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Kane to face hometown Sabres as champion

Patrick Kane will skate against his hometown Buffalo Sabres on Monday as a Stanley Cup Champion. Warren Wimmer/Icon SMI

BUFFALO -- Saturday night’s celebration at the United Center was special for the Blackhawks’ Patrick Kane, but Monday’s game will be, too.

Kane returns to his hometown of Buffalo for the third time in his young career, but this time he’ll face the Sabres as a Stanley Cup champion.

“It’s always fun going back there, but there’s even more of a buzz for this game,” Kane said. “My friends and family say people are looking for tickets all over the city.”

Fortunately for Kane, he has three sky boxes to accommodate all his ticket needs. He’s glad he doesn’t have to worry about it and can just concentrate on hockey.

“I’ve played there twice now,” he said. “Both experiences have been pretty different. The first year they had a ceremony for me and last year they booed me. It will be interesting to see what happens this year.”

Kane’s second appearance in Buffalo came after a much-publicized summer incident with a cab driver which found him, and his cousin, behind bars for a minor offense. But the boos didn’t bother him that much. In fact, maybe the opposite was true.

“Sometimes it’s nice to have those ceremonies, but last year, being different and getting booed I wanted the puck a little more and it gets you more into the game,” Kane said.

Last season the Hawks lost 2-1 in Buffalo in mid-December. Kane had an assist and seven shots in 23:04.

First time: a ceremony. Second time: booed. Now Kane returns after scoring a Stanley Cup-winning goal.

The cheers might return.