Versteeg's goal makes for special night


CHICAGO -- Chicago Blackhawks forward Kris Versteeg's goal against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Soldier Field on Saturday night will be one he forever remembers.

When Versteeg knocked home a Patrick Kane pass in front of the net in the second period of the Blackhawks’ 5-1 victory, Versteeg not only was able to celebrate before 60,000-plus fans outdoors, but the goal also went down as the 100th in his eight-year career, and he became the only Blackhawk to score at Soldier Field and Wrigley Field. He also netted a goal against the Detroit Red Wings in the 2009 Winter Classic.

“It’s crazy,” Versteeg said. “People have been asking me when I would score the 100th, and tonight it was nice to get it, especially at this venue and the surrounding, and a lot of my family here and friends. ... Just the whole experience was really amazing.”

Versteeg had waited 12 games for his 100th goal. He recorded his 99th on Jan. 17, then went goalless for 10 games before the Olympic break and failed to score against the New York Rangers in Thursday's return.

Versteeg thought the slump might have been getting to him.

“That was something maybe I was pressing for a little while now,” Versteeg said. “People asking all the time, family members. It was really nice to get it here.”

The snowy conditions made Saturday’s game a challenge at times, but Versteeg believed it was best that way.

“It was a lot of snow,” Versteeg said. “I think more than skating was the puck handling -- losing the puck at times and trying to find it when you’re looking down a little bit more than you’re used to. I don’t think if you asked every guy in here they’d have it any other way.”

Just as Versteeg did at Wrigley Field on Jan. 1, 2009, he made sure to soak in the atmosphere at Soldier Field on Saturday.

“It’s just exciting to be a part of a something like this,” Versteeg said. “To score, it makes it a whole lot more special for myself.”