Chicago, IL (SportsNetwork.com) - Michal Handzus tallied at 2:04 of the second
overtime, and the Chicago Blackhawks remained alive in the Western Conference
finals with a 5-4 victory over the Los Angeles Kings.
Brandon Saad held the puck along the right wing below the circles and dished
ahead to Handzus, who controlled the disc for a second before lifting a
backhander under the crossbar to end the contest.
"Two guys went on him and I got open,"Handzus said of his linemate Saad. "I
was surprised I got open like that but he waited and waited and gave me a
For Handzus, it was his first career postseason overtime score, and just his
second playoff game-winner after recording the only goal in a 1-0 Flyers
victory against Ottawa in the 2003 second round.
Saad ended up with a goal and two assists for the Blackhawks, who wasted a
pair of early two-goal leads and fell behind by a goal before rallying to
extend the series to a Game 6 in Los Angeles.
"We don't want the season to end now. We're having too much fun playing," Saad
Brent Seabrook, Johnny Oduya and Ben Smith also scored, while Patrick Kane
notched a career playoff-high four helpers for Chicago, which still trails
the best-of-seven set three games to two.
Corey Crawford looked shaky at times, but emerged with the win thanks to 40
Dustin Brown, Marian Gaborik, Jarret Stoll and Tanner Pearson lit the lamp for
the Kings, who have the comfort of home ice on Friday to try and reach the
Stanley Cup Finals for the second time in the last three seasons.
If anyone thinks that it's easy ... it's not easy," Kings forward Justin
Williams said of closing out an opponent in the third round. "Attaining your
ultimate goal is never easy and we're going to do our best to get it done."
Jonathan Quick took the loss despite stopping 40 pucks.
Kane tallied just one point through the first four games, but caught fire and
had a hand in all three Blackhawk scores in the opening 20 minutes.
Kings defenseman Drew Doughty was sent off for tripping just 30 seconds after
the opening faceoff, and Seabrook's left-point blast sizzled past Quick with
1:13 played. Kane and Jonathan Toews controlled play along the right side
before the successful blast.
Oduya then snuck in from his position to chop home a Kane rebound at 3:40 to
put the hosts up by two.
Stoll's first point of the series ended up being the Kings' first score of the
contest, as he found a loose puck in the low slot and pushed it past Crawford
just prior to the midway point.
Chicago went up 3-1 only 1:17 later. Kane worked the puck free along the
right-wing boards, then Saad potted Andrew Shaw's rebound from the near side,
but Gaborik managed to fire one past Crawford from the right wing at 13:16 --
mere seconds after Quick denied a point-blank chance from Toews.
The Kings killed off a cross-checking minor to blueliner Jake Muzzin just
after the eight-minute mark of the second, then evened the score when Brown
backhanded a Gaborik rebound home at 11:08.
Pearson put the visitors ahead for the first time, when his right-circle
snapshot zipped by Crawford exactly two minutes later. Los Angeles protected
that margin until intermission.
"It's a tough building to play, even more so in the playoffs," Kings bench
boss Darryl Sutter said in reference to eliminating the Blackhawks in their
own building. "Damn near got it."
Saad's low shot from the left wing was kicked aside by Quick, but Smith beat
his checker and potted the rebound for a 4-4 game just 77 seconds into the
The Blackhawks had a prime chance to win in regulation when Stoll committed a
tripping infraction with 3:11 on the clock. Quick made two acrobatic stops,
one from Kane and the rebound on Bryan Bickell early in the advantage and
added two more before its completion.
Acting on adrenaline and instinct, the first overtime featured a dozen quality
chances split between the clubs. Los Angeles claimed a 10-8 shot edge in a
briskly-paced fourth period.
"Overtime, I've seen a lot of games, been involved in a lot of those," said
Chicago head coach Joel Quenneville. "That might have been the greatest
overtime I've seen."
Kane became the first Blackhawk to assist on four goals in one playoff game
since Steve Larmer did so on April 30, 1990 in a Norris Division final-
clinching 8-2 rout of the St. Louis Blues ... Saad extended his playoff
career highs to five goals, eight assists and 13 points ... The Blackhawks
welcomed back forward Brandon Bollig, who was a healthy scratch during a
5-2 loss in Game 4 ... Pearson's tally extended his point streak to six
games, matching the Kings' postseason record for a rookie along with Warren
Rychel (1993) and Daryl Evans (1982) ... Doughty led all players in ice
time with 39:04, while Chicago defenseman Duncan Keith topped his club with