Thursday, May 29, 2014

Smith Helps Hawks Stay Alive

Ben Smith (Boston College) scored the tying goal early in the third period, and the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks went on to defeat the Los Angeles Kings, 5-4, in double overtime on Wednesday night in Game 5 of the NHL's Western Conference Final.

After Chicago took 2-0 and 3-1 first-period leads, the visiting Kings rebounded with three consecutive goals to take a 4-3 advantage after 40 minutes of play at the United Center. Smith's goal against Jonathan Quick (UMass) off a rebound just 1:17 into the final stanza pulled the Blackhawks back into a tie. Quick finished with 45 saves for the Kings, while Chicago captain Jonathan Toews (North Dakota) registered an assist on the Blackhawks' first goal of the game.

The victory not only kept Chicago's season going, it broke a three-game Los Angeles winning streak in the series, and sent both teams back to California for Game 6 on Friday night at the Staples Center. Game 7, if necessary, would be played on Sunday night in Illinois, as Game 1 of the 2014 Stanley Cup Final has already been set for June 4.

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