Sabres' Kane's time is winding down in Buffalo

February 22, 2018

Detroit, MI (WGR 550) - Evander Kane could be playing his final game as a Buffalo Sabre. There are only two games left before the trade deadline and teams are starting to sit players they think they’re going to trade.

Kane came into the game with five goals in 25 games, but four of those goals have come in his last seven games.

In the first period, Kane was around the crease of Jimmy Howard twice. There was one schmazel that started with a Josh Gorges shot. Kane, Sam Reinhart and Ryan O’Reilly all worked hard in the crease to try to get the puck past Jimmy Howard, but couldn’t.

At the other end of the ice, Kane tracked down Anthony Mantha causing an offsides.

The one minus came early in the period when he tried to skate the puck out of the zone and turned it over.

In the first period Kane played 7:43 which was second to Rasmus Ristolainen. He was credited with a hard hit on Nick Jensen behind the net. There have been times in the past month where he’s turned off contact. Seemed like he was playing careful, but not tonight.

Kane notched his 20th goal of the season in the second period. It was vintage Kane, using his speed to gain the zone on the power play. He took the puck behind the net, brought it out and banked it in off Howard. I wondered if he’d get credit because Detroit challenged Jason Pominville in the crease, but the goal stood.

A little bit before that, Kane forced Andreas Athanasiou into a turnover. Kane drove the net for two dangerous chances.

Defensively there was one play in the second where Kane gave up on Henrik Zetterberg and Robin Lehner had to make a save. The next time, Kane got back fast and intercepted the puck to win the battle.

After 40 minutes Kane played 12:29 with two shots and one hit.

There wasn't much to talk about in the third period, but Kane was a big part of the overtime. Overall he played 20:06 with a goal, three shots and two hits.

After the game he said he wants no part of sitting out to protect him. He said he wants to play and help this team right until the end. You can hear all of Kane's comments from his postgame interview with me below.

Despite Kane's wishes, if I were Jason Botterill, I would not use Kane again until after Monday's deadline. It's too close to lose the assets you can get for him.