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Patrick Kane, Pavel Datsyuk engage in shootout art contest

Patrick Kane

Chicago Blackhawks’ Patrick Kane (88) wipes his face during the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Minnesota Wild in Chicago, Sunday, April 1, 2012. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)


The shootout is a sporting occurrence that, to many, divides hardcore hockey fans from casual ones.* Yet let’s make this much clear: only the crankiest purists sat with their arms folded when Pavel Datsyuk and Patrick Kane provided a round of “Anything you can do, I can do better” in what would eventually be a 3-2 win for the Chicago Blackhawks.

(Of course, the Detroit Red Wings got the last laugh/be-careful-what-you-wish-for draw of the Nashville Predators by squeaking into OT.)

First, check out video of Datsyuk’s “failed” attempt - seriously, it’s hard for me to call that a failure - which set the stage for Kane’s response:

If you were watching the game live, you were probably thinking the same thing: what will Kane have up his sleeve after that brilliant bit of stick work? Delightfully enough, Kane was up to the task, as you can see from his successful and spellbinding response below:

It’s kind of hard to totally despise the “skills competition” when it puts that kind of skill on display, isn’t it?

* - I don’t think it’s that simple, but you could make the argument.