Patrick Kane recorded his 10th multi-point outing of the season in Sunday's 7-2 win over the Detroit Red Wings and put on another show on national television. He continues to strengthen his Hart Trophy case with 34 points this season, which ranks No. 2 in the NHL's scoring race.
But he also hit another major milestone that captivated the hockey world: Kane became the 100th player in NHL history to score 400 career goals and the fourth in franchise history to do so, joining Bobby Hull, Steve Larmer and Stan Mikita.
"You try not to think about it, but I guess once you get it, it’s kind of nice to get it out of the way," Kane said. "Just worry about playing good hockey and playing the way that I know how to play. You try to have that mindset going into the game but it’s probably in the back of your mind a little bit, especially once you near that number. Nice to get it over with tonight."
Kane scored the goal in typical Kane fashion, too. He displayed tremendous patience and stickhandling on a 2-on-1 then fired a wrist shot past goaltender Thomas Greiss before letting out a big celly.
"We all knew the situation," head coach Jeremy Colliton said. "I think there were some guys yelling 'shoot it' from the bench when he’s on the 2-on-1 there. And it wasn't like the puck banked in on his leg, either. It’s a pretty special goal. Nice for him, for sure."
"When he was on the bench he had a pretty clear 2-on-1 and just in my end I was like, 'there's no way he’s passing this puck,'" Ryan Carpenter echoed. "And then you saw how the guy slides and he just buys all kinds of time, it was just such an elite play. When he's got that goal on his mind, it’s just amazing how he created so much time for himself and you knew he wasn’t going to miss."
It was a bittersweet moment for Kane, who would've loved to share the moment with his family, friends and fans in a sold-out United Center.
"That’s the way it is in this world right now," Kane said. "I guess tonight it was nice to just enjoy it with my teammates. They seemed pretty excited for me. Lot of support from them guys, so nice to share it with them and the coaches."
Kane is 32 years old and still playing some of the best hockey of his career. He's approaching another milestone with just five games left until he hits 1,000; he hit the 1,000-point mark last season.
Kane isn't one to reflect too much on things like this while his career is still going because he feels like he has a lot of hockey left in him, but he tried his best to put it into perspective.
"I think the biggest thing is once you start reaching these type of milestones, 400 goals and 1,000 games coming up, it leaves you wanting more," Kane said. "It’s exciting to achieve them and nice to have these types of milestones. Probably means I’ve played a while, but I just think you just want to keep getting better and keep trying to help the team as best you can."