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Wednesday, May 28, 2014
Rapid Reaction: Hawks 5, Kings 4 (F/2OT)

By Scott Powers



CHICAGO -- Here’s a quick look at the Chicago Blackhawks’ 5-4 double-overtime win over the Los Angeles Kings in Game 5 of the Western Conference finals at the United Center on Wednesday:

How it happened: Michal Handzus scored the winner off a pass from Brandon Saad at 2:04 in the second overtime. The Blackhawks forced the first overtime when Ben Smith scored the lone goal in the third period at 1:13. The Kings had built a 4-3 lead after finding themselves two goals behind in the first period. After the Blackhawks went up 3-1 in the first period, the Kings responded with three consecutive goals, one in the first period and two in the second period. Marian Gaborik, Dustin Brown and Tanner Pearson scored the three goals for the Kings. The Blackhawks got the start they wanted, scoring twice in the first four minutes. Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook scored a power-play goal at 1:13, and Johnny Oduya knocked in a rebound from a Patrick Kane shot at 3:40. Jarret Stoll gave the Kings their first goal at 9:40, but less than two minutes later the Blackhawks responded as Saad put them back ahead 3-1. Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford made 41 saves on 45 shots. Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick stopped 40 of 45 shots.

What it means: The Blackhawks held off elimination and cut the Kings’ series lead to 3-2. The Blackhawks were given a scare as the Kings erased their two-goal lead and pulled ahead of them after two periods, but the Blackhawks, especially Crawford, stepped up when they needed to in the game. Crawford didn’t allow a goal after the Kings scored at 13:08 of the second period. The Blackhawks also bounced back after struggling on special teams in the past few games. They scored a power-play goal for the first time in three games and shut out the Kings’ power play for the first time since Game 1. The Blackhawks’ second line of Saad-Andrew Shaw-Kane was a force most of the game.

Player of the game: Saad was all over the ice for the Blackhawks. He had one goal, two assists, seven shots on net, three hits, three takeaways, two blocked shots, was a plus-4 and won 4 of 8 faceoffs.

Stat of the game: Crawford stopped 19 shots over the last three periods.

What’s next: The series returns to Los Angeles for Game 6 at 8 p.m. CT on Friday. The Kings defeated the Blackhawks in Games 3 and 4 in Los Angeles and are 5-3 at home in the playoffs this season.