Blackhawks stun Kings in double OT to stay alive
CHICAGO — Michal Handzus burned his former team by scoring 2:04 into double overtime as host Chicago staved off elimination by winning Game 5 of the Western Conference final, 5-4, on Wednesday night.
After a turnover in the neutral zone, Brandon Saad gained the blue line and sent a diagonal feed to Handzus in the slot. The 37-year-old, who played four seasons with Los Angeles, deftly backhanded the puck past Jonathan Quick (40 saves) for his first career postseason overtime goal.
Saad scored a goal and set up two others while Patrick Kane notched four assists for the reigning Stanley Cup-champion Blackhawks, who improved to 8-1 at United Center this postseason. Johnny Oduya had a goal and an assist while fellow defenseman Brent Seabrook and Ben Smith also tallied in the win.
Marian Gaborik netted his NHL-leading 11th goal and added an assist for the Kings, who will look to rebound and advance to their second Stanley Cup final in three years when they host Game 6 on Friday. Captain Dustin Brown scored and set up a goal while rookie Tanner Pearson and Jarret Stoll also tallied in a losing effort.
After Chicago seized a 3-1 lead midway through the first period, Gaborik one-timed Anze Kopitar's feed from deep in the right faceoff circle at 13:16 before Brown backhanded home a loose puck past Corey Crawford (40 saves) at 11:08 of the second to forge a tie. Pearson gave Los Angeles its first lead exactly two minutes later with a wrist shot from the outer edge of the right circle, but Smith slapped home a rebound just 1:17 into the third to knot the contest at 4-4.
- - - - - -
GAME NOTEBOOK: Kings C Jeff Carter notched an assist on Pearson's goal, which extended the point streaks of both players to six games. Pearson's stretch matched Daryl Evans (1982) and Warren Rychel (1993) for the longest such streak by a Los Angeles rookie. ... The first overtime featured just nine stoppages and lasted 26 minutes, 45 seconds in real time. ... Chicago claimed an early 2-0 lead as Seabrook's blast from inside the blue line beat a screened Quick at 1:13 for a power-play goal and Oduya doubled the advantage by cleaning up a rebound of Kane's shot from the right circle. Stoll answered six minutes later for the Kings, but Saad restored the two-goal lead by tapping home a loose puck from the right doorstep.