Early in the third period, Patrick Kane gathered the puck in his own end and, while his teammates made a change, skated his way into five Los Angeles Kings. Later in the period, Kane grabbed the puck behind the Kings net, his back to all of his teammates, Kings defenseman Christian Ehrhoff right on his back.
Kane somehow made a goal happen each time.
“I mean, that’s what he does,” Corey Crawford said after the Blackhawks’ 4-2 victory over the Kings, their first comeback win of the season. “He scores goals and he makes plays almost out of nowhere. He makes them happen and he’s done that pretty much his whole career, and he’s continued to do that. He finds ways to get us momentum, maybe when nothing’s going on, and he makes some pretty great plays.”
The Hawks were trailing 2-1 entering the third, and the red-hot Kings seemed poised to build on their seven-game win streak. After all, the Hawks were 0-4-0 when trailing after two periods, and the Kings were 5-0-0 when leading after two. But a little more than a minute into the third, Kane carried the puck into the offensive zone during a line change, and sniped a shot through Alec Martinez’s legs and past Jonathan Quick to tie the game 2-2.
About eight minutes later, Kane slipped a no-look backhand pass from behind the net to a hard-charging Teuvo Teravainen, who beat Quick for the 3-2 lead. Crawford made 19 of his 33 saves — many of them difficult ones — in the third period to stave off the Kings’ own comeback bid, and Artem Anisimov added a shorthanded goal on a breakaway with 1:33 left to seal it.
On Teravainen’s game-winner, it might have looked like Kane saw Teravainen’s reflection in the glass, but all it took was a quick glance over his shoulder.
“I saw Teravainen kind of out of the corner of my eye, and saw him go to that side of the net, so I just tried to throw it there,” Kane said. “It’s a play you see more often now, where guys are going one way and you try and throw it back the other way and kind of catch the goalie looking the opposite way. It was a good finish by him and a big goal at the time.”
Joel Quenneville was pleased with the effort all around. His revamped top two lines each scored, with Jonathan Toews opening the scoring with his fifth goal in five games off a great pass from Ryan Garbutt, who continued his stellar play. Teravainen was more aggressive and direct with his game, and didn’t defer too much to Kane. The kid line of Marko Dano, Tanner Kero and Ryan Hartman held its own against the rough-and-tumble Kings, and the Hawks limited Los Angeles’ chances until the big third-period push.
The win snapped a modest two-game losing streak for the Hawks, but felt like a breakout game after sputtering offensively over the last couple of weeks.
“That’s a big confidence-booster for us, knowing that we can come back, we can score goals,” Kane said. “We’ve been struggling to score 5-on-5 and we had three tonight 5-on-5. That’s a big step in the right direction and a huge, huge win against a good team.”