Patrick Kane knew heading into Game 2 on Saturday night at the United Center just how crucial a victory over Boston would be for the Blackhawks.
And not just because the Hawks would go up 2-0 in the Stanley Cup Final and retain home-ice advantage in the process, but because Kane realized how his team had played in Game 3s thus far this postseason.
In a couple of words: not good.
“Looking at every series, for some reason we’ve lost Game 3,” Kane said following Saturday’s morning skate.
It began when the Hawks dropped a 3-2 decision to Minnesota in the first round.
And then there was that Detroit series, which definitely did not go how the Hawks envisioned — especially after a relatively comfortable win in the opener.
“Against Detroit in that Game 2, I think we kind of beat them pretty easily the first game and we thought that was going to be a different series,” said Kane, who assisted on Patrick Sharp’s first-period goal Saturday night.
And if there’s one thing the Hawks learned against the Wings, it’s to never, ever underestimate an opponent, something the Hawks took into play Saturday against Boston.
“We know this team’s a good team and they have been through a lot,” Kane said of the Bruins. “We know they’re here for a reason and we know they’re very tough to play against.
“It’s a big game. You want to hold (serve) here at home, especially after the last game — kind of stealing that one away from them.”
But it didn’t work out the way Kane, Sharp nor the Hawks envisioned. The Bruins dominated in overtime to take a 2-1 victory and leave town with the series tied at a game apiece.
And now the Hawks face a dreaded Game 3 Monday in Boston — though after Game 2 Jonathan Toews and Patrick Sharp sounded confident the streak could be snapped.
“It doesn’t matter what game we’re in and what the score is in the series, we try to play like it’s Game 7, no matter what,” Toews said.
“I feel like we have a team that can go on the road and play well,” Sharp said. “We’ve done it the past couple of years.
“We know the challenge of going into Boston is going to be tough with how well they play in their building.
“But we can’t look at what has happened in Game 3s to this point. We just have to find a way to get it done (Monday).”
History suggests there was one more reason the Hawks really. really wanted a victory in Game 2.
Simply put, teams winning Game 2 of the Final have gone on to win the Stanley Cup in 55 of 73 years since the best-of-seven format began in 1939 (75.3 percent) — including eight of the past 10 seasons.
Just another streak the Hawks hope to snap.Copyright © 2014 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.