|(NHL playoffs) Kane lifts Hawks to advance
Patrick Kane solidified his reputation as the NHL's most clutch playoff performer as the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Minnesota Wild 2-1 in overtime to win their second round playoff series 4-2.
Kane scored the game winner and series clincher at 9:42 of overtime on Tuesday as the defending Stanley Cup champions beat the Wild in six games to reach the NHL playoff semi-finals, AFP reports.
"It was nice to see the puck in the net and get the series over with,'' Kane said.
The 25-year-old American is making a habit of scoring clutch Stanley Cup playoff goals for the Blackhawks. He scored the overtime winner in game six of the 2010 Stanley Cup finals to claim his first championship ring. Three years later, Kane earned his second ring and won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player of the postseason.
Kane and Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews have combined to score seven of the Blackhawks eight-game winning goals in the 2014 postseason.
Tuesday's winning goal was the result of a weird bounce off the back boards that fooled Minnesota goalie Ilya Bryzgalov who was expecting the puck to hit the glass and sail behind the net.
Kane drove to the front of the net, pick up the loose puck at the side and lifted a backhand just under the crossbar and past Russia's Bryzgalov in front of a crowd of 19,396 at the Xcel Energy Center arena.
The play started with a shoot in by Chicago defenceman Brent Seabrook who got an assist on the play.
Kris Versteeg also scored and Corey Crawford came up with 34 saves for the Blackhawks, who await the winner of the other second round Western Conference battle between the Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks.
Erik Haula picked up the lone goal for the Wild, while Bryzgalov stopped 25 shots in the season-ending loss.