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Blackhawks Win in Double Overtime, Ready for Bruins in the Stanley Cup Finals

After undergoing a playoff slump, Chicago Blackhawks Patrick Kane showed up on Saturday night against the Los Angeles Kings by hitting the game-winning goal in the second overtime for a 4-3 victory and a ticket to the Stanley Cup Finals.

Not only did Kane hit the winning shot but he also had two additional goals earlier in the game for the hat trick. He said of the game–which he called the best of his career–via CBSSports.com, “Right now I think it’s almost like I’m in a different zone, like in the Twilight Zone or something. I’m kind of out of it. It’s definitely a good feeling, though.”

Patrick Kane

Patrick Kane

Duncan Keith, who missed Game 4 due to a suspension, returned on Saturday and got the Blackhawks’ other goal. Goalie Corey Crawford had 33 saves on the night while the Kings Jonathan Quick had 31 saves.

Unfortunately for the Blackhawks, they thought the win would come in regulation time as they led 3-2 with under a minute remaining. The United Center started getting loud, preparing to celebrate the win, but the Kings said not so fast.

With 9.4 seconds left, the Kings Mike Richards tipped in the tying goal and forced the game into overtime.

In the first OT, Crawford made some solid saves and by the second one, Kane returned and got the win.

Next up for Chicago on their quest for the Stanley Cup is the Boston Bruins. They punched their ticket on Friday night after sweeping the Pittsburgh Penguins in four games as they only gave up two to goals to them.

Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli said his team has been on a roll and added about its success via CSNNE.com on Saturday, “I don’t have many complaints. From top to bottom, we’ve been rolling. In all three zones, we’ve been really good. Defending we’ve been good, Tuukka’s [Rask] been terrific, we’re generating a lot of chances, we’re scoring when we have to and we’re shutting down when we have to.

“It’s hard to complain after the last two series. The challenge will be to keep it going in the next series, whoever we play.”

Game 1 is on Wednesday in Chicago at 8 p.m. ET. This matchup represents the first one between two of the NHL Original Six franchises since 1979. It also has the last two of three recent champions playing against one another for the Cup as Chicago last won in 2010, while Boston was 2011’s winner.

The Bruins will enter the series with the underdog card but after their play against the Penguins you can’t help but ask if this is really the case.

It could come down to a battle of the two goalies for this series: Bruins Rask vs. the Blackhawks Crawford.

For now, the Blackhawks are -125 to win the Stanley Cup while the Bruins are +110 to win it all.

Oilers Fire Krueger

Ralph Krueger

Ralph Krueger

In other NHL news, on Saturday the Edmonton Oilers fired head coach Ralph Krueger after one season. The team finished 19-22-7 in the abbreviated year and landed in 12th place for the Western Conference.

For the Oilers, it’s been a long time since the team has made it to the playoffs: seven consecutive years they have missed them.

Earlier in the week, the Oilers new general manager Craig MacTavish discussed with Krueger, bringing on a seasoned assistant coach but then he decided to go in a different direction.

MacTavish said via the Associated Press, “During the process of me conducting those interviews, I recognized I was trying to add a coach that was more closely aligned with the way I wanted to run the team than I was in supporting Ralph and the head coach of our team at the time.”

The team has not named a new coach but a short list of potential candidates includes Lindy Ruff, Alain Vigneault, John Tortorella and the AHL’s Dallas Eakins from the Toronto Marlies, reported the AP.





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