Kane nets hat trick; Hawks make it 10 straight
An amazing season just keeps getting more and more amazing for No. 88.
Patrick Kane, the NHL's leading scorer who put together a headline-grabbing, record-setting 26-game point streak earlier this season, accomplished another amazing feat Friday night by recording the first regular-season hat trick of his pro career as the Blackhawks netted a 4-1 victory over the host Toronto Maple Leafs.
Oh, and he also assisted on the Hawks' other goal, a power-play tally by Artemi Panarin 21 seconds into the third period.
"I couldn't believe it was his first hat trick. That's awesome," goalie Scott Darling told reporters after stopping 27 shots. "What's left to do?"
The Hawks have now won 10 straight, their longest winning streak since they won 11 in a row from February 15-March 6, 2013.
Kane does have a pair of NHL hat tricks, but both were in the postseason. The first came in 2009 when the Hawks eliminated Vancouver in the second round in Game 6; the other came in Game 5 of the 2013 Western Conference finals as the Hawks eliminated the Kings en route to their second title of the Joel Quenneville era.
"It's been a long time coming, I guess, in the regular season," Kane told Comcast SportsNet. "I think I've had plenty of 2-goal games that I wasn't able to cash in on the third one. At the same time, you look at the two hat tricks I had in (the) playoffs, you probably wouldn't trade those for anything.
"I was fortunate to be on the right side of a lot of great plays by my teammates tonight. … It was definitely a good feeling to get that one."
The hat trick came in Kane's 623rd regular-season game. He now has 28 goals and 67 points on the season. His career bests in those categories are 30 goals and 88 points, both in 2009-10.
Before the Kane Show began, the Hawks appeared to take a 1-0 first-period lead when Andrew Shaw followed up his own shot and beat Maple Leafs goalie James Reimer, but Toronto coach Mike Babcock challenged the play and Marian Hossa was ruled to have been offsides.
The Hawks stayed with it and Kane made it 1-0 when Duncan Keith fed the Hawks' superstar with a perfect pass through traffic right in front of the net. Kane told reporters that most players would have shot in that situation, but Keith saw his teammate and Kane easily buried the shot.
Four minutes later, Artemi Panarin fed Kane for the Hawks' second goal with a perfect cross-ice pass.
Early in the third period, the Hawks took only seconds to cash in on a 5-on-3 power play when Kane fed Panarin for a one-timer to make it 3-0.
At that point, it was game, set, match against a Leafs team that's been outscored 16-3 in what is now a four-game losing streak.
Darling has won his last three starts, stopping 71 of 76 shots for a .934 save percentage.
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