Kane’s goal, one of five in the third period en route to a 7-2 victory, made him the fourth Hawk to hit the milestone.
Patrick Kane skated half the length of the ice, patiently maneuvered around a sliding defenseman and ripped a no-doubt shot past the goaltender, adding a highlight moment to the Blackhawks’ 7-2 victory Sunday over the Red Wings.
He celebrated with a little more fervor than usual — it was, after all, his 400th NHL goal.
But the scene wasn’t quite the same as the mob that formed on the ice and throughout the United Center after Kane’s 1,000th point last season. There were, after all, no fans in the stands.
“It would be nice to have my parents here, for sure, and [my girlfriend] Amanda and my son,” Kane said. “But that’s the way it is in this world right now.
“Tonight, it was just nice to enjoy it with my teammates. They seemed pretty excited for me. A lot of support from the guys, so nice to share it with them and the coaches.”
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His favorite part of the goal seemed to be simply getting it out of the way. Just like before his milestone point in January 2020, Kane had been stuck one away the previous two games despite generating plenty of golden opportunities.
“I just worry about playing good hockey, playing the way I know how to play — you try to have that mindset going into the game,” he said. “But, you know, it’s probably in the back of your mind a little bit once you get near that number.”
Everyone else was well aware of what was at stake, too.
The United Center equipped their ice scrapers with sheets of paper reading “400,” ready to provide a small fan celebration despite the official attendance of zero.
And on the bench, once the Hawks saw the two-on-one rush develop after Alex DeBrincat forced a turnover and fed it to Kane, every person knew what would soon take place.
“In my head, I thought, ‘There’s no way he’s passing this puck,’ ’’ Ryan Carpenter said. “The defender [Filip Hronek] slides, and he just buys all kinds of time — it was just such an elite play to make. When he’s got that goal on his mind . . . you knew he wasn’t going to miss.”
Kane became the fourth Hawk, the ninth U.S.-born player and the 100th NHL player to reach the 400-goal milestone. He’s not done with milestones yet: Kane remains on track to play in his 1,000th career NHL game March 9 in Dallas.
The goal was part of an explosive third period that broke open what was a competitive 2-1 game at the second intermission.
Entering a brutal 11-game stretch against top teams this week, the Hawks desperately needed a victory against the lowly Wings to split the weekend series.
“After last night, we deserved better,” coach Jeremy Colliton said. “It was tight tonight. We were playing OK, doing some decent things, not giving them too much, but at 2-1, we’re always a bounce away from being in a tough situation.
‘‘So [it was] really good to see those goals go in and just get that result, so that we can be happy tomorrow.”
The final stat sheet was full of standout performances.
DeBrincat had four points. Kane finished with three, adding two assists to his goal. Carpenter had his first career two-goal game. Twelve Hawks notched at least a point. And goaltender Kevin Lankinen made a career-high 44 saves.
But once Kane upped the Hawks’ lead to 5-1, the night belonged to him alone — even with only teammates present to enjoy the occasion.
“We have a bunch of guys who have been watching him for a while, [from] when they were still kids,” Colliton said. “For them to be part of it is pretty special. They all know what he’s meant to the organization and to the league.”