Last night the Chicago Blackhawks dethroned the 2012 Stanley Cup Champions, the L.A. Kings, as they were eliminated from the playoffs in Game 5. The Kings started off with an inconsistent game during the first period, at times floundering and falling all over the place but then by the end of the game there were applying pressure and came back in the last 9 seconds of the 3rd period to take Game 5 to a double over time. Mike Richards was back on the ice and he made major contributions to keeping the Kings alive including the 3rd period goal that sent the Kings to over time. The Blackhawks had Duncan Keith back from his one-game suspension, an important player who made major contributions, logging more than 38 minutes of ice time and opening up goal scoring for the game.
The Blackhawks took the early lead in the first period, by a goal from Keith and then Kane scored to take a 2-0 lead. The Kings were floundering and falling all over the place trying to block shots, they looked very unorganized and the game did not look promising for the defending champs. The Kings came back in the second period to cut the Blackhawks lead in half, with the only goal of the second period. Using the momentum they had been created in the second period the Kings, after numerous attempts, finally got the puck into the back of the net to tie the game at 2-2 early in the third period. An intense third period ensued between the Blackhawks and the defending champs, with 4 minutes remaining in regulation time the Blackhawks claimed the lead 3-2. During the remaining 4 minutes of the game the puck was back and forth with the Kings making numerous failed attempts to score, finally with only seconds left in the game and the feeling that the Blackhawks had won, the L.A. Kings resurrected the game with a game saving goal. Game 5 was pushed into over time with the Kings applying pressure to the Blackhawks. There were good opportunities on both ends of the ice and a lot of back and forth play during the first over time. There were extended periods of time when the Kings were dominating and attempting to keep their playoff dreams alive. When one over time wasn’t enough for these two determined teams the game was pushed into a second over time for the first time in this series. Kane came through with a hat trick, scoring in double overtime to win the Western Conference title for the Blackhawks.
After an outstanding performance, the defending champs will be heading home, while the Blackhawks will be advancing to the Stanley Cup final. The Chicago Blackhawks will face the Boston Bruins, who ousted the Pittsburgh Penguins in 4 games to win the Eastern Conference title. Game 1 will be Wednesday in Chicago, giving both of these teams a few days to rest before they battle for the Stanley Cup!!