Handzus heroics save Blackhawks

Michal Handzus scores late in overtime to give the Chicago Blackhawks a 5-4 win over the LA Kings in the NHL.

    Saad had a goal and two assists for the defending Stanley Cup champions, who end a three-game losing streak [AFP]
    Saad had a goal and two assists for the defending Stanley Cup champions, who end a three-game losing streak [AFP]

    Michal Handzus scored at 2:04 minutes of the second overtime as the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Los Angeles Kings 5-4 in Game 5 to stay alive in the NHL's Western Conference finals.

    Brandon Saad made a nice pass to the middle, and the oldest player on the ice beat goaltender Jonathan Quick with a backhander for his second goal of the playoffs.

    The 37-year-old Slovak centre celebrated by pounding the 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 ended a three-game losing streak.

    Brent Seabrook, Johnny Oduya and Ben Smith also scored, and Patrick Kane set a playoff career high with four assists.

    Marian Gaborik and Dustin Brown each had a goal and an assist, and Jarret Stoll and Tanner Pearson also scored for the Kings, who led 4-3 after two periods. It was Gaborik's NHL-best 11th playoff goal.

    Stopped in tracks

    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 Smith drove to the net and swept in a rebound 1:17 minutes 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 centre Stoll was sent off for tripping with 3:11 minutes left in the third, giving the Blackhawks a prime opportunity to move in front.

    Crawford also had a kick save on Stoll in the first overtime after Chicago captain Jonathan Toews turned it over in the Blackhawks' zone.

    Game 6 is Friday night in Los Angeles and the Kings now lead the series 3-2.

    SOURCE: AP


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