Patrick Kane does it again — ‘Maybe it was my turn to step up’

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Patrick Kane (left) scores the winning goal with an easy tap in to give the Blackhawks a 4-3 double-overtime victory against the St. Louis Blues on Thursday night at Scottrade Center. (Chris Lee/AP)

A team desperate for a hero found a familiar one Thursday night.

“In the past with our team it seems like it’s kind of the next guy up — it’s someone else’s turn,” Patrick Kane said after scoring the winning goal in the second overtime to give the Blackhawks a 4-3 victory over the Blues that forced a Game 6 in their first-round playoff series. “Maybe it was my turn to step up tonight and do something in overtime, which I’ve been waiting a lot longer than I should. It’s a good feeling, keeps up alive. [We] go back home now and it’s going to be exciting play a Game 6 in our building.”

Kane scored on a typical clutch play that was as much his perseverance and craftiness as his nifty move to create a scoring opportunity. His first attempt on the right side of the Blues net was stopped. But as the puck slid to the open side of the net, Kane scooted behind the net to tap in the rebound at 3:07 of the second overtime. It was like a wraparound without the puck.

It was Kane’s first goal of the series and his fifth overtime game-winner.

“He’s a clutch player. Obviously he’s a great player,” coach Joel Quenneville said. “Not a lot of guys can do what he does — a couple of those spin moves tonight were dangerous and he stuck with it on the other side of the net. You have to give him credit. He’s special and he’s special with everything on the line as well.”

Kane’s clutch goal capped a big night for the Hawks’ veteran stars, who had been mostly quiet in this series. Marian Hossa, who also had not scored int he series, gave the Hawks a 1-0 lead with a short-handed goal in the second period. Artemi Panarin added a goal and an assist. Jonathan Toews assisted on a huge last-second goal in the second period that gave the Hawks a 3-1 lead and was a plus-3.

Quenneville maintains he doesn’t care who scores as long as somebody does. But it’s usually a better sign when the top-six forwards are contributing.

“I’m sure it gives them some confidence that they put the puck in the net. They’ve had lots of chances,” said Duncan Keith, who also played a key role in a 42-minute performance. “That’s always a good thing for our team when guys like that score. I think Joel’s right — we don’t care who scores. They’re the ones who made the contributions and we won the game. That’s what we’re happy about.”

Hossa, who played on the third line with Andrew Ladd and Marcus Kruger, was particularly active throughout the game.

“He played great,” Keith said. “He’s at his best when he’s skating hard and he’s tough to play against when he’s skating hard both ways.”

It was Hossa’s 50th career playoff goal, his first of the series and his first in his last 11 playoff games — Hossa did not score in the Stanley Cup Final against the Lightning.

“I thought Hoss had a great game tonight,” Quenneville said. “That line was useful and he had several good looks — nice shot on the shorty. Obviously [Panarin’s] goal at the end of the period was gigantic for us.”

The Hawks were leading 2-1 after Artem Anisimov scored on a rebound when Toews, off a faceoff with eight seconds left in the period, got the puck to Kane below the goal line to the right of the Blues net. With time running out, Kane fired a pass to Panarin on the other side and Panarin scored at the buzzer. Replays showed the puck crossing the goal line with four-tenths of a second left in the period.

But of all the Hawks’ top scorers, it’s Kane who seems to have the potential to ignite the kind of comeback the Hawks will need to win this series, still trailing 3-2 with Game 6 at the United Center on Saturday. When he broke out of a similar slump in the 2013 playoffs with a goal against the Kings in Game 4 of the Western Conference final, he scored six more in the next six games en route to the Conn Smythe Trophy.

“You can’t keep him away from scoring too long,” defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson said. “He’s one of those players who finds a way, especially in overtime he’s one of those guys who just loves to have the puck. That’s why we’ve had so much success in the past — we have guys like that who really like to play in the overtime and like to have the puck and score big goals. He’s one of those guys.”

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