NHL Playoff Game Day 38: Blackhawks-Kings


Why Chicago Won: The Hawks jumped on a tired-looking Kings team early, staking themselves to a 2-0 lead and playing just well enough to eke out a double-overtime win over a Los Angeles team that showed all sorts of fight after that shaky opening. Chicago's elite one-two punch of Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane sealed the deal, but the pluck of players such as Andrew Shaw and Brandon Saad also contributed to the win.

Why Los Angeles Lost: The Kings showed up late to the party and paid for it in the end. Always playing catch-up, they managed to send the game into extra time with a great last-ditch effort, but just didn't have enough left in the gas tank to prolong the series. Netminder Jonathan Quick was uncharacteristically shaky in the first 10 minutes and though the Kings came back, it put them in a hole they truly did not need to dig themselves out of on a night when they were facing elimination.

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Play of the Game: Of course it was the most important goal of the series, but Kane's double-overtime winner also happened to be a thing of beauty.

Three Stars:
Patrick Kane – Hat trick for the Hawks, including the clincher off a snazzy Toews feed.

Mike Richards – sent game into overtime with 10 seconds left on a great tip. His return to the lineup was a big boost for the Kings.

Duncan Keith – Huge early for Chicago, coming back from his one-game ban with vigor and potting the opening goal.

What Happens Next: Chicago will rest up and wait for the Boston Bruins to come to town for an all-Original Six Stanley Cup final. Strangely, the two franchises have never met in the last round of the post-season, but both come in with balanced lineups, workhorse defensemen (Keith vs. Zdeno Chara) and goaltenders who have more than held their own throughout the playoffs (Corey Crawford vs. Tuukka Rask). Expect a long series with big hits, clutch saves and creative offense.