Showtime is Kane's time

  • Article by: BLAKE SCHUSTER , Special to the Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 4, 2014 - 1:58 AM

The Chicago star again showed a flair for the dramatic in the third period of Game 1.

Blackhawks star Patrick Kane began the celebration after his highlight-reel goal swung momentum in Game 1.

Photo: CARLOS GONZALEZ • cgonzalez@startribune.com,

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

– As Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane finished juking four Minnesota defenders by lifting a sweet backhander over Wild goalie Ilya Bryzgalov’s left shoulder — barely a minute after the Wild tied the score 2-2 the third period Friday — the forward turned to the crowd and screamed, “Showtime!”

Perhaps that wasn’t a statement so much as a command. And as requested, the Blackhawks followed through with two more goals in the final minutes of regulation, knocking off the Wild 5-2 in Game 1. Neither of them compared with Kane’s initial magic.

“That’s a beautiful goal and would be a highlight of probably any one of our careers, but Kaner’s done that probably 10 times,” Chicago defenseman Brent Seabrook said. “It’s old hat for him.”

Common, yes, but the goal wasn’t anything ordinary. In fact, nothing about Kane’s performance in the playoffs has been.

Going back to last postseason, Kane has registered 27 points (14 goals, 13 assists), and has eight points through seven games in these playoffs while pacing the league in goals with five.

The seven-year veteran’s scoring is as consistent as it is timely. Each of Kane’s past four game-winning goals in the postseason has come in multi-goal performances — including Game 1 against the Wild this year.

“It’s not something that’s that surprising, but at the end of a big game, aside from the goal being a nice one, it was a big goal for us,” Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews said. “It changed the game and for him to score a goal like that at that time was pretty huge.”

As much as the Wild would like to take away Kane’s time and space with the puck, the beauty of his game comes from an ability to negate those situations. Instead of dishing off a pass to teammate, or dumping the puck into the zone, Kane finds lanes that don’t seem open until he breaks his way through.

Kane showed that off most notably during overtime of Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final in 2010 when he used his body to shield a defender and slid the puck past Flyers’ goalie Michael Leighton to give the Blackhawks their first championship in 49 years.

Even without the puck, Kane’s vision enables him to sneak away from the play and find an opening for a one-timer. That was the case for much of Game 1, as Kane positioned himself behind the play, and fanned on multiple opportunities to rip a shot into an otherwise empty net.

By not finishing those chances, Kane seemed invisible for the first 45 minutes of regulation.

“He’s always making plays like that,” Toews said. “Plays that you don’t see unless you’re watching the game that don’t come out because it doesn’t go in.”

The law of averages finally caught up with him as Kane sneaked in behind Wild defenseman Nate Prosser during the third period, and put away an easy tap-in off a feed from Blackhawks winger Ben Smith at the point for his second goal in eight minutes.

Wild winger Nino Niederreiter said slowing down Kane requires a similar effort to the way they treated Colorado forward Nathan MacKinnon in the first round — although he also danced his way around four Minnesota defenders before beating Bryz- galov’s blocker in that series.

Still, Wild coach Mike Yeo doesn’t want his team to get distracted by No. 88 in red.

“We talked about this many times in the last series as well when you’re playing against players like that,” Yeo said. “Where you have to be careful is that you don’t start to focus completely on them. We have a way that we’re supposed to play, and we have a way that we believe will be effective and successful if we go out and play it as long as we’re able to stay with it for 60 minutes.”

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

St. Louis - LP: A. Wainwright 1 FINAL
Pittsburgh - WP: J. Locke 3
Texas - WP: C. Lewis 12 FINAL
Seattle - LP: E. Ramirez 4
Washington 4 Bottom 6th Inning
Philadelphia 2
Tampa Bay 3 Bottom 8th Inning
Baltimore 1
Boston 2 Top 8th Inning
Toronto 5
NY Yankees 8 Bottom 6th Inning
Detroit 1
Atlanta 3 Bottom 8th Inning
NY Mets 1
Chicago Cubs 2 Bottom 6th Inning
Cincinnati 6
Cleveland 1 Bottom 4th Inning
Chicago WSox 2
Minnesota 0 Bottom 6th Inning
Kansas City 0
Oakland 0 Top 5th Inning
Houston 0
Milwaukee 0 Top 2nd Inning
San Diego 0
Los Angeles - C. Kershaw 8:40 PM
Arizona - W. Miley
Miami - H. Alvarez 9:05 PM
LA Angels - H. Santiago
Colorado - F. Morales 9:15 PM
San Francisco - T. Hudson
Atlanta 8/28/14 5:00 PM
Jacksonville
Detroit 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Buffalo
Indianapolis 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Kansas City 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Green Bay
NY Jets 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Philadelphia
St. Louis 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Miami
Carolina 8/28/14 6:30 PM
Pittsburgh
New England 8/28/14 6:30 PM
NY Giants
Washington 8/28/14 6:30 PM
Tampa Bay
Baltimore 8/28/14 7:00 PM
New Orleans
Chicago 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Cleveland
Denver 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Dallas
Minnesota 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Tennessee
San Francisco 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Houston
Arizona 8/28/14 9:00 PM
San Diego
Seattle 8/28/14 9:00 PM
Oakland
(21) Texas A&M 8/28/14 5:00 PM
(9) So Carolina
Wake Forest 8/28/14 6:02 PM
ULM
Boise State 8/28/14 7:00 PM
(18) Ole Miss
Tulane 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Temple 8/28/14 8:15 PM
Vanderbilt
Rutgers 8/28/14 9:00 PM
Washington St
Weber State 8/28/14 9:30 PM
(19) Arizona State
BYU 8/29/14 6:00 PM
Connecticut
(6) Jacksonville St 8/29/14 6:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Bowling Green 8/29/14 6:30 PM
Western Ky
TX-San Antonio 8/29/14 8:00 PM
Houston
Colorado State 8/29/14 8:00 PM
Colorado
UNLV 8/29/14 9:30 PM
Arizona
Penn State 8/30/14 7:30 AM
UCF
Troy 8/30/14 11:00 AM
UAB
(7) UCLA 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Virginia
Western Mich 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
(5) Ohio State 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Navy
Appalachian St 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Michigan
Ga Southern 8/30/14 11:30 AM
NC State
Boston College 8/30/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
West Virginia 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(2) Alabama
Rice 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(17) Notre Dame
(10) South Dakota St 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(24) Missouri
Fla Atlantic 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(22) Nebraska
California 8/30/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Marshall 8/30/14 2:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
UC Davis 8/30/14 3:00 PM
(11) Stanford
Arkansas 8/30/14 3:00 PM
(6) Auburn
(16) Clemson 8/30/14 4:30 PM
(12) Georgia
Liberty 8/30/14 5:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Ohio U 8/30/14 5:00 PM
Kent State
Louisiana Tech 8/30/14 6:00 PM
(4) Oklahoma
Idaho 8/30/14 6:00 PM
Florida
Stephen F Austin 8/30/14 6:10 PM
(20) Kansas State
Fresno State 8/30/14 6:30 PM
(15) USC
Southern Miss 8/30/14 6:30 PM
Miss State
Texas-El Paso 8/30/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
North Texas 8/30/14 7:00 PM
Texas
(1) Florida State 8/30/14 7:00 PM
Oklahoma State
(14) Wisconsin 8/30/14 8:00 PM
(13) LSU
South Dakota 8/30/14 9:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(25) Washington 8/30/14 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Utah State 8/31/14 6:00 PM
Tennessee
SMU 8/31/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
Miami-Florida 9/1/14 7:00 PM
Louisville
D.C. 9:30 PM
Los Angeles
Ottawa 8/29/14 6:30 PM
Montreal
Winnipeg 8/31/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Toronto 9/1/14 12:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 9/1/14 3:30 PM
Calgary
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Which local pro team are you most excited about?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close