SOCHI, Russia -- It was an hour before the puck would drop between the United States and Russia when Patrick Kane emerged from the tunnel leading to the dressing room, stood alone on the bench and surveyed the scene.
"I was trying to get a feel for the atmosphere and see what it was going to be like," the Team USA and Blackhawks winger said. "It was pretty quiet."
Not for long.
Soon the Bolshoy Ice Dome in Sochi rose to a fevered pitch -- and remained there for the next three hours -- thanks to a rabid crowd of 11,678 waving flags, blowing horns and in every way displaying their allegiance.
When the dust settled on a contest for the ages, Kane and the United States had skated to an adrenaline-pumping 3-2 victory in a shootout.
"It was amazing," Kane said. "I don't think anyone could have asked for a better game. It was really tight to start and it opened up as the game went on. Just a fun game. ... Great atmosphere.
"And great finish too."
Kane did his part, creating scoring chances for himself and his teammates all over the ice. His cross-ice pass to the Sharks' Joe Pavelski resulted in a power-play goal for one U.S. score.
"It's pretty cool," said Kane, 25. "We know the history between the Americans and the Russians, and you know this one kind of had a different story of its own, obviously. But being in Russia and playing (and) seeing how the crowd was into the game and being able to come up with the win is nice."
In the overtime, Kane almost won it with a glorious scoring opportunity off a breakaway. He tried to go five-hole on Russian goaltender Sergei Bobrovski, who plays for the Blue Jackets, but was denied. The home crowd exhaled.
"Your heart starts pumping for sure when you have that chance," Kane said. "It would have been nice to finish it off. I kind of wish I would have made a different move. In the heat of the battle, you think something, try to go with your instincts (but) it didn't work."
When it came to the shootout, Team USA coach Dan Bylsma didn't call on Kane, instead turning to T.J. Oshie, James van Riemsdyk, Pavelski and then Oshie six straight times.
Did Kane lobby for a chance?
"No, not really," said Kane, who is 1-for-11 in the shootout with the Hawks this season. "With my record this year, they didn't really need to call on me. Especially when we've got a couple other guys that can score."
Perhaps another time.
Kane has emerged an integral part of the American team, which is undefeated in Sochi closes out preliminary-round play against Slovenia on Sunday. Then it's on to the medal-round playoffs.
"I thought I could have played a little bit better. It was nice to have some chances and set up that goal for sure," Kane said. "You always want to get better as the tournament goes on."
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