'Zus strikes down Kings; Hawks force Game 6

In a matchup that felt more like a Game 7 than a Game 5, the Hawks and Kings put on a show in a 5-4 double OT win for the Blackhawks.  Corey Crawford and Jonathan Quick both made 40 saves, and it was Michal Handzus who would put it away for the Hawks 2:04 into the second overtime period.

 

The Hawks jumped out to an early lead, capitalizing on a power play just 1:13 into the first that had Drew Doughty in the box for tripping Jonathan Toews. Brent Seabrook let lose a blast from the point that found it’s way through an Andrew Shaw screen and past Quick. The Hawks would score again less than three minutes later as Johnny Oduya pinched and put in a rebound from a Patrick Kane wrister in for a 2-0 lead.

 

The Kings refused to let the game get away from them, however, as Jared Stoll put the puck behind Crawford at 9:49 of the first period.  After a scrum in front of the net brought all the players together in front of Crawford, it was Stoll who found the lose puck and put it past Crawford’s left pad.

 

Less than two minutes later, the Hawks would regain their two-goal lead after a goal by Brandon Saad, who put in a rebound that bounced right to him after the initial shot by Shaw.

 

The Kings would finish off a wild first period with just under seven minutes remaining, as Marian Gaborik scored his eleventh goal of the post season to send the Hawks up 3-2 into the first intermission.

 

The Kings took control of the second period as Dustin Brown scored to tie the game at three goals apiece at 11:08 of the second.  After Kris Versteeg failed to clear the Hawk’s zone, the Kings regained control of the puck and after a flurry of shots, Brown put in a rebound behind a sprawling Crawford.  Just two minutes later, Tanner Pearson would score with a wicked wrister that beat Crawford high blocker for the Kings to give them their first lead of the game.

 

That lead would hold until early in the third period, when Ben Smith scored on a rebound after the initial long shot by Saad bounced out to him in the slot..

 

Because both teams love a flair for the dramatic, the game would go to overtime.  The period was fast-paced and exciting, with good chances for both teams, but nothing went in after twenty minutes of play, forcing a second overtime.

 

It was there that an unlikely hero emerged in Handzus, who picked up a pass from Saad and drifted in alone on Quick, putting a backhander over his glove hand at 2:04 to seal the game for the Hawks and send the series back to LA for Game 6.  It was Handzus’ first postseason OT goal in his career.

 

3 Stars of the Game

1. Patrick Kane: 0 G, 4 A, 5 SOG, 28:34 TOI 

2. Brandon Saad: 1 G, 2 A, 7 SOG, 23:55 TOI

3. Mical Handzus: 1 G, 1 SOG, 14:30 TOI 

 

The Hawks will travel back to L.A. to face the Kings in Game 6 on Friday at 8 p.m. CT.

 

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