The eyes of the hockey world were turned to Philadelphia for Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final between the Chicago Blackhawks and Philadelphia Flyers on June 9, 2010.
But only one person saw the Cup-clinching goal reach the back of the net.
Chicago forward Patrick Kane got the puck on the left side of the Philadelphia zone, made a 1-on-1 move to create space between himself and Flyers defenseman Kimmo Timonen, and scored on a low shot from a sharp angle at 4:06 of overtime for a 4-3 victory that gave the Blackhawks their first championship since 1961.
While Kane danced down the ice to start the celebration, his teammates were slow to respond, and the referees were unsure where the puck was. After a few moments, they found it hidden under the apron at the bottom of the net.
But Kane knew exactly what had happened.
"I saw it go right through [Flyers goalie Michael Leighton's] legs and sticking right under the pad in the net," Kane said after the game. "I don't think anyone saw it in the net. I booked it to the other end. I knew it was in. I tried to sell the celebration a bit. Everyone came down, and I think some guys were still kind of a little iffy to see if the puck was in the net."
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Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews jumped off the bench to join the party but did take a look just to make sure the goal counted.
"We were just hoping that Kane was right, and he seemed pretty sure the puck went in," he said. "We took his word for it."
The goal capped Kane's third NHL season, but 2009-10 was far from a smooth one. He had his first 30-goal season, and his 88 points were ninth in the League, but he had been arrested in August in his hometown of Buffalo after an altercation with a cab driver. At the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, he assisted on each goal for the United States but had to settle for the silver medal in a 3-2 overtime loss to Canada in the gold-medal game.
But the Stanley Cup overshadowed it all.
"[The season] didn't start off very good back in August," said Kane, who was 21 at the time of his arrest. "But I think sometimes you know you go through those kind of things as a young kid. You can really learn from them and try to better yourself as a person and as an athlete too. Yeah, there was ups and downs. As far as hockey-wise, I can be pretty satisfied. I thought I had a really good year as far as Olympics. You win the Stanley Cup, it's pretty special too. Just really unbelievable to see how things can go from so bad to so good."
Kane led the Blackhawks during the Final with eight points (three goals, five assists) in six games, and his goal was the launching point for Stanley Cup victories in 2013 and 2015. Since the 2010 playoffs, Kane's 109 points (41 goals, 68 assists) in 111 games lead all NHL players; he has 11 more than Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby, who is second with 98.
"He's a big-game player," said forward Andrew Ladd, Kane's teammate in 2010. "He always seems to rise to the occasion in big games, big moments. You saw it at the Olympics and you saw it again tonight."
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