Raising Kane! Star’s hat trick paces Blackhawks to double-OT win for trip to Stanley Cup Final
Mark Lazerus email@example.com @marklazerus June 8, 2013 11:20PM
CHICAGO, IL - JUNE 08: Patrick Kane #88 of the Chicago Blackhawks celebrates after he scored a goal in the third period against the Los Angeles Kings during Game Five of the Western Conference Finals of the 2013 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at United Center on June 8, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Updated: June 9, 2013 1:03AM
The Blackhawks had this one. Then they lost it. Then they got it back and lost it again. Then they won it.
The Hawks were just 9.4 seconds from the Stanley Cup Final when Kings center Mike Richards — back in the lineup after missing three games with an apparent concussion — deflected Anze Kopitar’s shot from the point past Corey Crawford to tie Game 5 of the Western Conference final.
But Patrick Kane bailed out the Hawks, scoring the game-winner at 11:40 of the second overtime of a 4-3 victory. Kane notched his third goal of the game on a wrist shot after taking a pass from Jonathan Toews.
Reinvigorated by Richards’ goal, the Kings dominating much of the first overtime, but neither team came away with a goal.
Overtime came after a dizzying final four minutes of regulation. First, a resurgent Kane — three days removed from sitting his locker stall at Staples Center telling the media (and perhaps himself) that he was not suddenly “a bad player” despite a seven-game scoring drought — tallied his second goal of the game with 3:52 left, putting the Hawks on the doorstep of victory.
The crowd was delirious as the minutes and seconds melted away. But with 14.4 seconds left, Jarrett Stoll won a faceoff in the Hawks’ zone against Toews, and Richards got a piece of Kopitar’s blast from the point past Corey Crawford with 9.4 seconds left to send the game to overtime.
It was a stunning turn of events in a wild game full of momentum swings.
The Kings entered the game as the team in a dire situation, needing the same desperation the Hawks had a couple weeks earlier against the Detroit Red Wings. But the Hawks came out strong, and jumped out to an early 2-0 lead and seemed ready to coast into the Final.
First, Duncan Keith, back in the lineup after serving his one-game suspension for high-sticking Jeff Carter in Game 3, beat Quick with a blast from the top of the left circle just 3:42 into the game. It was a soft goal for the suddenly very human Quick, who got a piece of it but still let it through.
Barely two minutes later, the resurgent Kane — again skating on the top line with Bryan Bickell and Toews after the mid-Game 4 switch sparked him — made it 2-0. Bickell started the play by winning a race to the puck to avoid icing, and after Toews took a whack at it in a goalmouth scrum, Kane took the puck out wide as Quick — and two Kings defensemen — flopped helplessly on the ice, roofing it into a wide-open net for just his fourth goal of the postseason, but his second in as many games.
But there was no finishing blow delivered, no nail in the coffin. The Hawks — so aggressive and active in outshooting the Kings 7-0 through the first 10-plus minutes — took their foot off the gas. And eventually, the sluggish Kings found new life with a short-handed goal by Dwight King at 7:50 of the second period.
Justin Williams went hard to the Hawks net with Nick Leddy on his back, and King trailed the play and cleaned up the rebound to cut the Hawks’ lead to 2-1, taking the crowd out of the game and putting the Kings back into it.
The Hawks had chances late in the second period to retake their two-goal lead and the momentum, but Quick stiffened. Marian Hossa burst through the Kings defense for a quick breakaway, but was denied by Quick. Soon afterward, Hossa kept the puck on a 2-on-1 with Sharp, but lost the puck without getting a shot off as he crossed the slot. Kane then got behind the Kings defense, but his hard wrist shot from the left circle was swatted aside by Quick.
The Kings almost tied it in the final minute of the period, as Kopitar’s shot handcuffed Crawford. but the puck ticked off Crawford and off the top of the net, sending the Hawks into the second intermission with a 2-1 lead, just 20 minutes from a date with the Bruins.
But the Kings tied it 2-2 on an Kopitar power-play goal. It was a crushing sequence for the Hawks, who nearly took a 3-1 lead when Johnny Oduya fired on a mostly empty net from close in on the side of the net. But Quick made a lunging blocker save, Bickell immediately took a boarding penalty, and Kopitar stuffed a Carter rebound through Crawford’s legs 44 seconds later to tie it.
The rest of the period was an endless barrage of near-misses at both ends, until Kane’s goal and Richards’ answer.