The Chicago Blackhawks defeated the Los Angeles Kings 5-4 Wednesday night, thanks to a goal from veteran forward Michael Handzus in double overtime.
With the win, the Blackhawks now trail the series 3-2. The top line of Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews and Marion Hossa have been pretty much non-existent so far in the series. So to try and find some secondary scoring Blackhawks coach Joel Quenville looked to his defencemen to get more involved in the game.
That strategy proved to be quite successful in game five. A careless penalty by Kings defencemen Drew Doughty allowed Hawks defencemen Brent Seabrook to score his third goal of the playoffs less than two minutes into the game. Jonny Oduya scored shortly after to give the Blackhawks an early 2-0 lead.
But the Los Angeles Kings have been in this situation before in the first round against the San Jose Sharks, and they somehow found enough to launch a comeback. Game five of this series was no different. Jarret Stoll scored his second of the playoffs for the Kings in the first period to give his team some life.
Blackhawks forward Brandon Saad scored a goal to try and regain some momentum, but the Kings just kept coming. Marion Gaborik and Dustin Brown scored goals shortly after to tie the game at 3-3.
The Los Angeles Kings grabbed their first lead of the game through a goal from Tanner Pearson in the second period. At this point, I thought for sure the Blackhawks wouldn’t be able to regain their composure after giving up a two goal lead so quickly.
But an early third period goal from Chicago’s Ben Smith tied the game, which allowed veteran Michael Handzus to score the game winning goal in double-overtime.
The Chicago Blackhawks were very fortunate to get this win in my opinion. They were very sloppy at times in the defensive end and didn’t do a very good job protecting the front of the net. Goalie Corey Crawford was average at best and let two weak goals early in the game.
Fortunately for him, Jonathan Quick did the same and the Kings weren’t able to complete the comeback. However, the strategy to get the Blackhawks defencemen more involved in the game was a complete success. Also, Patrick Kane tallied four assists on the night.
The Chicago Blackhawks barely escaped with the win in this game. However, in the end getting the win is all that matters. I can’t wait to see if the Chicago Blackhawks can continue putting pressure on the Kings and perhaps force a seventh game. Game six is set for Friday in Los Angeles.
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