Along the boards: Hawks ground Jets, Kane is Mr. 1,000

  

After departing Toronto with a massive victory over the Maple Leafs, the Blackhawks returned to the United Center on Sunday night to take on the Winnipeg Jets. Sunday’s game had a special undertone to it, as Patrick Kane sat only one point away from 1,000 points in his incredible career.

Another storyline was the return of Robin Lehner. After Corey Crawford took the net for the games against Montreal and Toronto, Lehner returned on Sunday night to relieve Crawford and give the veteran a breather.

The Blackhawks didn’t waste any time in the first period, taking an early lead in the game’s first three minutes. However, rather than Dominik Kubalik, Jonathan Toews, or Patrick Kane scoring the opening goal, it was an unexpected character. Alex Nylander scored on the backhand after a perfect pass from Erik Gustafsson set him up all alone in front of the Winnipeg net.

The period wore on with the Blackhawks hanging onto their one goal lead before the fourth line once again got back to work. Matthew Highmore dug a puck out behind the Jets’ net and moved it over to Alex Nylander. The young Swede found Gustafsson at the point. Gustafsson took one quick sidestep and fired a seeing eye shot that went top shelf and gave the Hawks a 2–0 lead.

The game progressed late into the second period with the Hawks still holding on to their two-goal lead. A Luca Sbisa shot took a funny bounce off of Nikolaj Ehlers’ stick. The puck made its way on net and was stopped initially by Lehner. However, the rebound trickled into an area where Mark Scheifele was able to put the rebound in the back of the net and cut the Hawks’ lead to just one.

The 2–1 score held until roughly the mid-way point of the third period. A sensational rush by Kirby Dach generated a grade-A scoring chance for the Hawks. Dach’s initial bid was stopped, but David Kampf followed up and was able to tuck the puck into the net to extend the Hawks’ lead back to two goals.

After that, about five minutes later, magic happened.

Patrick Kane picked up his 1,000th career point in his NHL career on a secondary assist. Brandon Saad tucked home the pass from Kane to Carpenter for his 13th of the season and be a part of the special moment for #88.

Not too long after, the Winnipeg Jets made it interesting as Patrik Laine tallied his 16th goal of the year to give the Jets some life. However, after the Jets tallied to make it a two-goal game, Kubalik was able to add the empty net goal and officially seal the deal as the Blackhawks downed the Jets at home, 5–2.

Along the boards

Tonight’s along the boards is an easy one. Patrick Kane. What an outstanding night for Patrick Kane. Tallying his 1,000th point at home certainly had to be special. Kane mentioned that his family was unable to make it in to witness the moment live, but they’ll likely be in on Tuesday as there will almost 100% be a special ceremony for the milestone.

Although his family was unable to attend tonight’s game, they were with Kane on Friday night as his #88 was retired by the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL). Kane only played one season with the Knights, but he led all of juniors in points that season and rose his draft stock to be the #1 overall pick by the Blackhawks.

Kane’s number will eventually be retired by the Blackhawks as well. He was the fourth ever Blackhawk to record 1,000 career points, the 7th active player to do so, the 10th American of all time to reach the milestone and is the 55th player of 90 all time to reach 1,000 to do so before playing in his 1,000th game. What Kane has done in his career that is still very far from over is truly remarkable. He has cemented himself as possibly the greatest American born player to ever play the game.

We here at The-Rink wish Patrick Kane congratulations for recording 1,000 points in the NHL. We can’t wait for the pursuit to the next 1,000.

The Blackhawks return to action at home on Tuesday when they welcome back Joel Quenneville and the Florida Panthers for their one appearance at the United Center this year.

Center Ice Forums Along the boards: Hawks ground Jets, Kane is Mr. 1,000

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