Patrick Kane raises the roof again with another OT thriller
BY MARK POTASH Staff Reporter May 13, 2014 10:15PM
Updated: May 14, 2014 12:28AM
ST. PAUL, Minn. — Patrick Kane was in the right place at the right time — yet again.
“I think tonight was pretty lucky,” Kane said after scoring the series-winning goal in overtime in the Blackhawks’ 2-1 victory over the Minnesota Wild to clinch their Western Conference second-round series Tuesday night at Xcel Energy Center.
“Seabs [Brent Seabrook] rimmed it in and hit the stanchion and came out right in front. I thought there was a chance it could get to me if it went through their defenseman and [Peter] Regin. I just tried to make a move on the goaltender.”
That was the easiest part of all as Kane went forehand to backhand and roofed the puck past Ilya Bryzgalov 9:42 into overtime.
“Probably I put it a little higher than I wanted to, but happy to see it go in whether it was me or Sharpie [Patrick Sharp, who was right behind him] — just nice to see the puck in the net and the series over with.”
It was his fourth overtime game winner and second in this year’s playoffs. Of course, he scored the Cup-winning goal in overtime against the Flyers in another Game 6 in 2010.
“It’s exciting to get that opportunity,” Kane said. “Whatever it is — if luck finds me, the heavens above give me some blessings in overtime, I’ll keep taking it.
“It’s like Johnny [Toews] always finds a way to score game-winners. We have a bunch of guys that have experience. Everyone’s done it. It’s always exciting when you do it.”
Toews and Kane seem to take turns with postseason heroics. It was Kane’s turn on Tuesday night. Even Toews kind of called the shot.
“I told him before the period — half-jokingly, half-serious — it’s his time to shine,” Toews said, “and sure enough he finds a way to score the winning goal. We’ll be happy no matter who scores it, but it’s good for him. Amazing to see what he’s done in past years and overtime situations and even this year as well.”
Kane’s goal ended a tough game and tough series for the Blackhawks. The Wild outshot the Hawks 35-27 and started the overtime with a big rush. The Hawks withstood that and kept battling before Kane came up with the winner.
“We had some chances, too,” Kane said. “We had chances in the third period and their goalie [Bryzgalov] made some big stop. [But] they probably took it to us more than we did them tonight.”
Experience seems to keep paying off for the Hawks.
“I don’t know. Sometimes you go through this a few times, you know what to expect,” Kane said. “But every game is different. Every game is a new challenge. It’s always nice winning these games. We’ve been fortunate to have a great group that’s been through a lot together. It’s fun winning these games, because it just kind of adds to our experience and gets us more excited.”