CHICAGO – The ending was almost too good to be true – and indeed it was.
With the seconds creeping down in overtime against Vegas on Tuesday night, Patrick Kane got a loose puck on one side of the ice and raced toward the opposite goal. With under a second left, he wound up a slap shot and fired, with his shot hitting the back of the net for what looked like the game-winning goal.
The crowd erupted as the Blackhawks celebrated what looked like a memorable ending in what could be the last home game of the nine-time All-Star’s tenure in Chicago. With Kane’s completing the final year of his contract and the team rebuilding, there is a shot that he could be traded before the team returns from their upcoming road trip.
Unfortunately, it didn’t count.
Upon review of the video, the referees concluded that the puck didn’t cross the line before the clock hit zero, and the goal was waived off.
“That was exciting,” said head coach Luke Richardson of the goal that was then wasn’t. “I thought it was in because the feed that we had looked like it was .01 still on it, but I think it’s a TV feed so it’s not the actual clock feed.
“We have to beat them twice, I guess.”
Indeed the Blackhawks did, as Tyler Johnson’s shootout goal gave the Blackhawks a 3-2 victory over the Golden Knights. But not having Kane’s goal count denied what could have been a storybook ending to the former MVP’s run in Chicago.
The Blackhawks are on the road for the next four games and won’t be back at the United Center until March 2, when they host the Stars. Kane could be traded by then or held out of that contest if general manager Kyle Davidson is close to making a move.
Of course, the forward would have to approve any deal made thanks to his no-trade clause, but there was a feeling on Tuesday that Kane’s final home game in a Blackhawks’ uniform was taking place.
The forward would end up with an assist on the night, which came on Johnson’s game-tying goal with 55 seconds to go in regulation. It looked like this set up a memorable finish to what could be No. 88’s final home game with the Blackhawks.
The player who would score the eventual game-winning goal in the shootout wishes it would have been that way.
“I think it would have been cool if Kane scored the winning goal,” said Johnson. “I think that would have made it a lot more fun.”