- Scott Powers, ESPN Staff Writer
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On Tuesday, Toews returned the compliment.
A game after Toews scored the game-winning goal to beat the Minnesota Wild in Game 5, Kane provided the heroics and scored an overtime game winner to beat the Minnesota Wild 2-1 in Game 6 and clinch the second-round series on Tuesday.
“I told him after last game, when he scored that goal and he was just sitting next to me on the bench, I was just saying that was that 'it' factor he has,” Kane said. “He scores a lot of timely goals.
“He kind of winked at me tonight and said maybe that it was my time. It was funny how some of those things work out. Most important getting the win and moving on is the most exciting part.”
Kane and Toews are major reasons why the Blackhawks advanced to the Western Conference finals again. The two players have combined for seven game-winning goals in eight playoff wins this season.
Kane’s game-winning chance Tuesday began thanks to a favorable bounce off the end boards. Brent Seabrook had knocked the puck into the Wild’s zone, and it flew off the boards in an unusual manner and came right to Kane as he was skating to the net from the right circle. He gained possession with his forehand, skated past Wild goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov and shot the puck into the net with his backhand.
“Tonight was pretty lucky,” Kane said. “Seabs rimmed it in and it hit the stanchion, comes out in front. I thought there was a chance it could get to me if it went through their defenseman and [Peter] Regin, just tried to make a move on the goaltender.
“It was exciting to get that chance. Whatever it is, if the luck finds me or the heavens above give me some blessings in overtime, I’ll keep taking it. We have a bunch of guys with experience; everyone’s done it. But it’s always exciting when you do.”
Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville might have stated it best.
“We had a break at the end and certainly the right guy had it on his stick,” Quenneville said.