAGO -- There aren't many skills Patrick Kane doesn't already possess, but there is one the Chicago Blackhawks right wing wouldn't mind adding to his arsenal.

It's the hard shot that belongs to Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin, which will be on display when the Capitals play the Blackhawks at United Center on Sunday (12:30 p.m. ET; NBC, SN).

"I'd love to have that shot, that's for sure," said Kane, who leads the NHL with 84 points and has 35 goals, five behind Ovechkin's League-leading 40. "To sit there 45, 50 feet away from the goalie and be able to have a good chance to beat him, whether there's a screen or not, is pretty unheard of in this game right now."

What Kane is doing is also pretty rare. 

Earlier this season, he set a franchise record with a 26-game point streak, also a high for American-born players. He already has surpassed his previous high of 30 goals in a season, is nine assists away from tying his career-high of 58 and has at least a point in all but 11 of the Blackhawks' 63 games.

It's Kane's best NHL season, but he's still aware of all Ovechkin has done in his 11 NHL seasons. 

Ovechkin has won the Hart Trophy as the NHL's Most Valuable Player three times, has earned the Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy as the NHL's leading goal scorer five times and has eight seasons with 40 or more goals. That includes six seasons with at least 50 goals and a career-high 65 in 2007-08.

The consistency stands out to Kane.

"I think we all know he's a very impressive player," Kane said. "What's amazing is that he does it year in, year out, [and] game in, game out. He's a guy that just finds ways to score goals, whether it's that patented one-timer he has or finding other ways around the net."

Other parts of Ovechkin's game have caught Kane's attention, as well. The 6-foot-3, 239-pound Russian has a combination of speed, size and strength that allows him to win puck battles, gain position in good scoring areas and get off an array of difficult shots. Kane said that combination makes Ovechkin a rare breed.

"Not only does he score goals, but he still has other ways to impact the game with the way he plays physically and how good he is with the puck," Kane said. "He's a pretty special player for our generation."

Kane is a fan of Ovechkin's persona off the ice too, from his gap-toothed smile to the yellow laces on his skates.

"I think there's a lot of great qualities he brings to the game," Kane said. "Not only does he score goals and is a fun, entertaining player to watch, but he has that personality of a guy that you can really build a league around. You've seen that for the past 11 years that he's been in the League. He's been a fun player to watch in every game he plays.

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