CHICAGO — Patrick Kane and Michael Leighton were perhaps only two people in the building knew where the puck was.
Kane’s shot went short side on Philadelphia goaltender Leighton in overtime of Game 6 of the 2010 NHL final to give the Chicago Blackhawks their first Stanley Cup since 1961. Now the Blackhawks are on the verge of their third title in six years, and Kane said Monday he couldn’t believe how quickly time had passed.
“It’s something I’ll never forget about,” Kane said. “There’s been a lot of moments that have happened in hockey since then, but it still feels like yesterday. Time has just flown by.”
Kane was a fresh-faced 21-year-old then in just his third NHL season and second playoff run. Facing the team with the best chance to draft him in 2007, but lost the lottery, he had two goals and three assists in the first five games to put Chicago up 3-2.
Even with all the time that has passed, Kane remembers the ensuing Game 6 like yesterday.
“Pretty crazy game,” Kane said. “We had a 3-2 lead going into the third, and we were going to try to just lock it down. And then they scored.”
Scott Hartnell tied the game with 3:59 left, and Jeff Carter had another chance and shot high and wide. Kane said the Blackhawks were lucky enough to regroup and get to overtime.
Kane called his goal 4:06 into the extra period “lucky.” But it remains one of the most memorable Cup-winning goals in hockey history.
“It’s a great moment, something that will stand out in a lot of our careers for a long time, especially mine with what happened,” Kane said. `”Nothing will ever take that moment and that day away.”
Blackhawks teammate Kimmo Timonen was on the wrong side that day. One of only three players to lose the Stanley Cup, Olympic final, men’s world championship and World Cup final, the 40-year-old defenceman called it a “tough memory.”
“When I got here three months ago yeah, we were talking about it,” Timonen said. “Hopefully it will different this time.”
One of the biggest mysteries is what happened to the puck. Conspiracy theories include linesman Steve Miller and Flyers defenceman Chris Pronger taking it.
“I don’t think anybody knows the answer to that question, about the puck,” Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said. “Took me forever to find out where it was at that time, initially.”
Timonen, who will retire after this series, joked he’s still wondering where the puck is after all this time.
“It might be still back of the net,” Timonen said with a laugh. “Nobody saw it. Did it go in? I didn’t even know it went in.”