Patrick ‘Showtime’ Kane busted Friday’s playoff game between the Chicago Blackhawks and Minnesota Wild wide open on Friday.
Kane scored twice in the third period, including an absolutely stunning goal in which he roofed a backhand top-shelf, short-side on Ilya Bryzgalov, to lift the Blackhawks to a 5-2 win over the visiting Wild. Chicago now leads the best-of-seven Western Conference second-round series 1-0.
The Blackhawks were able to recover after blowing a two-goal lead earlier in the third period.
Minnesota scored twice in the first seven minutes of the final period to tie the game at two-goals apiece. Comebacks have been a common theme in these playoffs, and again here in the second round. It looked as if this game might perhaps be headed for overtime.
But that was before Kane dazzled everyone with his talent and the Blackhawks eventually put this one away with three unanswered goals, including one into an empty net. Wild coach Mike Yeo pulled Bryzgalov for the extra attacker with over two minutes remaining in the game, echoing the strategy employed in the first round by Colorado Avalanche coach Patrick Roy.
It didn’t work out for the Wild, despite outshooting the Blackhawks 31-22 overall and 23-9 over the final two periods.
It wasn’t all good news for the Blackhawks. Forward Andrew Shaw left the game in the first period after taking a heavy hit along the boards from Minnesota defenseman Clayton Stoner. Shaw did not return.
You probably know the drill: injury updates are murky in the NHL basically from the moment a puck drops.
We’ll learn more once the 2015-16 season begins, but at the moment, Saturday might have served as a costly night for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Both Tyler Johnson and Alex Killorn went down with injuries stemming from a 3-2 pre-season win against the Florida Panthers.
“Guys were dropping like flies,” Steven Stamkos told the Tamba Bay Times.
These could be minor situations – just about any ailment will sideline a key asset this time of year – yet one cannot help but wonder if the Lightning might limp into this campaign.
Nikita Kucherov is dealing with his own issues, so that means at least minor issues for one half of the Bolts’ top six forwards.
It’s believed that more will be known about these banged-up Bolts sometime on Sunday.
With knee issues still limiting him, Raffi Torres isn’t as mobile as he once was. Apparently he still moves well enough to leave the usual path of destruction.
It’s the pre-season, so it’s unclear if we’ll get a good look at the check, but Torres received a match penalty for his hit on Anaheim Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg.
Most accounts were pretty critical of the San Jose Sharks’ chief troublemaker:
It’s too early to tell if Silfverberg is injured. If he is, that’s a significant loss for the Ducks, as he really showed signs of fulfilling his promise (especially during the 2015 playoffs).
As far as Torres goes, he’s hoping to play in the Sharks’ season-opener. Wherever he ends up, he’ll certainly make plenty of enemies on the ice.
Whether it was because of that hit or just the general distaste shared by those sides, it sounds like tonight’s Sharks – Ducks exhibition is getting ugly, in general:
This post will be updated if video of the hit becomes available, and also if we get a better idea of Silfverberg’s condition.
Update: All that’s been announced about Silfverberg is that he’s under evaluation and will not return.