Kane continues to impress at center

November, 1, 2011
11/01/11
12:01
AM CT
Rogers By Jesse Rogers
ESPNChicago.com
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CHICAGO -- Patrick Kane had another one of those nights on Monday. Every time he touched the puck, something good nearly happened. And several times it did, as he helped the Chicago Blackhawks to a 5-4 overtime win against the Nashville Predators.

Kane had two goals and an assist, almost single-handedly keeping the Hawks in the game until the rest of the team, including Viktor Stalberg, who got the game-winner in overtime, came alive late.

[+] EnlargePatrick Kane
Jonathan Daniel/Getty ImagesPatrick Kane had two goals and an assist for the Blackhawks on Monday.
“I thought he was special tonight for sure,” Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said. “He had the puck on his stick for a length of time. I’d like to know the total possession time that he had. It was a different level. That trial of him in the middle is not a trial.”

His quick and accurate shot earned him two goals against a goaltender -- Pekka Rinne -- who was fantastic. But as usual, it’s his playmaking ability that continues to impress the hockey world. He draws players to him, as he did in overtime, opening space for Jonathan Toews. Earlier he set up Nick Leddy with a perfect pass, allowing the defenseman to walk into a slap shot. Kane was that good.

“I felt good tonight,” he said afterwards. “Our line is having good chemistry. We could have had more [goals].”

Stalberg again

Stalberg scored his second 4-on-4 goal in as many games. This time to win it in overtime.

“We talked on the bench to get out there and skate with the puck if I get it,” he said. “I think they were caught out there with their third [defense] pairing. I was trying to beat him wide but he covered up pretty good so I was able to take it to the inside and get a shot on net. Good things happen when you get pucks through.”
Quenneville said Saturday he wants to use Stalberg in critical situations more and more.

“Great play,” Quennville said. “Comparable play [to Stalberg’s goal on Saturday], reminded me the same move where he took it to the middle, great shot, obviously a huge goal for us, a big win.”

Slappers

  • The Hawks went 0 for 7 on the power play and are 7 for 45 on the season, but improved their record to 7-2-2.

    “We’re not really frustrated right now because we’re doing good things,” Marian Hossa said. “We’re moving the puck. Their goaltender was great.”

  • Five of Stalberg’s 15 career goals as a Blackhawk have been game-winners.

  • Leddy scored his second goal of the season. He’s the only Hawks’ defenseman to register a goal this year. His seven points tie his total from all of last year.

  • Toews won 20 of 25 faceoffs.
  • Jesse Rogers | email

    Chicago Cubs beat reporter
    Jesse joined ESPN Chicago in September 2009 and covers the Chicago Cubs for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN Radio 1000.

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    TEAM LEADERS

    POINTS
    Patrick Kane
    PTS GOALS AST +/-
    36 16 20 9
    OTHER LEADERS
    GoalsP. Kane 16
    AssistsP. Kane 20
    +/-K. Versteeg 15
    GAAC. Crawford 2.00