(The Sports Xchange) - Duncan Keith needed only three words to describe the importance of Patrick Kane’s goal 3:07 into the second overtime on Thursday that propelled the team to a 4-3 win over the St Louis Blues.
“Saved our season,” Keith said.
The defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks were facing elimination in Game Five of their opening-round playoff series against the Blues before Kane decided he was not ready for their season to end.
Kane, who had not scored a goal in the first four games of the series after scoring 46 in the regular season, finally broke that drought when he decked through the slot and flipped a shot on goal that Brian Elliott got a piece of to knock wide.
However, Kane swooped around the net and swept the rebound in on the backhand.
It was the fifth career overtime goal in the playoffs for Kane and the 49th of his career in the playoffs. The five overtime goals ties Kane for third all-time in Stanley Cup history.
“He’s a clutch player,” said Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville. “Obviously, he’s a great player. Not a lot of players can do what he did, or does.”
The Blackhawks’ win cut the Blues lead in the series to 3-2 and sent it back to Chicago for Game Six, which will be played on Saturday. If a seventh game is necessary, it will be in St Louis on Monday.
Kane has been a big reason why the Blackhawks are now 8-1 when facing elimination since the beginning of the 2013 playoffs, but he was not happy with his contribution to the team in this series before his overtime goal.
“I don’t think I was very good in that first overtime or very good at all tonight,” Kane said. “It’s one of those things I tried to tell myself just to get confidence going into that fifth period and try to make some plays.
“I was fortunate enough that the puck squeaked to the side and I was able to wrap one in. When you get those kind of opportunities, sometimes you come up big. Sometimes you get lucky too.”
The Blackhawks had appeared to take control of the game with three goals in the second, including a short-handed effort from Marian Hossa — his 50th career goal in the playoffs — and a goal by Artemi Panarin with just 0.4 seconds left in the period.
But the Blues, who had come from behind to win both Games Three and Four in Chicago, responded once again with two goals in the third period.
Robby Fabbri scored his first career playoff goal before David Backes tied it 5:10 left in regulation.
The Blues had a chance to win the game when they got a power-play with 4:14 to go after Chicago was called for having too many men on the ice, but could not score and the game went to overtime.
The Blues outshot the Blackhawks 11-7 in the first overtime period but could not get the puck past Corey.
“It was tough to give up another lead like that,” Crawford said. “But we didn’t crack. We stuck with our game and we’re excited to go back home now.”
Editing by John O'Brien