The Chicago Blackhawks defeated the Los Angeles Kings 4-3 in Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals on Friday evening to tie the series at 3 games apiece. The series heads back to Chicago for a win or go home Game 7 on Sunday night.
Both teams came out flying in the early going and both Corey Crawford and Jonathan Quick were stellar. It would be the Kings who would get on the board first. After a dump in by Justin Williams, it was Jarret Stoll who beat everyone behind the net for the puck. Stoll threw a puck to the front of the net and Dwight King beat Crawford at 17:03 to give the Kings a 1-0 lead after one period.
The Blackhawks would draw an early power play after Anze Kopitar went to the penalty box 20 seconds into the second period. Jonathan Toews found Patrick Kane in front of the net and he slammed home the puck past Quick 1:12 into the period. Another quick strike for the Blackhawks at 2:49 would give the Blackhawks a 2-1 lead as Ben Smith fired a puck off the skate of Quick that bounced into the net. The Kings would start to pour it on at the end of the second period but could not tie the game.
In the third period, it was the Kings who would use a quick strike offense. Drew Doughty made a beautiful play to get into the slot and beat Crawford with a wicked wrist shot at 5:32. Just 2:06 later the Kings would take the lead as Doughty made a beautiful no look behind the back pass to Alec Martinez in the slot who beat Crawford with a shot through the five hole at 7:38. However, the Blackhawks would come roaring back as Kane took over in the next ten minutes. Kane made a beautiful drop pass to Duncan Keith who stepped up into the slot and fired a wrist shot past Quick at 11:34 to tie the game at 3. A short while later it would be Kane again who circled around in the offensive zone to the slot and beat Quick with a wrist shot at 16:15. Crawford would make several big saves at the end of the game after the Kings had pulled Quick for the extra attacker.
What it means
The Blackhawks force a Game 7 back home where they are 8-1 in the playoffs. Meanwhile the Kings are 6-5 on the road in the playoffs but did win Game 2 in Chicago. The Blackhawks are 13-0 in Games 5-7 since the start of the 2013 playoffs and the Kings are trying to avoid losing three straight games for the third straight series. A streak will be snapped on Sunday night in Chicago.
3 stars of the game
3. Duncan Keith- It was a strong game for Keith who scored the game tying goal. Keith finished with one goal and was a plus two. On the night Keith finished with two hits and a team high 24:56 in ice time.
2. Drew Doughty- It appeared that the Kings were going to win because Doughty willed them in the third period. Doughty was a force in the third period with one goal and one assist. In the series, Doughty has three goals and four assists with six points in the past four games. Doughty had a game high 26:10 of ice time with two blocked shots and three hits.
1. Patrick Kane- There is no more slump for Kane who has exploded in the past two games. Kane followed up his four assist performance in Game 5 with a two goal, one assist game tonight. With the chips down it was Kane who took over for the Blackhawks in the third period and now has seven points in the past two games.