Patrick Kane and the Chicago Blackhawks have that look again, and another Stanley Cup is within reach.
Kane scored two goals, Corey Crawford made 24 saves and the Blackhawks beat the Boston Bruins 3-1 on Saturday night to take a 3-2 lead in the finals.
Kane had a terrific postseason when Chicago won it all in 2010, including the winning score in a 4-3 overtime victory in Philadelphia that secured the title. Now he’s picking up steam with Chicago one win away from another championship, collecting seven goals in the last seven games
Dave Bolland added an empty-net score and Jonathan Toews had two assists before leaving with an upper-body injury. The captain took a big hit from Johnny Boychuk late in the second and did not play in the final period.
The Bruins also lost one of their key players when Patrice Bergeron was injured in the second. It was unclear what happened to the star center, but the team said he was taken to a hospital for observation.
“Getting evaluated right now,” coach Claude Julien said. “Not much I can say.”
Toews was on the bench for the last part of the game, and coach Joel Quenneville said he hopes the center will be able to play Monday night in Boston.
Zdeno Chara scored in the third period for the Bruins, who lost consecutive games for the first time since the first round against Toronto. Tuukka Rask made 29 saves, keeping the Bruins close while they scrambled to generate quality chances.
Chara got a nice pass from David Krejci from behind the net and beat Crawford on the glove side to make it 2-1 at 3:40 in the third period. The whistling slap shot by the big defenseman came after he was on the ice for five of Chicago’s goals in the Blackhawks’ 6-5 overtime victory Wednesday night.
The location of Chara’s third postseason goal brought to mind the glove-side difficulties for Crawford in Game 4. But he held up just fine coming off the worst postseason game of his career.
He gloved Daniel Paille’s slap shot early in the third, and the Blackhawks helped their embattled goaltender by turning up the pressure on Rask after the Bruins cut it to one. Kane forced Rask to make a couple of nice stops, and Michael Frolik also made a run to the net.
The Blackhawks survived one last push by the Bruins after they pulled Rask, and the crowd of 22,274 roared when the overhead videoboard showed the No. 1 and the Stanley Cup on the screen, signifying the team is one victory away from its fifth title.
“They were able to put some pressure on us but we were able to shut the door,” Crawford said.
Boston and Chicago returned to the ice three days after they played the highest-scoring game in this year’s NHL playoffs. There were five goals in the second period alone, matching the total from the previous two games combined, and Brent Seabrook’s overtime score lifted the Blackhawks to the series-tying victory.