Game 5 between the Chicago Blackhawks and the LA Kings was one of the best of the best, and another comeback victory for Blackhawk fans. To quote one of the most successful NHL hockey coaches, “I’ve seen a lot of games, been involved in a lot of games. That might have been the greatest overtime I’ve seen,” Chicago’s Coach Quenneville said regarding the 5-4 win the Blackhawks achieved in double overtime with Michal Handzus’ scoring against King’s goalie Jonathan Quick. Coach Q, in his infamous style, mixed up the lines and placed Patrick Kane, Brandon Saad and Andrew Shaw together proving to be an amazing combination in this game.
First period started out with a fast power play goal for Blackhawk Brent Seabrook 73 seconds into the game while King Drew Doughty was in the box for tripping. Then, within three minutes, Kane weaved his fancy stick handling into the offensive zone where Johnny Oduya was there for the rebound and scored with a wrist shot bringing the Blackhawks up 2-0. The battle continued with no score until halfway through the period when the scoring began again. This time with Jarret Stoll for the Kings, then Brandon Saad, Blackhawk Player of the Game, and followed by Marian Gaborik for the Kings making it 3-2 Blackhawks at the end of period one.
The second period, once again put doubt into whether or not Chicago would travel back to LA for a Game 6 when Dustin Brown made it 3-3 with a wrist shot rebound goal and a scramble at the net including Seabrook and Gaborik. The Kings took a 4-3 lead when Tanner Pearson beat Corey Crawford with a slap shot through a screen two minutes later at 13:08.
Third period scoring started quickly when at 1:17 Blackhawk Ben Smith’s wrist shot beat Quick with assists from Saad and Oduya to set the tie 4-4. Nothing but fast action, great puck movement, superb stick handling and penalties the rest of the period with Willie Mitchell sent to the King’s box for delay of game, Saad interference on goalkeeper, and Stroll for tripping.
Let the first overtime begin. The goalies were rock-solid and the players skated fiercely with each team having chances to score. Twenty minutes of pure playoff hockey with two Stanley Cup champions battling for the win that would determine both of their fates and looking for that sudden death goal. It was fast paced, non-stop hockey action, with no score and the game was going into a second overtime.
Ending with just as much excitement, the Chicago Blackhawks prevailed in the second overtime with Handzus’ goal. It was preceded by Kane’s captivating puck carrying into the offensive zone, passing to Saad who’s unstoppable playing found Handzus in full stride who then sent the puck into the net with his powerful backhand shot. It was Handzus who scored the tying goal in Game 6 against the Detroit Red Wings in the 2013 comeback victory.
My prediction for Game 6 is another comeback victory by the Chicago Blackhawks. If they play, and I think they will, like they did in this Game 5 the L.A. Kings will be forced to bow to them.