Patrick Kane

Video: Kane’s long-awaited goal might be the dagger

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Much has been made about Patrick Kane and Steven Stamkos struggling to score goals in the 2015 Stanley Cup Final. As of this writing, only one of those players ended his frustrations in Game 6.

(Again, there’s some time though.)

For the first time in this remarkably tight series, a team managed more than a one-goal lead after Kane scored an emphatic 2-0 tally:

Kane had a great assist on Duncan Keith’s 1-0 goal, too, so it’s been a great game for No. 88. Again, we’ll see if the lead holds.

Smythe-type snipe? Keith breaks Game 6 stalemate (Video)

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If the Chicago Blackhawks win the 2015 Stanley Cup, it’s widely believed that Duncan Keith will grab the Conn Smythe.

He greatly improved the odds of both by scoring the first goal of Game 6:

That’s a great individual effort by Keith, although Patrick Kane deserves kudos for a fantastic pass as well. Keith also hit a significant (if specific) milestone, as he became just the fourth skater to log more than 700 minutes of ice time in a single postseason:

Also, his 21st point represents a very nice mark in itself.

We’ll find out soon enough if Chicago can make its 1-0 lead hold.

That goal ended up being the game-winner as Chicago won its third title in six seasons. Note this interesting tidbit:

WATCH LIVE: Game 6 of Stanley Cup Final – Lightning at Blackhawks

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Will tonight be the night?

The Chicago Blackhawks shoot for the third Stanley Cup victory of the Jonathan Toews – Patrick Kane era and all the dynastic conversations that would come with it if they can take Game 6.

Meanwhile, the Tampa Bay Lightning hope to shake off their growing list of bumps and bruises to force a for-all-the-marbles Game 7 back home.

Tonight’s contest brings plenty of weather jokes since both markets are experiencing storms:

There’s also a noteworthy (and/or highly specific?) historic stat for each side:

Either way, Game 6 airs on NBC, while NBCSN carries coverage before and after the contest. You can stream it all via the NBC Sports Live Extra links below:

Pre-game (NBCSN)

Game 6 (NBC)

Post-game (NBCSN)

Kane trying to not let Hedman get in his head

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CHICAGO — With no goals and just one assist in the first five games of the Stanley Cup Final, Patrick Kane’s offensive production has been notably absent for the Chicago Blackhawks.

One very good reason for that is that Victor Hedman, the Lightning defenseman who’s been a two-way force all throughout the playoffs, no more than in this series.

“He’s a special player,” Kane said this morning. “Not only is he big (and) has a good stick, he’s smart, he’s a great skater. He seems to have all the tools to lock someone down. He’s definitely been impressive throughout the series.”

In Game 5 on Saturday, Kane spent 9:17 of his 15:48 in total ice time with Hedman out there as well.

At home tonight in Game 6, Joel Quenneville should be able to get Kane away from Hedman a bit more. The Blackhawks’ coach has confidence his star forward will come through.

“Kaner, eventually he’ll find a way,” said Quenneville. “That’s what makes him the competitor he is.”

Regardless of the match-ups, Kane doesn’t want to overthink the situation.

“I think when you’re on the ice, you gotta be aware who’s out there, especially for defensive purposes,” he said.

“But sometimes when you think too much about playing against one certain guy, it can backfire on you a little bit. So we’re just worried about playing our game, not worried about what he’s going to do out there too much.”

Kane by series
Nashville: 2 goals, 5 assists in 6 games
Minnesota: 5 goals, 1 assist in 4 games
Anaheim: 3 goals, 4 assists in 7 games
Tampa Bay: 0 goals, 1 assist in 5 games

With offense sputtering, Stamkos says ‘I’ve got to be better’

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TAMPA — Two goals, two losses and on the brink of elimination.

That’s the situation the Tampa Bay Lightning are in following Saturday’s Game 5 loss to the Blackhawks. The Bolts have frittered away a 2-1 series lead and seen their offense disappear with it; despite firing 57 shots at Corey Crawford over the last two games, they have precious little to show for it.

At the center of that dry spell? Steven Stamkos.

source:  The Lightning captain is goalless in the Stanley Cup Final, a scoring slump that dates back to Game 5 of the Rangers series. Saturday, he fired just one puck on net (three attempts total, which is also alarming) and was ineffective during a third period in which Tampa tried to rally, but came up short.

“You have to find a way,” Stamkos said following Saturday’s loss. “We had some looks at the end, it’s just not good enough to get looks right now. We have to find a way. We have to find a way to score some goals.

“It starts with me. I’ve got to be better.”

A series that promised to be an offensive showcase — and, at times during Games 2 and 3, lived up to the billing — has morphed into a defensive, tight-checking affair. The teams have combined to score just six goals over the last two games and while Stamkos isn’t the only high-profile player without a marker (remember, Patrick Kane hasn’t scored either), he’s now clearly feeling the pressure as it’s the Lightning, not the Blackhawks, that can’t afford to lose another game.

Even though he’s struggled, Stamkos said he welcomes the challenge ahead.

“We’ve got one game,” he explained. “It’s going to come down to how much we want to extend our season and what we’re willing to do. This group has come too far not to leave it all on the ice next game.

“We’re experienced in these situations. We’ve gone through it already this playoffs, we’ve found a way.”