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NHL Short Notes

HANDZUS, BLACKHAWKS STAVE OFF ELIMINATION IN DOUBLE-OVERTIME
Down 4-3 after 40 minutes, Ben Smith scored the tying goal at 1:17 of the third period and Michal Handzus potted the game-winner at 2:04 of double-overtime to help the Blackhawks stave off elimination and force a Game 6 in the Western Conference Final.

* The Blackhawks held 2-0 and 3-1 leads in the first period before the Kings scored three consecutive goals to move ahead in the second frame.

* According to the Elias Sports Bureau, this marks the fourth consecutive year the Blackhawks have won an overtime game when facing elimination. Ben Smith scored the overtime winner in Game 6 of the 2011 CQF vs. VAN, Jonathan Toews did so in Game 5 of the 2012 CQF at PHX and Brent Seabrook did so in Game 7 of the 2013 CSF vs. DET. Before 2011, the last Blackhawks player to score such a goal was Ivan Boldirev in Game 2 of the 1975 Preliminary Round vs. BOS.

* Handzus recorded his first career playoff overtime goal. He has posted one other game-winning goal in the postseason: for the Flyers in Game 4 of the 2003 Eastern Conference Semifinals vs. OTT (span of 79 games between game-winners).

* Handzus played four seasons with the Kings (2007-11), totaling 57-78—135 in 327 regular-season games and 4-3—7 in 12 playoff contests.

* The line of Patrick Kane (0-4—4, +3), Brandon Saad (1-2—3, +4) and Andrew Shaw (0-2—2, +3) combined for nine points and a +10 rating.

* After totaling 0-1—1 in the first four games of the series, Kane set career highs for assists/points in a playoff game as well as assists in any contest (including the regular season). His four points also matched a regular-season career high, established Oct. 23, 2007 vs. CBJ (2-2—4; his ninth NHL game).

* According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Kane became the first Blackhawks player to collect four assists in a playoff game since April 30, 1990, when Steve Larmer did so in Game 7 of the Norris Division Final vs. STL. Stan Mikita holds the franchise record for assists in a postseason game (5), set in Game 1 of the 1973 Quarterfinals vs. STL.

* With three assists in the first period, Kane tied a Blackhawks playoff record set by Pat Stapleton (April 29, 1973 at MTL; 1st period) and matched by Chris Chelios (May 18, 1992 vs. EDM; 3rd period).

* Elias also says that Kane now has 22-27—49 in Games 4-7 of a playoff series (44 GP), compared to 13-24—37 in Games 1-3 (48 GP).

* Saad set a career high for points in a playoff game and matched his best single-game output from the regular season, accomplished four times (most recently, Jan. 29 at VAN: 2-1—3).

* Corey Crawford stopped 40 shots, including all 19 he faced in the third period and overtime, to pick up his 10th victory of the postseason.

* The first overtime period featured a 7:56 span without a whistle that included eight blocked shots, six shots on goal, six hits, three missed shots, two takeaways and one giveaway. The 20-minute period took 26 real-time minutes.

* The Blackhawks improved to 12-0 in Games 5-7 dating to the start of the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs, including a 4-0 mark when facing elimination. They also are 8-2 in their last 10 games when facing elimination dating to 2011.

* The Blackhawks improved to 8-1 at United Center this postseason and now have won 19 of their past 22 home playoff games dating to last year.

KINGS SCORERS STAY HOT
* Marian Gaborik (1-1—2) scored his League-leading 11th goal of the playoffs and now is one shy of matching Luc Robitaille for the second-most goals by a Kings player in a single postseason (12 in 1991). Gaborik also ranks third in the NHL with 18 points in the playoffs (19 GP) and now has 34 points in 38 total games with the Kings since being acquired prior to the Trade Deadline (16-18—34).

* Tanner Pearson scored the go-ahead goal to extend his point streak to six games (3-4—7). According to the Elias Sports Bureau, that matches the longest playoff point streak by a rookie in Kings history – Daryl Evans set the mark in 1982 and Warren Rychel tied it in 1993. Pearson leads all rookies with 4-8—12 in the playoffs (17 GP) after totaling 3-4—7 in the regular season (25 GP).

* Jeff Carter collected an assist to stretch his point streak to six games (5-7—12), including 4-5—9 in the past four contests. He ranks second in the NHL with 8-13—21 in the postseason, all career highs (tied in goals).

* Anze Kopitar posted a helper to up his League-leading assist (18) and point (23) totals. He now has found the scoresheet in 16 of the team’s 19 playoff games.

DID YOU KNOW?
* Thirteen of the 14 series contested thus far in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs have featured at least one overtime game. Last year, each of the 15 total series had at least one overtime game, the first time that has happened since all four rounds went to the best-of-seven format in 1987.

* There now have been 22 total overtime games in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs (out of 85 contests, 25.9%), including four multi-overtime affairs. Home teams improved to 9-13 (.409).

* The Blackhawks improved to 4-2 in overtime games this postseason, including four consecutive victories, while the Kings fell to 1-2.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
At the podium:

“I’ve been involved in a lot of games. That might have been the greatest overtime I’ve seen.” -- Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville

“It was a great game. Obviously a lot of emotion. I thought the fans were great. It was as loud as I can remember here. We put everything on the line.” -- Blackhawks forward Michal Handzus

“The whole game was some pretty good hockey – probably the highest pace we’ve seen all year. Overtime was crazy . . . That was a fun hockey game to play in. Even more fun to win.” -- Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford

“I thought [the first overtime] was an unbelievable period. Up and back the whole period. A lot of chances.” -- Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane

On Twitter:

Eric Stephens ‏@icemancometh
That was an absolute classic. Period.

Bill Plaschke ‏@BillPlaschke
Once again, overtime playoff hockey is best show in pro sports..first OT of Kings-Blackhawks was 20 minutes of breathtaking

Steve Lepore ‏@stevelepore
Can’t think of a better hockey game I’ve seen this season. I could watch these teams play forever.

Sean Gentille ‏@seangentille
We’ve seen the most entertaining game and the most entertaining period of the playoffs on consecutive nights.

Chris Johnston ‏@reporterchris
The overtime played in Chicago was unbelievable. Hockey. Man, that is hockey.

Mike Harrington @BNHarrington
So is this overtime the best single period of the whole playoffs? Wow... #Blackhawksvskings

Josh Yohe ‏@JoshYohe_Trib
One of the best OT periods I can ever recall watching. Just sublime stuff.

Adam Proteau ‏@Proteautype
If every NHL period was like that period, the league would have to install oxygen masks underneath seats in its arenas.

Dan Rosen ‏@drosennhl
For all the pressure, noise, repercussions, that was as fun of a hockey game as I can recall watching in a long time. Bravo to both teams.

Mark Lazerus ‏@MarkLazerus
Unbelievable game by Kane and Saad. Terrific bounce back from Crawford in overtime. Game of the year, right there. #Blackhawks

Brad May ‏@maydayhockey
That was a great hockey game! I am exhausted. Was jumping out of my chair every shift. Actually one of the best games I’ve ever seen.

Eric Stonestreet ‏@ericstonestreet
What a great game!!!!! Stoked to have seen it.

LOOSE PUCKS
Game 5 of the Western Conference Final delivered a 16.3 rating in Chicago, the second-highest Conference Final rating ever in the market on NBCSN (Game 2 of 2013 CF: 16.6) . . . The Blackhawks picked up their first win of the postseason when trailing after two periods (1-4). The Kings suffered their first loss when leading after two frames (8-1) . . . The Blackhawks also earned their first victory this postseason when allowing four or more goals (1-7; 9-0 when yielding three or fewer). The Kings suffered their first loss when scoring four or more goals (7-1; 4-7 when recording three or fewer) . . . Blackhawks defenseman Johnny Oduya (1-1—2) recorded his first career multi-point playoff game . . . Kings defenseman Drew Doughty logged a career-high 39:04 of ice time.

SNEAK PEEK AT THURSDAY’S ACTION
All Times Eastern
Montreal @ NY Rangers, Game 6, NYR lead 3-2, 8:00 p.m., NBCSN, CBC, RDS

the above information was provided by the NHL PR department

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

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