Blackhawks

Blackhawks

It's not often a game between two teams eliminated from playoff contention can be categorized as a tearjerker, but Sunday night's Carolina Hurricanes' shootout win over the Philadelphia Flyers was just that. 

Former Blackhawk Bryan Bickell was at the center of it after being tapped by Hurricanes head coach Bill Peters to leadoff the shootout. 

The 31-year-old forward was playing in his final NHL game due to multiple sclerosis, a central nervous system disease that he was diagnosed with nearly five months ago. Bickell has been going through monthly treatment but did not think maintaining a hockey career was possible. 

Although the 10-year vet has played forward in 394 professional games, no one would mistake him for Patrick Kane during a shootout. In fact, according to hockey reference, Bickell had taken just two before Sunday night -- both were in a Blackhawks jersey and both were missed. 

Sunday was different, though, as Bickell raced in and fired a beauty passed Flyers goalie Anthony Stolarz. 

Even better, his wife, Amanda, was in the stadium anxiously watching. When the goal went in, she jumped up to celebrate all while holding the couple's kid. The cameras caught her crying after the game as the emotional moment came to a close.  

Over the span of his career, Bickell's most memorable moments came in Chicago. From 2006 to 2016, he scored 65 goals with the Hawks and hoisted three Stanley Cups. He tallied 17 points in the 2013 Cup run while posting a plus-11. 

 

After his finale Sunday, the Blackhawks tweeted a congratulations.