Golden Knights eliminate Blackhawks in Game 5, but not without a fight

The Golden Knights eliminated the Blackhawks in Game 5 with a 4-3 win, but it wasn’t easy. Nonetheless, the Golden Knights became the first team to reach the Second Round of the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs by dispatching the Blackhawks in Game 5.


Blackhawks can’t maintain early lead, Golden Knights eventually assert dominance in Game 5

Jonathan Toews continued to deliver like a player with a lot of gas left in the tank, scoring a 1-0 goal for Chicago. The Blackhawks stunned the Golden Knights a bit by making it 2-0 as Alex DeBrincat completed a dazzling display of passing that included a remarkable spin-o-rama by defenseman Conor Murphy:

Crucially, Max Pacioretty scored to decrease the Blackhawks’ lead to 2-1 with less than a minute to go in the first period. That likely gave Vegas added confidence as they pushed for a comeback.

They carried that over, too, as Mark Stone scored about one minute into the second period. Continuing the theme of faces of the Blackhawks franchise coming through, Patrick Kane answered to restore the Blackhawks’ lead to 3-2.

Call it Elimination Wednesday (Vegas advanced on Wednesday in some time zones)?

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It turns out that was the last Blackhawks lead of 2019-20. Alec Martinez completed a breathtaking display of power-play puck movement to send the game to the intermission tied 3-3. After that, Alex Tuch charged to the Blackhawks net to give the Golden Knights a 4-3 lead.

Tuch actually seemed to fatten that lead, but it was overturned on a goalie interference review. Despite that break, the Blackhawks couldn’t muster much more, as it seemed like the Golden Knights truly imposed their will to end this series quickly. But there were more than a few moments where it seemed like the Blackhawks might make the heavily favored Golden Knights sweat.

No. 1 Vegas Golden Knights vs. No. 8 Chicago Blackhawks (VGK wins series 4-1)

Tuesday, Aug. 11: Golden Knights 4, Blackhawks 1 (recap)
Thursday, Aug. 13: Golden Knights 4, Blackhawks 3 (OT) (recap)
Saturday, Aug. 15: Golden Knights 2, Blackhawks 1 (recap)
Sunday, Aug. 16: Blackhawks 3, Golden Knights 1 (recap)
Tuesday, Aug. 18: Golden Knights 4, Blackhawks 3

• Stanley Cup Playoffs First Round schedule

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

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