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Blackhawks failure to hold leads bites them as Kings win 5-4 in OT to take West

Recap

The Chicago Blackhawks lost to the Los Angeles Kings 5-4 in overtime in Game 7. The Kings advance to the Stanley Cup Finals where they will take on the New York Rangers.

It appeared that the Blackhawks were going to win the game easily in the first period. Brandon Saad put the puck in off Jonathan Quick at 5:06 off of a pass from Patrick Kane from behind the net. On the power play a short while later, Jonathan Toews would have an easy tap in for his ninth goal of the playoffs at 8:36. But the Kings would come back when Jeff Carter tapped a rebound out of mid air keeping his stick level with the crossbar at 16:31. Just 51 seconds later the Kings would tie the game when Justin Williams beat Corey Crawford at 17:22 to tie the game. However, the Blackhawks would take the lead twelve seconds later as a shot by Patrick Sharp dipped, ducked, dived and dodged Quick at 17:34 to give the Blackhawks a 3-2 lead after a wild first period.

The back and forth continued as the Kings would tie the game when a puck pinballed to Tyler Toffoli who put the puck into a half empty net at 10:31. It would be the Blackhawks who took the lead again as Patrick Sharp beat Quick again with a slap shot from the point at 18:25 to give the Blackhawks the lead again heading into the locker room.

In the third period both teams would have chances. The Blackhawks had two breakaways and failed to convert. A short while later the Kings would tie the game as a rebound kicked to Marian Gaborik who scored his 12th goal of the playoffs at 12:43. The Blackhawks had a golden chance with five seconds left but a shot by Andrew Shaw trickled to Quick who barely pounced on the rebound in time. In overtime, it wouldn’t last long as Alec Martinez would tip in a Justin Williams shot past Crawford at 5:47.

What it means

The Blackhawks season comes to a bitter end as they lose for the first time in Games 5-7 in two years. This was also the first series that the Blackhawks lost when they had home ice advantage under Joel Quenneville. The Kings become the first team in NHL history to win three Game 7’s on the road before the Stanley Cup and are 7-0 in elimination games this year.

3 stars of the game

3. Dustin Brown- The captain of the Kings showed up again as he recorded two assists including on the game tying goal in the third period. Brown was a plus two and had eight shots on goal.

2. Patrick Sharp- It took 19 games for there to be a Sharp sighting. He scored two goals to finish with five goals in the playoffs. Sharp was flying up and down the ice and finished with three shots on goal.

1. Justin Williams- Mr. Game 7 showed up again for the Kings as he recorded one goal and one assist. It was Williams who had the game winning assist and had three shots on goal. Williams now has the most points in Game 7 in NHL history with 14.