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.