It took Patrick Kane a while to make his mark on this series.
But when he did, he made it count.
Kane scored the double-OT winner against the Blues on Thursday night, giving the ‘Hawks a 4-3 win while staving off elimination, forcing a Game 6 back in Chicago.
The goal came just 3:07 into the fifth period, capping off a tremendously entertaining affair. Chicago looked to have things in control heading into the third up 3-1 — thanks to goals from Marian Hossa, Artem Anisimov and Artemi Panarin — but St. Louis rallied back in the final regulation frame.
Robby Fabbri scored his first-ever playoff goal at the 6:57 mark and, just under eight minutes later, Blues captain David Backes scored to knot the game at 3-3.
That set the stage for a quality first OT session, in which the teams traded chances throughout.
Kane’s goal decided things in the second extra frame and, as mentioned above, it was his first major impact on the series. The NHL’s leading scorer during the regular season, Kane had failed to find the back of the net through the first four games of the series, though he did have four assists.
As is often the case in multiple-OT affairs, the goalies played key roles. Corey Crawford was great, stopping 43 of 46 shots for a .935 save percentage. Brian Elliott, who came into this game boasting a .958 save percentage, stopped 31 of 35.
For Chicago — well, it was a case of history repeating itself. Kane’s scored so many big, decisive goals during the Blackhawks’ three Stanley Cup runs, and tonight’s could go a long way in shifting the series momentum.
In addition to forcing a Game 6 back at the United Center, tonight’s GWG also ensures that Andrew Shaw will get a chance to draw back into the lineup after serving a one-game suspension for yelling a homophobic slur.
For St. Louis — once again, the club’s resiliency will be tested.
This was a chance to close out the series on home ice, in a game which the Blues out-shot the ‘Hawks by a fair margin. For a team that’s failed to get out of Round 1 for three straight years, any missed opportunity to advance is costly.
These two teams will meet again on Saturday, when the ‘Hawks host the Blues at 8 p.m. ET. You can catch the game on NBC.