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Storybook for Showtime: Patrick Kane caps memorable Chicago return with OT winner against Blackhawks

NBC Universal, Inc.

Presented by Nationwide Insurance Agent Jeff Vukovich

Chicago Blackhawks franchise icon Patrick Kane made his return to the United Center on Sunday for the first time as a visitor. And Showtime delivered a storybook ending, to no one's surprise.

Despite not having the strongest of games, Kane scored the game-winning goal in overtime on a breakaway as the Detroit Red Wings rallied to beat the Blackhawks 3-2. Fittingly, Kane celebrated with his Showtime move while looking at the sold-out Chicago crowd of 21,141.

"I was behind the play there in overtime and saw we had the puck so tried to take off," Kane said. "Good feeling getting that breakaway. I think you know the feeling of the moment when you get that puck, but just tried to stick with what I wanted to do. Luckily enough, saw it go in."

The boos slowly turned into cheers after Blackhawks fans' initial shock of the goal wore off. Even as an opponent, Kane kept the city of Chicago entertained with a moment they'll always remember.

Perhaps it was justice from the last time Kane was at the United Center when he had his buzzer-beater goal in overtime taken away against Vegas.

"Maybe," Kane smiled. "That’s a good tradeoff, I’ll take that."

It was an epic day for Blackhawks fans, who saw Chris Chelios' No. 7 raised to the rafters. Chelios acknowledged Kane in his speech and jokingly warned him to not steal his thunder.

No. 88 apparently didn't listen.

"That was a nice touch, too," Kane said of Chelios including him in his speech. "Thought he forgot about me when he went to the four guys. No, I don’t think you expect anything less from him, too. He’s a classy guy, he’s been a great friend to me for a long time."

The loudest ovation of the night came during the first television timeout when the Blackhawks aired Kane's welcome back video tribute.

After it ended, Kane took not one, not two, but three laps around the ice because the fans wouldn't stop cheering. Each lap seemingly got louder and louder.

Can't remember the last time I saw three curtain calls, but it was well-deserved.

"Just so special," Kane said. "You don’t expect anything less from the Blackhawks with the tribute. Didn’t know if I did enough laps or too many laps. The guys kept telling me to go for another one, go for another one. Some of them wanted to see four, I only did three. It was great."

When the game eventually went to overtime, you just knew something special was going to happen. Kane wasn't on the ice for the start of overtime, but he had one leg over the bench just waiting to hop on for the next shift like a dog getting ready to pounce on a bone.

You could see the play developing in real time, with Kane finding himself all alone near center ice for a breakaway. He took one look back, fired the puck top shelf and then celebrated accordingly.

Who else but Patrick Kane?

After emerging from the pile, Showtime made one final salute around the United Center to show his appreciate to the fans before heading down the tunnel.

"I think just the whole night was weird, to be honest with you," Kane said. "Different kind of night. Obviously you’re trying to stay focused on a game, didn’t really feel like I was into it to start. Once the tribute happened, it was nice to get that out of the way and start just focusing on hockey. 

"I think I found my game in the second. Just a lot of emotions right now, scoring that goal, being back here, being on a different team. Just tried to show the fans there at the end they’ll always have my heart here. Special 16-17 years, whatever it was, I don’t even know. But that was great."

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