Stanley Cup: Blackhawks' Patrick Kane saves his best for last

CHICAGO -- Though maybe it wasn't the way he intended, Patrick Kane saved his best for last. With the lights brightest, it was Showtime's time to shine and shine he did.

After registering only one assist in the Stanley Cup Final after a brilliant postseason up to that point, Kane delivered an assist on the Chicago Blackhawks' first goal in Game 6 and provided the dagger to make it 2-0 late in the third period. That goal took the life out of the Tampa Bay Lightning and started the party early in Chicago.

It was another superb clinching performance from one of the game's most exciting players. It came once again on the biggest stage available, and it helped Chicago earn its third Stanley Cup in six years.

There wasn't any doubt in Kane's mind, however, that he would perform in Game 6.

"It was my time to step up," Kane said while celebrating his third title as a Blackhawk. "I felt really good coming into the game. I felt like I was going to have a big game and I felt like I wanted the puck all night."

It seemed like he had the puck all night. Buzzing around through the neutral zone, zipping passes back across the offensive zone, creating space and looking threatening was all part of Kane's game. It wasn't that it was missing before, but it just didn't seem to come as easily.

Kane finished Game 6 with two points, registered five shot attempts, forced a giveaway and even blocked a shot out there. He was all over the ice, and when a Brad Richards pass gave Kane a large opening to shoot at, he put the puck in the back of the net like we're so used to seeing.

"It was a fun game to step up and be a part of," Kane said.

After scoring the overtime goal that ended the 2010 Final and gave Chicago its first Stanley Cup in 49 years, late-game heroics have been a staple of Kane's postseason repertoire. That he hadn't scored coming into the series was surprising, but it always seemed like it was only a matter of time.

Despite posting only three points in the Stanley Cup Final, Kane finished the postseason tied with Tyler Johnson with 23 points.

To think, it wasn't even a sure thing Kane would play in the playoff until the second half. Luckily for the Blackhawks, his broken clavicle healed ahead of schedule and he managed to play in every Stanley Cup Playoffs game in 2015.

Head coach Joel Quenneville could do nothing but gush about Kane and his dynamic running mate Jonathan Toews, in the glow of a third Stanley Cup.

"Fortunate to be around them," Quenneville said. "They make guys around them better, play the right way, send the right message, and [bring] consistency. New guys coming into the team, they see that's the message, how important winning is to the team, to the players, to the town, to the organization. It's infectious."

Kane now has 114 points in 116 career playoff games. His 23 points represented the second-most productive postseason of his career. During his past three trips to the Stanley Cup Playoffs, Kane has 62 points.

At 26 years old, Kane has already racked up a career's worth of accolades and now three Stanley Cups. He doesn't look ready to stop anytime soon, either. As long as there's a big stage, there will always be Showtime.

Patrick Kane helped lead Chicago to another Stanley Cup. (USATSI)
Patrick Kane helped lead Chicago to another Stanley Cup. (USATSI)
CBS Sports Writer

Chris Peters has been a hockey writer for CBS Sports since 2012. Prior to that, he wrote for numerous outlets and edited the United States of Hockey blog, covering the sport at all levels. Peters also... Full Bio

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