TAMPA, Fla. -- Patrick Kane had no shots on goal for the last 40 minutes of Game One, and the Chicago Blackhawks won in the postseason this year for the first time without getting a point from Kane or Jonathan Toews. Kane said today the opener was a feeling-out process, and he learned the long sticks and big bodies of the Tampa Bay defense will be a challenge.
"They're pretty stingy defensively, kind of play a man on man and don't let you get to those open spots as much," said the South Buffalo native. "When you go up against that, the biggest thing is try to beat your man back to the net, get some shots from the point, maybe converge and get some rebounds.
"They have a lot of good defensemen, they have a lot of guys who have a good reach on you. It's something we have to be aware of, especially when you have the puck. They can poke it from you. On the power play too, it seems like passing lanes close up a little bit faster. We have to be more aware of that."
Tampa Bay led the league in offense in the regular season and Chicago is third in the postseason at 3.22 goals per game. So there was plenty of head-scratching after Game One was 1-0 through 53 minutes and ended 2-1, like so many other games this postseason.
"It's not surprising," Kane said. " Coming into the series, both teams had a lot of offense and offensive players but I think the reason both of us got here in the first place was because of our defense and goaltending. Usually that first game, sometimes you kind of feel it out a little bit to see what's going to happen the rest of the series. There were chances both sides and I thought goalies made big saves when they had to and there could have been some more goals each way."
Here's a few minutes of Kane's crowded media scrum at his locker this afternoon: