Patrick Kane had such a special relationship with his grandfather that it was fitting Kane would honor the man he called "one of my great friends" on the day he died with one of his best games of the season.
Kane had 2 goals and an assist in the Blackhawks' 5-3 win over the Los Angeles Kings on Monday, pointing to the heavens after both of his goals in a tribute to his grandfather, Donald Kane.
Kane broke down in tears after the game when talking about his grandfather (see video attached).
"Just tough day overall," Kane told reporters with tears running down his face. "He was one of my great friends growing up. Just a really sad day. This was important to get the win, but anytime you get someone taken away from you that's so close to you, means so much -- tough to hear that right before the game.
"I think you think about it a couple times on the bench. Overall, I was just trying to focus on the game tonight and play well for him, I guess."
Kane's teammates didn't know about the death of his grandfather until after the game had started. Hawks coach Joel Quenneville told reporters he wasn't made aware of it until after the second period.
"It was a special game for him," Quenneville said. "He's a proud guy. I think his grandfather meant a lot to him. Very emotional night for him. He played an unbelievable game, had the puck, scored a couple, but did so many other things. I'm sure he's excited what he did for him."
Kane opened the scoring on his first shift on a power play. Later in the period he set up Bryan Bickell's goal on a 3-on-1.
"Great play by Kaner," Quenneville said. "Great patience, great play recognition with a fake, just enough to draw them a little, and a one-timer by Bicks."
The Hawks were nursing a 3-2 lead in the third period when Kane capped his night with a second goal on a feed from Patrick Sharp.
Kane said his grandfather would have been proud.
"He was a guy I kind of grew up with," Kane said. "He lived next door to me my whole childhood. We would do things like play cards and hang out by the pools throughout the summers.
"He came to a lot of my hockey games, but I think, more importantly for him, he was more worried about grades and being a good kid. It's a tough day for sure."
Kane will try to stay hot on Wednesday when the Hawks play at Anaheim against a Ducks team that has finally cooled off.
Anaheim is 4-4 in its last eight games and has lost three of five at home after starting the season 20-0-2 at the Honda Center.
The Hawks and Ducks have split two games at the United Center, although Anaheim's win came in a shootout.
The Hawks can pull within 1 point of Anaheim in the Western Conference standings with a victory.
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