It may have taken double overtime, but a Patrick Kane backhand has sent this series back to the United Center with the opportunity for the Blackhawks to force a Game 7.
The first period was not much to talk about. Only 10 combined shots were fired between the two teams, with only another 10 combined blocks.
It was the second when things started heating up. Chicago opened the scoring at the 11:32 mark with Marian Hossa connecting on a shorthanded wrister, assisted by Niklas Hjalmarsson. Hjalmarsson collected a Blues dump into the zone and banked a pass off the boards to Hossa, who advanced the puck to Brian Elliott’s glove side face-off dot before top-shelfing it over Moose’s shoulder.
They only held the lead for 57 seconds before Third Star of the Game Jaden Schwartz leveled on a power play slap shot (yes, the same penalty involved in the shorty), assisted by Alex Pietrangelo and Colton Parayko. Pietro sent a right-to-left cross-ice pass to Schwartz from just across mid-ice to the blue line. Schwartz advanced the puck to the left face-off circle before sneaking one in on Corey Crawford’s glove side.
The Blackhawks reclaimed the lead with 4:36 remaining in the period with an Artem Anisimov wrister, assisted by Artemi Panarin and Teuvo Teravainen. Just before the clock read zeroes for the period, Panarin fired a slap shot to set the score at 3-1, assisted by First Star Kane and Jonathan Toews.
6:57 into the third, Second Star Robby Fabbri brought the Notes back within a score with a strong wrister, assisted by Pietrangelo. The Notes‘ surge continued with 5:10 remaining in regulation on a David Backes tally, with assists from Pietrangelo and Fabbri. Neither team could find the back of the net before the final horn, so the second game of this series entered into overtime.
St. Louis fired 11 shots in the first overtime period, but neither Crawford nor Elliott would let a puck by, forcing the first double overtime game of this season’s playoffs.
Only 3:07 after returning to the ice, Kane ended the game with backhander, assisted by Richard Panik. It was a lazy, deflected puck off Elliott just waiting to be put into the back of the net. After firing the initial shot, Kane drifted behind the cage, and then scored the rebound of his own initial attempt.
Crawford ends the night with the win after saving 43 of 46 shots faced (93.5%), while Elliott takes the overtime loss, saving 31 of 35 (88.6%).
Game 6 will be played in Chicago on Saturday, April 23. Puck drop will be at 8 p.m. eastern, and the contest may be viewed on CBC, NBC or TVAS2.