Chicago Blackhawks star Patrick Kane netted his first regular season hat trick to secure the team’s tenth straight win. They defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-1.
He scored hat tricks in the 2009 and 2013 playoffs.
“I have had a couple of important ones in the playoffs and you probably wouldn’t trade them for anything,” he said after the game. “It is nice to get that first one in the regular season and get it out of the way so to speak. Tonight, I was the beneficiary of some great plays by my teammates.”
After a turbulent offseason, Kane has remained on top leading the league with 28 goals and 67 points. He also scored a point in 26 consecutive games.
After the Blackhawks won their third Stanley Cup in six seasons, a woman in Buffalo, New York, accused Kane of raping her. However, Erie County District Attorney Frank Sedita ended the investigation against him due to lack of evidence in the case “rife with reasonable doubt.”
The Blackhawks took a 1-0 lead in the first period, but referees called of the goal due to offsides. Kane gave the team the lead in the second period after defenseman Duncan Keith passed him the puck off a rebound. Rookie standout Artemi Panarin also received an assist.
Four minutes later, Kane’s good friend Matt Hunwick high-sticked him, leading to a power play. Kane responded with a power-play goal, assisted again by Panarin.
Kane returned the favor when he set up Panarin not even a minute into the third period, pushing the team up 3-0, after referees called Leafs defenseman Roman Polak for cross-checking.
“Our guys are playing well,” stated coach Joel Quenneville. “I think the consistency in our lineup has been more noticeable. We’re getting more contribution across all four lines. Earlier on it was basically a one-line team and now we’re seeing everybody contribute. Our defense has been balanced and our goaltending has been rock solid. I like the consistency right now.”
Kane sealed the game with an empty-net, shorthanded goal at 17:48 of the third period. Quenneville and teammate Scott Darling could not believe Kane never scored a regular-season hat trick.
“It might be my fault that he never had a hat trick because we don’t play him much when we get leads like that,” commented Quenneville. “I had no clue it was his first hat trick. I would have bet he had more than a handful. He nearly had one the other night but he missed the empty net so it was nice to see him come back with one tonight.”
“He’s done so much in his life, I couldn’t believe it was his first hat trick,” said Darling. “That’s awesome. What’s left to do?”