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updated: 5/3/2014 1:01 AM

Kaner's exploits leave teammates in awe

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  • Daniel White/dwhite@dailyherald.comPatrick Kane celebrates his game leading third period goal during a 5-2 win over the Wild. Charlie Coyle skates away from the play.

    Daniel White/dwhite@dailyherald.comPatrick Kane celebrates his game leading third period goal during a 5-2 win over the Wild. Charlie Coyle skates away from the play.


When you leave all-stars, Olympians, Stanley Cup champions and even coaches in awe, you know you've done something special.

Um, yeah, Patrick Kane absolutely did something special Friday night in leading the Blackhawks to a 5-2 victory over Minnesota in Game 1 of their Western Conference semifinal series.

Shortly after Minnesota had silenced a sold-out United Center with back-to-back-goals early in the third period, Kane answered with the game-winner of all game-winners.

After getting a pass at his own blue line, Kane skated into the Minnesota zone where he deked Ryan Suter, skated through a pair of defenders and then with Jonas Brodin draped all over him, somehow roofed a backhander past Ilya Bryzgalov.

"It's a shot I've been trying to make since I've been 7 years old and starting to play hockey," Kane said. "It's a little more successful when you're younger -- but it's always nice to see them go in."

The reviews were instant, and not unexpectedly, quite positive.

"That was something amazing," said Marian Hossa, who had a goal and an assist. "Not many guys can shoot a puck like that on the backhand."

"He can make shots not a whole lot of people can make," Patrick Sharp said. "That backhand is a good example."

Even Hawks coach Joel Quenneville had to shake his head at No. 88's exploits.

"Kaner scored one of those goals that not many guys in the league could even try or get it done," Quenneville said.

Not only a beautiful goal, but a big one as well.

"The thing I like about Kane is the big stages he always seems to step up," Sharp said. "Time and time again he scores big goals."

Another big-time playoff performer -- Bryan Bickell -- opened the scoring with a redirection of a Brent Seabrook blast from the point and closed it out with an empty-netter for 4 goals in his last four games.

"He seems to come alive this time of the year," Quenneville said of Bickell. "Big body, wide body, creates quite a screen, has a nice set of hands as well. He got rewarded, got the power play, and that unit made a couple really nice plays as well."

About the only downer on the night was seeing Andrew Shaw limp off the ice midway through the first period and not return. Quenneville deemed it an upper body and called Shaw "day to day."

"Shawzie's a guy that plays hard and goes in hard on the forecheck," Corey Crawford said. "He's a pest in front of their net. He gets in front of the goalie. Even though he's a small guy, it seems like he's able to take a lot of goalies' vision away.

"He's a key player for us. I don't know what he's like right now."

Quenneville will update Shaw's status on Saturday afternoon, but until then, all the buzz from the series opener belongs to Kane, and rightly so.

"That one goal, that was pretty," Bickell said with a smile. "I've seen that from him a couple of times before.

"Just a huge goal for us."

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