Patrick Kane ends his shootout hex
BY MARK LAZERUS Staff Reporter January 19, 2014 6:33PM
Updated: January 19, 2014 10:04PM
Patrick Kane was 0-for-9 in shootouts this season entering the Blackhawks’ game Sunday against the Boston Bruins. It probably wouldn’t have mattered if he were 0-for-99. Coach Joel Quenneville still would have sent him out there with the extra point on the line.
‘‘You look at his numbers coming into the season, he has a pretty high efficiency record,’’ Quenneville said. ‘‘This year’s been an odd number, but we keep sticking with him. The ‘due’ factor was part of it.’’
The law of averages finally kicked in, as Kane went back to the slowdown move that worked so well last season and scored the shootout winner in the third round. Considering he also hasn’t scored a non-shootout goal in 10 games, he was glad to get it.
‘‘Yeah, it felt good to see one go in,’’ he said.
Jonathan Toews scored in the first round, and Patrick Sharp had a chance to win it after Corey Crawford made two saves. But Tuukka Rask denied him, leaving it up to Kane after Brad Marchand had leveled things for the Bruins. And despite his record this season, there’s nobody else the Hawks would want out there.
‘‘I mean, he scores every practice, and at some point they’re bound to go in,’’ Toews said. ‘‘Sometimes it happens. The best scorers and the best shooters can’t score every time. It’s nice to see him finish it off.’’
Q keeps climbing
The victory was the 692nd of Quenneville’s career in the regular season, tying him for third all-time with Dick Irvin, who coached the Montreal Canadiens in the 1940s and 1950s.
‘‘I’m very fortunate to have been in three great spots [Colorado, St. Louis, Chicago], some real nice teams,’’ Quenneville said. ‘‘I’ve been around a long time now.’’
Brandon Pirri missed his eighth consecutive game Saturday for the Rockford IceHogs. He suffered a lower-body injury Dec. 30.
Rockford coach Ted Dent said Pirri started skating last week but not in full practices. Dent said there’s no timetable for his return.
In 24 games with the Hawks, Pirri had six goals and five assists. He was sent down Dec. 4.
Contributing: Brian Sandalow