The Blackhawks vs. Kings series goes to game 6 in Los Angeles tonight at 9 pm Eastern Time, 8 pm for fans in Chi-town, and 6 pm for fans on the West Coast.
Chicago won a grueling game 5 in double overtime to stay alive in the Kings vs. Blackhawks series. They’ll have to win two more if they want to advance to the Stanley Cup Finals to face the New York Rangers, who won their series against the Montreal Canadiens four games to two yesterday.
Michal Handzus scored the winning goal in the second overtime of game 5. The Slovak-born center iceman is nearing the end of his career at the age of 37, and he spends most of his ice time playing defensively on the penalty killing line.
A Yahoo! Sports report quotes Handzus saying this about his game winning goal:
“(Chicago left winger) Saad, two guys went on him and I got open. I was surprised I got open like that but he waited and waited and gave me a great pass. I want to help the team as much as I can. I’m playing on the PK (penalty kill) a lot. I’m not playing very well offensively. I’m glad I came through.”
Chicago left winger Brandon Saad finished the night with a goal and two assists in the Blackhawks vs. Kings game 5. Teammate Patrick Kane, who had four assists of his own for the ‘Hawks, had this to say about Saad:
“Personally, I thought Saader was the best player on the ice tonight. He was bringing so much speed and puck protection.”
For their part, the LA Kings will have another chance to eliminate the defending Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks tonight. LA defenseman Jake Muzzin seems to think playing on home ice will make a significant difference in the Blackhawks vs. Kings game 6:
“We go home and we come out with a better effort. We’ve got some experience and veterans in here who know what it takes to stop it.”
If the Blackhawks can pull one off tonight, they will force a game 7 at home – a factor that could make all the different in a crucial winner-takes-all game. Of course, to do that, they have to take a game on the road against a very tough, experienced LA Kings team. Expect Chicago to continue to play like they have their backs against the wall.