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Blackhawks take Game 5, one win from Cup
Chicago, IL (Sports Network) - Patrick Kane scored a pair of goals and the Chicago Blackhawks grabbed the series lead in a 3-1 victory over the Boston Bruins in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals from United Center.
Kane scored a goal in the first and second period, while Corey Crawford stopped 23 shots to give the Blackhawks a 3-2 lead in this best-of-seven series. Dave Bolland wrapped up the win with an empty-netter in the final moments.
"I think it was a big effort by everyone to come back, play defensively, block shots, sacrifice our bodies to block those pucks and quickly get on to offense," said Crawford. "Another good game, I think, moving the puck, moving our feet, and getting into the zone."
Chicago can wrap up its second Cup championship in four years on Monday as Game 6 will be played at TD Garden in Boston.
However, the team might be without team captain Jonathan Toews, who took a hit high to the back by Johnny Boychuk in the second period. He skated several more shifts in the frame and was on the bench for the third period, but did not skate in the frame. After the game, Chicago head coach Joel Quenneville said that Toews had an upper-body injury and was hopeful he'd be ready for Game 6.
"Well, it's been a war, it's been a battle," said Quenneville. "It's every game, every shift you're fighting for every kind of shift around the ice. It's a fast paced game. You look at every minute from Game 1 to where we're at today, it's been an amazing series, and relentless hockey, and commend the guys on both teams for leaving it out on the ice."
Zdeno Chara scored the lone goal for the Bruins, who played half of the second period and all of the third without Patrice Bergeron. The forward left the game with an undisclosed injury and was taken to a local hospital for observation.
"Well, no update, and I think there's no concern until you get an update," said Boston head coach Claude Julien. "As far as we're concerned, he's just getting evaluated right now. Not much I can say on his situation."
Tuukka Rask turned away 29-of-31 shots in defeat for Boston, which is looking to take home the Cup for the second time in three years.
Boston can look to its past for inspiration, though, as the team lost Game 5 of the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals in Vancouver to fall into a 3-2 hole, only to rally with wins in Game 6 and 7 to take home the championship.
"Well, it's pretty obvious. It's do or die," said Julien. "We've been there before, and we've done well in that situation. So we've got to, again, win the next game."
Boston had just five shots in the second period, but matched that total just 3:40 into the third, with the fifth shot finally getting past Crawford.
Boston was controlling play in the Chicago end and Crawford had made a nice stop on a Nathan Horton rebound chance from the left circle.
Play continued in the Chicago zone and David Krejci had the puck behind the net. Krejci sent a pass out to the left circle where Chara blasted a one-timer high into the net for his third of the playoffs.
Rask kept it a one-goal game when he stopped a quick low shot from Michael Frolik with 12:21 to play. Moments later, Rask made a nice glove save on a Kane wrist shot from the right circle.
The Bruins tried to tie the game up but a shot from the left wing by Brad Marchand was blocked. The puck, though, slid to the slot and Jaromir Jagr got the puck on net, however Crawford made the save with under 2 1/2 minutes to play.
Boston was trying to get Rask out of the net in the final 90 seconds of play, but the Blackhawks kept pressing and Rask had to make a pair of nice stops on shots from Bryan Bickell.
He eventually found his way to the bench and the Bruins had six skaters on the ice, but Bolland sealed the win with a shot from just before mid-ice as it slid into the empty net with 13.6 left.
Chicago had scored late in the first period, and kept up the fast pace of play in the second period, making it a 2-0 game 5:13 in.
Bickell brought the puck in down the left wing and sent a pass to Toews, who immediately passed it back to Bickell. A shot on net was stopped by Rask, but Kane was able to backhand in the rebound for his second of the game and ninth of the playoffs.
Boston didn't have many opportunities in the second, but had its best chance with under eight minutes to play when Milan Lucic got the puck on net. That started a scrum in front that eventually saw Crawford control the puck.
Chicago had two power plays in the second period, but were ineffective in getting any pressure on net to add to its lead.
The Blackhawks took the lead with 2:33 to play in the first period on Kane's eighth goal of the playoffs.
A shot from the left point by Johnny Oduya saw the puck break the stick of Dennis Seidenberg and trickle behind Rask. The disc went behind the net to the right of the goaltender, but Kane was there to bring it back out and tuck it in for a 1-0 advantage.
Chicago failed to score on its two power play chances in the game, while Boston didn't have a man advantage in the contest ... Krejci leads all skaters in the postseason with 25 points (9g, 16a) ... Chicago improved to 11-2 at home in the postseason, while Boston fell to 6-4 as the guests.
06/23 00:34:38 ET