Blackhawks win Game 5, move within one win of Stanley Cup
With the series tied at two games apiece, both the Boston Bruins and Chicago Blackhawks knew how important Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final would be. Win and you’re one game away from lifting the trophy. Lose and the pressure builds facing elimination.
To the delight of the crowd at the United Center Saturday night, it was their team that picked up the huge victory.
Chicago got two goals from Patrick Kane, Corey Crawford made 24 saves and Dave Bolland added an empty-net goal as the Blackhawks skated to a 3-1 victory.
Kane, who has had a knack for scoring big goals during his playoff career, stepped up again. It was Kane who scored the Cup-clinching goal in overtime in 2010 and he also scored the series winner in overtime to knock out the Los Angeles Kings in the Western Conference Final. His two goals Saturday proved to be enough to propel Chicago to victory.
With the game scoreless in the first, Kane was the recipient of a fortunate bounce, as Johnny Oduya’s shot from the point was partially blocked by Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg. The shot deflected right to Kane, who made a move to his backhand before tucking the puck in the empty net. He struck against a little over five minutes into the second, taking a pass from Bryan Bickell and finishing top shelf on Tuukka Rask, again on the backhand.
“I think everyone wants to be that guy in big-time games, and I’ve been lucky enough in a couple to step up,” Kane told reporters following his two-goal performance.
Zdeno Chara scored in the third for Boston to cut the lead to one, but they were unable to beat Crawford a second time.
Crawford had been criticized after a shaky start in Game 4, allowing five goals. He came out with a strong response in Game 5, quieting those who had questioned him.
Bolland added his empty-netter with 13.6 seconds left to set the final margin.
Both teams played without key players for good portions of the game. Boston’s Patrice Bergeron left after playing on two shifts in the second period and did not return. He was taken to the hospital after the game. For Chicago, Jonathan Toews took a big hit from Johnny Boychuk during the second and didn’t play a shift in the third. He had assisted on both of Kane’s goals before exiting. It would be an enormous loss for their respective teams if either weren’t able to suit up for Game 6 Monday night at Boston’s TD Garden.