The Chicago Blackhawks went into the postseason looking for good news on the status of winger Patrick Kane, and that's exactly what they got as he revealed Tuesday that he will play in Game 1 of the team's series against the Nashville Predators.
Kane, who sustained a fractured left clavicle in a late February game against the Florida Panthers, was originally expected to miss 12 weeks with the injury, but when he hits the ice on Wednesday night, he will do so just seven weeks after breaking the bone.
Kane's road back to the Blackhawks has been on an accelerated pace ever since the announcement was made about his surgery. He began skating shortly after surgery and was "flying" around the ice, per head coach Joel Quenneville, and he rejoined the team for practices late in the season. On Monday, he took contact for the first time, and later that evening team doctors medically cleared him to return to the lineup, paving the way for Tuesday's announcement.
The addition of Kane back into the lineup is a much needed boost for a Blackhawks' offense that has struggled without him. Over the last 21 games, the Blackhawks have failed to score at least three goals on 14 occasions, and players like Brad Richards and Kris Versteeg have struggled mightily without Kane to help shoulder some of the load. Both players will be back with Kane on the second line for the Hawks on Wednesday night.