Fri, May 30, 2014 - Page 19 News List

Blackhawks defeat Kings 5-4 after second overtime

AFP, CHICAGO

Michal Handzus scored 2 minutes, 4 seconds into the second overtime as the Chicago Blackhawks defeated the Los Angeles Kings 5-4 on Wednesday to stay alive in their Western Conference final playoff series.

Chicago forward Brandon Saad helped set up the winner by holding on to the puck on the right side. He waited until Handzus was able to drive to the net and take the pass off his right skate before lifting a backhand under the crossbar for the Blackhawks, who still trail in the series three games to two.

“I tried to get open and Saad gave me a great pass,” said Handzus, of Slovakia. “We got one win and now we got to keep going.”

American Saad finished with a goal and two assists for the defending Stanley Cup champions Blackhawks, who gave up a pair of early two-goal leads and then fell behind by a goal before rallying for the win in front of a crowd of 21,871 at the United Center arena.

Game 6 is scheduled for tonight in Los Angeles.

“We are going to enjoy this one a little bit. We know it is going to be a tough game in their rink,” Handzus said. “It is a big win, but we are still down 3-2.”

Brent Seabrook, Johnny Oduya and Ben Smith also scored for Chicago, who now need to win two straight to take the best-of-seven series and advance to the Stanley Cup finals for the third time in five years. Forward Patrick Kane had four assists for Chicago, who also won the NHL championship in 2010.

The Blackhawks have rebounded from being down 3-1 to win a series only once in their history — last year against Detroit.

Goaltender Corey Crawford struggled at times, but made 40 saves for the win.

“The whole game was some pretty good hockey. Probably the highest pace we have played all year. Overtime was crazy,” Crawford said.

Dustin Brown, Marian Gaborik, Jarret Stoll and Tanner Pearson scored goals for the Kings, who can reach the NHL championship series for the second time in the past three seasons with a home victory in the next game.

Los Angeles netminder Jonathan Quick stopped 40 shots in the loss.

Kane busted loose on Wednesday for the Blackhawks after scoring just one point in the first four games of the series. He helped set up all three of Chicago’s first-period goals.

Pearson scored at 13:08 of the second on a snapshot to give Los Angeles their first lead of the game, 4-3.

Chicago’s Smith tied it 4-4 just 77 seconds into the third period, blasting home a shot off a rebound by Quick. However, Quick made two brilliant saves late in the game with Chicago on the power play to keep it level.

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