Kane scored a goal and had two assists while helping the Blackhawks throttle the Dallas Stars 8-1 on Saturday night, and two of those plays left multiple jaws dropped.
The one that everyone will be talking about after it is shown numerous times on SportsCenter is the goal he scored at 9:59 of the third period. It was basically a meaningless goal, coming on a power play that increased the Blackhawks’ lead to 8-1, but it was pretty.
Racing into the Dallas zone on the rush, Kane entered the right faceoff circle, coming in on Stars defenseman Brenden Dillon, then executed a perfect spin-o-rama move that led him into a backhander to beat goaltender Richard Bachman past the glove.
“I knew the score was kind of up there a little bit, so I thought I’d have a little fun with it,” said Kane, who now leads the squad with 15 goals. “I guess it would have been a little nicer if the goal was a big goal.”
His teammates were left in awe.
“That was unbelievable,” said Marian Hossa, who scored twice in the game. “I see that in a practice; he always does that. But to do it in a game and to top-shelf it like that, it’s just pure skill.”
“I think the first thing when I got here, some of the guys came up to me and said, ‘Hey, when he’s out there, give him the puck,’” said defenseman Nick Leddy, who contributed a goal and two assists. “And you can see the magical things he can do with the puck. He’s amazing.”
Kane’s assist to Hossa on the goal that put Chicago ahead 5-0 at 12:18 of the second period also was a thing of beauty. With the squads skating four aside, Kane carried the puck into the right circle, dipped his shoulder and cut around Stars defenseman Alex Goligoski before feeding a backhand pass in front to the charging Hossa, who popped it past Bachman.
“We were talking about it before the shift,” Hossa said, “and I knew as soon as he went on the right side, he’d throw it in the middle. And I tried to just try to find a way to best position myself to score the goal.”
Kane deflected attention to his teammates, making sure to point out that just about everyone contributed to the victory.
“It was good to see a lot of guys step up,” Kane said. “For the most part, we had the puck the whole game. When you have the puck, you’re not going to give up many shots. And the ones we did give up, they were either from their point men or way on the outside.”
Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville agreed.
“We had all areas of our game with us, puck possession, playing a sound-game system-wise. Everybody contributed,” he said.
In fact, they did such a masterful job controlling the play, Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford faced just eight shots through the first two periods, while ending up with 18 saves overall.
“You play it like it’s a tight game. I was trying to challenge myself to stay in it as much as I could,” said Crawford, who improved to 13-2-3 on the season. “We were great at getting the puck out and moving on offense all night long. So not only did I not get shots for a while, there was just no zone time, where you could move around and follow the puck.
“It was just one of those games where, mentally, you have to keep your head in the game,” he said.
“Crow did a good job staying in there,” Kane said. “The defense played great and we did a great job holding onto the puck.”
“That all helps,” he said. “When the forwards backcheck the way they have all season, it helps us get the puck out faster and get them back on the offense faster.”