May 28, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks center Michal Handzus (26) scores the game-winning goal past Los Angeles Kings goalie Jonathan Quick (32) during the second overtime in game five of the Western Conference Final of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs at United Center. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

LA Kings Lose In A Double Overtime Heart Stopper

The Los Angeles Kings were not able to end the Chicago Blackhawks’ season in what was indeed a Game 5 thriller, losing 5-4 in double overtime. The LA Kings were unable to do what Chicago did last year and end this game in five, but that does not change the fact that they still lead the series, 3-2. In addition, the next contest is in Los Angeles, but before we get into that, let us relive the experience of Game 5.

Well… the Kings took a penalty 30 seconds in when Drew Doughty upended Jonathan Toews on a tripping penalty, nice. It is never good when one of your leaders takes a penalty that early in a game when you are trying to clinch the Wester Conference Championship, especially with Chicago hungry to stay alive and defend their title. On the ensuing power play, Brent Seabrook took a slap shot near the blue line with Andrew Shaw screening Jonathan Quick. The Kings’ goalie did not see any of it and was quickly 1-0 in favor of Chicago. Two and a half minutes later, the ‘Hawks took another dangerous rush into the attacking zone and as they have been on breakaways all season, they were super deadly. A shot by Patrick Kane bounced off Quick and was tipped in by Johnny Oduya. Chicago was already up big, 2-0.

Jarret Stoll saved an early meltdown by LA when he got a goal in front of a scrum mere inches from Corey Crawford. In the scramble, Stoll had his stick blocked on the attempt, but was still able to make it in and the Kings were on the board, 2-1 with breathing returning to normal. Over a minute later, Brandon Saad capitalized off two consecutive turnovers by LA. With the Kings unable to hold onto the puck (at all), Chicago needed only two shots to get the puck in the net and the game handily in their control, 3-1. But as hockey chaos dictates, things are not as they seem, especially in the playoffs.

After Saad put Chicago up by two, something incredible happened… the Kings scored three unanswered goals. Marian Gaborik scored 13 minutes into the first period to make it 3-2. In the second, Dustin Brown scored 11 minutes in, tying it up 3-3. Tanner Pearson scored on a rush to the net, making it embarrassing for Chicago with the Kings now up 4-3. It was quiet in the Madhouse, too quiet. That ended when Ben Smith tied it and woke up the entire United Center. It was loud the rest of the game, the perfect setting.

Differing from last season when the Blackhawks were leading their series 3-1, going into overtime in Game 5, we saw the inverse happen as it was the Kings leading the series 3-1 going into overtime in Game 5. But in this OT, both teams were on fire as they made great shot after great shot, while Quick and Crawford made great save after great save. The last ten minutes were especially heart-attack building, but this period ended without a goal and an oddly familiar venture into a Game 5 double overtime.

And that is where it ended. Unlike the inverse pattern from last season’s Western Conference Finals, Chicago actually won this game. Off of a face-off, two minutes in, Saad sent a perfect pass to Michal Handzus who crossed in front of Quick and put in the backhanded shot for the game winner. So Chicago survives… for now. Game 6 is back in Los Angeles on Friday and do not expect LA to take this lightly. They will remember Game 5 clearly, just like they remember last season.

Mike W.R.

Twitter: @TheBigDisco

Tags: Los Angeles Kings

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