The No. 1 Chicago line was the difference for a second straight game, as the Blackhawks held off the Boston Bruins in Game Five of the 2013 Stanley Cup Finals on Saturday night at the United Center, 3-1. The Blackhawks are one win away from a title with a 3-2 series lead.
Patrick Kane notched two goals, Jonathan Toews tallied two assists, and Bryan Bickwell also recorded an assist for Chicago. Boston outshot Chicago, 11 to eight, in the first period, but Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford turned away everyone of them.
Crawford would finish with 24 saves, compared to 29 from Tuukka Rask. Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville had his first line back together before Game Four, and the offense was clicking. Chicago appeared to be playing with renewed confidence following the 6-5 loss in Boston on Wednesday.
"This is what you work for all year, all summer, when you're training throughout the year, at training camp, whatever it may be," Kane said. "This is what you work for, this opportunity. We've got to seize the moment and take advantage of it."
Defenseman Zdeno Chara kept Boston in the game with his third goal of the playoffs coming off a deep slap shot at the 3:40 mark in the third period, with an assist from David Krejci and Lian Lucic.
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Boston center Patrice Bergeron was forced to leave with an unkown injury midway through the second period, and according to NBC Sports he was taken to a local Chicago hospital. Toews also missed the third period due to injury.
The Bruins attempted to outmuscle Chicago’s finesse early but that proved unfruitful. Largely using their speed, the Blackhawks kept the puck in Boston’s zone for long stretches of play, and relentlessly tested Rask.
Boston laid out the Blackhawks for 23 first period hits, but Kane fired a backhander for his second consecutive goal of the series for a 1-0 lead.
Later, Bickwell worked a give and go with Toews, and wrapped around the net for a shot and a rebound. Kane would recover the rebound and backhand it into the top shelf for a 2-0 lead. Blackhawks center Dave Bolland fired off an empty-net goal from the red line with 14 seconds remaining for the final 3-1 score.
The Blackhawks improved to 11-2 at home during the playoffs. Should the Bruins win Game Six at TD Garden, the series will shift back for the final game at United Center on Wednesday.
Being down 3-2 in the Stanley Cup is not new to the Bruins. Boston faced the same situation against Vancouver Canucks in 2011 and finished with two straight victories to earn the title.
"We're going to fight," Krejci said. "We're going to fight with everything we have and force Game Seven."
Game Six is on Monday in Boston.