CHICAGO – Michal Handzus scored at 2:04 of the second overtime, and the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Los Angeles Kings 5-4 in Game 5 on Wednesday night to stay alive in the Western Conference final.
Brandon Saad made a nice pass to the middle to Handzus, who beat goalie Jonathan Quick with a backhander for his second goal of the playoffs. Handzus celebrated by jumping against boards behind the net as the sellout crowd of 21,871 roared.
Saad had a goal and two assists for the defending Stanley Cup champions, who stopped a three-game losing streak. Patrick Kane set a playoff career high with four assists.
Game 6 is Friday night in Los Angeles.
Marian Gaborik and Dustin Brown each had a goal and an assist for the Kings, who led 4-3 after two periods. It was Gaborik’s NHL-best 11th playoff goal.
Quick and Chicago’s Corey Crawford each stopped 40 shots.
Los Angeles was in position to advance to its second Stanley Cup final in three years before Ben Smith drove to the net and beat Quick on a rebound 1:17 into the third. Smith’s third goal of the playoffs set the stage for a frantic finish as both sides pushed for the winning score.
Kings center Jarret Stoll was sent off for tripping with 3:11 left in regulation, giving the Blackhawks a prime opportunity to move in front. Quick stopped Kane on a big slap shot, and then turned away Bryan Bickell in front to keep the game tied at 4.
Quick made another solid stop on Marian Hossa in overtime, and the loose puck was swept away by Los Angeles. Kings star Anze Kopitar had a chance to win it about 9 minutes into the first overtime but his shot went off the side of the net.