May 29 2014, 1:27am CDT | by Poch de la Rosa
"The champs aren't done yet.
"Michal Handzus scored 2:04 into the second overtime, Patrick Kaine had four assists and the Chicago Blackhawks defeated the Los Angeles Kings 5-4 Wednesday in Game 5 of the Western Conference Final.
"Handzus put a backhanded shot past goaltender Jonathan Quick after a pass from Brandon Saad. Kane started the play to earn his fourth assist.
"The Kings still lead the series 3-2 and can advance to the Stanley Cup Final by winning Game 6 on Friday at Staples Center (9 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS).
"When these two teams met in the 2013 Western Conference Final, Kane scored in double overtime of Game 5 to eliminate the defending champion Kings and send the Blackhawks to the Stanley Cup Final.
"Chicago forward Ben Smith tied the game at 4-4 early in the third period. Saad put a shot on goal from near the left poing during a rush; Smith reached the rebound and put it in before falling to the ice at 1:17.
"After Saad scored 11:06 into the first period to push Chicago's lead to 3-1. Marian Gaborik scored 2:10 later with his league-leading 11th goal of the postseason. Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick stopped Jonathan Toews on a great chance at one end, and on the return rush Gaborik scored on a one-timer from Anze Kopitar that trickled through Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford, capping a wild, five-goal opening period.
"Dustin Brown tied the score 3-3 with a rebound goal at 11:08 of the second period. Brent Seabrook blocked the original shot, but was unable to get back and prevent Brown from scoring on the third try from in close after Gaborik had two chances.
"Tanner Pearson gave Los Angeles its first lead of the game exactly two minutes later. Pearson and Jeff Carter created a turnover in the neutral zone, and the Kings rookie snapped a shot from the right circle through a screen that beat Crawford high to the far side."
The defending champions Blackhawks drew first blood just 73 seconds into the game when Seabrook's shot -- a power-play goal after Los Angeles defenseman Drew Doughty was called into the penalty box for tripping Toews -- hit a Kings players' skate and went into the net past Quick for a 1-0 lead, per Masisak.
Two-and-a-half minutes later, Patrick Kane eluded several Los Angeles defenders and shot the puck from the right circle which missed but Chicago defenseman Johnny Oduya put back in once he got the rebound, the NHL.com update adds.
At the 9:49 mark of the first period, Kings center Jarret Stoll put his team on the board after several players tried to scramble for the loose puck which was still in the crease. Stoll knocked the puck into the net's right corner past Chicago goaltender Corey Crawford.
Handzus told The Chicago Tribune's Chris Kuc it was great to get a win a home, but there is still work to be done as the Blackhawks, who are gunning for their third Stanley Cup title in the last five years, are still behind 3-2 in the series.
"We put everything on the line. It's a big win, but in the playoffs you have to stay (on an) even keel. It's only one game (and) we're still 3-2 down. We have to go there and do the big job, win one there."
For his part, Chicago head coach Joel Quenneveille thought maintaining their composure in spite of a deficit heading into the third period was key, per CSNChicago.com Blackhawks Insider Tracey Myers.
"We didnt' change our approach much. We've been in tough situations before; we wanted to play the right way. We got behind in Games 2 and 3 and they picked us apart. We had more of a purpose; scoring early helped us. OT, I've seen a lot of games, been involved in a lot, but that may have been the greatest overtime I've ever seen."
Poch de la Rosa
Poch de la Rosa follows all major U.S. sports: NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and the NCAA. His favorite teams are the Colts, Braves, Pacers, Sharks and Irish, respectively.
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