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updated: 4/24/2014 5:12 AM

Patrick Kane's the hero as Hawks tie series

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  • The Blackhawks celebrate Patrick Kane's overtime goal in overtime that evened the series against the St. Louis Blues Wednesday in Game 4 at the United Center in Chicago.

      The Blackhawks celebrate Patrick Kane's overtime goal in overtime that evened the series against the St. Louis Blues Wednesday in Game 4 at the United Center in Chicago.
    John Starks | Staff Photographer

 
 

Prior to Wednesday's crucial Game 4, coach Joel Quenneville was discussing just what makes the Blackhawks' top line of Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Bryan Bickell so potentially lethal.

"I just think it's a line that's got a lot of different variety for having success, be it off the rush or in zone," Quenneville said. "They all bring something to the table. Sometimes we talk about balance, and that line gives us a lot of different looks."

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And a lot of different ways to get on the scoresheet -- from Toews' 2 assists to Bickell's huge game-tying goal near the end of regulation Wednesday.

But by far the biggest star of the show on this evening was Kane, who not only had a goal and assist in regulation, but also notched the game-winner in overtime to give the Hawks a crucial 4-3 win and knot the series at 2-2 with Game 5 on tap Friday night in St. Louis.

Kane's game-winner came on a wrist shot from the dot that beat Blues goalie Ryan Miller.

"(Brandon Saad) made a good play driving to the back post and gave me some space to try and get a shot off," Kane said. "I just tried to pull it to the middle and get it by the defenseman -- try to use him as a screen."

It was just another clutch playoff performance for Kane, who leads active skaters and ranks seventh on the franchise leaderboard with 75 points in 78 career playoff games, and shares the franchise lead with 3 career postseason overtime game-winning goals.

"I saw his hands were there, his vision was there, you know, a couple shifts right before we scored he hit the crossbar," Bickell said of Kane. "You just felt him going down on a 3-on-3 or 4-on-3 that something good's going to happen and he's got the talent to do it ... and couldn't happen to a better person."

Bickell's first goal of the playoffs, coming off a deflection, probably didn't come as a surprise to Quenneville, who has been on No. 29's bandwagon since the final month or so of the regular season.

"Bicks has been real good," Quenneville said after Wednesday's morning skate. "He has a speed to his game that gets him in contact areas, but he's dangerous off the rush with pucks that are lying around with his quick stick and a quick shot.

"The way he played toward the end of the season and the way he's played his first few games here, it looks like he's ready."

It certainly took away from the counterpunch the Blues delivered late in the second period.

In a matter of minutes, the United Center went from bedlam -- thanks to second period goals by Andrew Shaw and Kane -- to disbelief, courtesy of a pair of Blues goals just 65 seconds apart.

Vladimir Tarasenko's shot past a screened Corey Crawford at 18:51 of the second cut the lead in half, and the stunner came when Maxim Lapierre scored with 4 seconds left in the period to tie the game at 2-2 heading to the final 20 minutes of regulation.

Shaw's goal came courtesy of some dirty work in front of the net, and Kane's came courtesy of a nifty cross-ice pass from Johnny Oduya.

After Tarasenko struck again in the third with his fourth goal of the playoffs, it looked like the Blues might have the edge heading into Game 5, but Bickell responded by re-directing

Michal Rozsival's blast from the point past Miller with four minutes remaining to send the game into yet another OT.

And this time Kane sealed the deal.

"We have the momentum going so we're going to try and keep it," Kane said. "We're expecting a tough game Friday, especially going into their building.

"It's going to be rocking."

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