Kris Versteeg hits new milestone at Stadium Series game

Kris Versteeg hits new milestone at Stadium Series game
March 1, 2014, 11:30 pm
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Nina Falcone

Kris Versteeg had been waiting anxiously for his 100th career goal.

It had been about six weeks since he scored his 99th back on Jan. 17, and he was getting impatient. He returned from the Olympic break with a strong game against the New York Rangers, coming up just short on finding the back of the net.

On Saturday Versteeg had that extra fire lit under his skates — despite the heavy snow covering the ice — and that 100th goal came in the Blackhawks' Stadium Series game against the Pittsburgh Penguins. 

"That was something maybe I've been pressing for a little while now, people asking you about it all the time and family members. It was really nice to get it here," he said following the Blackhawks' 5-1 win at Soldier Field. "You try to take positives every game and that's one you can take and hopefully build confidence for myself."

[MORE: Blackhawks get hot at snowy Soldier Field, beat Penguins]

But that wasn't the only milestone Versteeg hit on Saturday night. With that point, he became the only member of the Blackhawks to tally goals at Soldier Field, Wrigley Field (during the 2009 Winter Classic) and United Center.

Jonathan Toews quickly reminded him of that as he exited the ice after the game.

"(Toews) actually told me about it at the end, it was pretty cool to hear that," Versteeg said. "It's just exciting to be a part of something like this and to score makes it even more special for myself."

Versteeg was happy with the performance he and his teammates put out on Saturday night. So was coach Joel Quenneville, who hopes a game like this will help kickstart the next level of Versteeg's performance going forward.

"I thought 'Steeger' came out of the break with real good purpose to his game. Nice to see him score, he missed a great opportunity in New York the other day, but he came back with two real strong games. He's been fine since he's been here, I just think there's still another level that when he gets to it, he can really enhance our team game," Quenneville said.

"Steeger can make some plays and I thought (he had) two strong games coming back. It seems like he's dedicated for a strong finish."

[RELATED: Photo gallery: Stadium Series at Soldier Field]

By hitting a couple of new milestones, Versteeg was able to gain that extra boost on and off the ice he had been searching for since that 99th goal. He hopes the confidence he and his teammates felt after the game will help not only his production moving forward, but also the Blackhawks' as a whole.

 "You sure hope it kicks us in the butt and gets us going in the right direction," he said. "We've been playing good hockey but maybe not for a full 60, maybe not scoring the goals where we needed to, not get enough goals to win at times. But tonight was one of those nights where we found a way to get five goals and hopefully build off that and go forward."