Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Kane Scores in Double OT, Vaults Chicago into Finals; Blackhawks 4, Kings 3; Sets Up Showdown with Boston for the Cup

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Kane Scores in Double OT, Vaults Chicago into Finals; Blackhawks 4, Kings 3; Sets Up Showdown with Boston for the Cup

Article excerpt

CHICAGO * Patrick Kane scored his third goal of the game, 11:40 into the second overtime period Saturday night, sending the Chicago Blackhawks by the defending champion Los Angeles Kings 4-3 to advance to the Stanley Cup Finals.

Corey Crawford made 33 saves, and Duncan Keith scored in his return from a suspension as the top-seeded Blackhawks eliminated the Kings in five games in the Western Conference finals.

Chicago will host the Eastern champion Boston Bruins in Game 1 on Wednesday night. Boston completed a sweep of Pittsburgh on Friday night.

This is the first finals matchup of NHL "Original Six" franchises since 1979, and it will pit two of the last three champions against each other. Chicago won the Cup in 2010, ending a 49-year drought. Boston captured the title the following year.

Anze Kopitar and Mike Richards scored in the third period for Los Angeles, which managed to recover after trailing 2-0 in the first period and 3-2 late in regulation. Jonathan Quick made 31 saves.

After Crawford made a couple of big saves in the first overtime, Jonathan Toews carried the puck up the left side during a two-on- one rush in the second extra session. He then made a cross-ice pass to Kane, who one-timed a shot past Quick and into the right side.

"Johnny made a great pass, and I tried to get it off as quick as I could," Kane said of the winning goal.

The rollicking sellout crowd of 22,237 erupted in joy as Kane skated back toward the middle of the ice and slid on his knees as hats rained down. A distraught Quick laid down.

"We wanted to keep playing," Kings center Jarret Stoll said. "We wanted to play until the end of June. That was our goal. That was our mindset. It just didn't happen against these guys. They're a great team."

Chicago was poised to finish off Los Angeles in regulation when the Kings scored the tying goal with 9.4 seconds remaining.

Kopitar took a long shot from the right side and Richards managed to tip it by Crawford, leading to a celebration for the Kings while the crowd groaned in disbelief.

"So emotional," Kane said of the lost lead. …

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