Sometimes you just have to take matters into your own hands.
Dustin Byfuglien did just that on a highlight-reel rush from his own blue line, netting the game winner in overtime in the Hawks 2-1 win over the Rangers.
“I got on my horse and took off and got a clear lane to the net and drove and got it between the five hole,” a happy Byfuglien said after the game.
During four-on-four play, there’s plenty of open ice for an end-to-end play like that, and when the other team is gassed, the timing is right for such a rush.
“They were tired at the end of their shift and I just got out there and just put the jets on and see what happens and got a shot and [it] happened to turn out pretty good,” Byfuglien explained.
The Hawks did everything right for most of the game, but couldn’t get a puck past all-world goaltender Henrik Lundquist until late in the third period. They kept at it, drawing three power plays in that stanza. It paid off with a Jonathan Toews’ goal at 14:05. The Hawks outshot New York 41-18 and allowed just one shot against in that final period.
If the Hawks spent more than a quarter of the game in their own zone, it would be a surprise, because their puck possession game had the Rangers on their heels. The only goal the Hawks gave up came after a weird bounce off the glass on a clearing attempt by New York in the first. Having said all that, everything that happened before Byfuglien’s game winner will be a side note. Even the man with the most moves on the team was mightily impressed with big No. 33.
“Oh, man. He was flying,” Patrick Kane said. “He looked faster than [Marian] Gaborik out there. It’s good to see out of him. Obviously, it was pretty exciting watching him go down and finish that one. I was pretty pumped up for him.”
As for B, he was asked if it was the best of his career.
“I’d probably have to say so, wouldn’t you?” he replied.