The Chicago Blackhawks came into their game against the Los Angeles Kings looking for a confidence booster and a chance to sweep the Kings. It ended up becoming an emotional game as Patrick Kane scored twice in honor of his grandpa Donald. And it wasn’t just emotional, but a hard-fought, knuckle-down fight reminiscent of these two teams’ Western Conference Finals matchup.
Unlike recent games, the Hawks got on the board just over a minute into the game, with Kane showing his puck-handling skills to beat soon-to-be USA Olympic teammate Jonathan Quick. The Hawks then took a 2-0 lead, but the Kings shed whatever offensive issues they were dealing with, scoring two unanswered goals, one of which was not scored by Anze Kopitar (shocking!). He did, however, score the tying goal. Still, the Hawks took control, thanks in part to Kane’s second goal of the night, and they ended up winning 5-3.
It was obvious that emotions were high for the younger Kane, who dedicated both his goals for grandpa Kane-O, kissing his gloves and pointing to the arena ceiling and telling his grandpa he loved him during his WGN interview. But even then, there were tense moments. After the Kings tied the game at two, they peppered goalie Corey Crawford until the Hawks were able to get him some breathing room for Crawford.
But it wasn’t just Kane who came up big. Bryan Bickell scored the second goal of the game, while Marcus Kruger and Nick Leddy also contributed (Leddy, Leddy, Leddy, we love to see you score!). For Kane and Bickell to break out of their respective slumps, it can only mean good things for the two of them. Kane is certainly shining playing with Brandon Pirri (although his first goal was on a power play just seconds into the game).
It was a game reminiscent of these two teams’ playoff series. It was hard-fought, physical and exciting to watch. It might not be too much of a stretch to assume there is a rivalry starting to brew between these two, but until then, this was the Hawks’ best game in the month (well, it was their second of the month, but the point still stands), and it was also emotional. Kane took his emotions and used them to his advantage.
Now, the Hawks will have to build on the momentum from this game and use it to beat the Anaheim Ducks.