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Stanley Cup Game 5 blog
After an 11-goal shootout had us on the edge of our seats in Game 4, the Blackhawks and Bruins got back to playing like the first-rate defensive teams that they are in Game 5 of the deadlocked Stanley Cup Finals on Saturday, with Chicago grabbing a 3-1 win and moving within a win of the title.
Here's how it all went down.
After 20 minutes, the Blackhawks led 1-0 at home, the one goal coming on Patrick Kane’s putback of a Johnny Oduya shot with 2:33 left in the frame. The goal is Kane’s second of the series, and you can see it, in all its glory, below:
Coming into the game, the focus was undoubtedly on the goaltenders, with many curious to see how Boston’s Tuukka Rask and Chicago’s Corey Crawford would respond to their respective trainwrecks Wednesday in Boston. In the first period Saturday, Crawford made 11 saves and Rask stopped seven of eight shots, including this little ditty:
In the second period, however, Kane's dominance continued — or maybe it was Rask regressing to the Rask of Game 4? — as he gave the Blackhawks a 2-0 lead on an even-strength goal 5:13 into the frame. Kane now has nine goals for the postseason and has plenty of time left to pick up a third goal for his second hat trick in his last six games.
Kane's second goal would represent all of the scoring for the second period, however, and the Blackhawks now find themselves up 2-0 with 20 minutes standing between themselves and a 3-2 series lead. Michelle Pfeiffer is thrilled by this development:
Check out Nathan Horton's stitched-up face after taking a puck to the eye on his own bench during the first period.
There has also been quite a bit of talk about this check from the middle of the second period:
It's worth mentioning Michal Handzus' penalty for diving. You don't see that called very often, mostly because hockey players aren't the types for embellishment:
Zdeno Chara is a big, big man who has won the last five All-Star Weekend hardest shot contests — including a staggering 108.8 mph blast at the most recent contest, in 2012.
In the third period of Game 5, Chara finally put that wicked slap shot to use for the first time since Game 1 of the conference quarterfinals, going top-shelf past Blackhawks netminder Corey Crawford to cut the Chicago lead to 2-1 with 16:20 left to play.
And here's the video of the Chara goal that made it 2-1. Crawford never had a chance:
NBC and CBC just reported that Patrice Bergeron has left the arena in an ambulance to be evaluated following an injury that had kept him off the ice for most of the night so far. The thought, per Twitter, is that he might have injured himself on this play, though there's no obvious injury in it:
Mike Milbury said Bergeron came out for one more shift after the play in the video, but that he was only on the ice for "6 or 7 seconds" before returning to the bench. When the third period started, he was no longer on the bench with the team, and about midway through, they announced that he had left the building in an ambulance.
Boston tried to make things interesting late, peppering Crawford with shots late in the third period, but Crawford held strong and Dave Bolland scored his second goal of the playoffs on an empty-netter from the red line to seal the Blackhawks' 3-1 win with 14 seconds to play.
Chicago now leads the series 3-2, and on Monday in Boston, the Blackhawks will have a chance to secure their second Stanley Cup championship in four years after a 49-year drought. Here is how Bruins left-winger Milan Lucic felt about that development in the seconds after Game 5 ended: