The Chicago Blackhawks surrendered three first period goals, but they responded with a massive rally as they defeated the St. Louis Blues 6-3 on Saturday night at the United Center.
The victory, the first game in the series decided by more than one goal, means that there will be a Game 7 on Monday night in St. Louis.
Three second period goals by the Blackhawks gave the team the lead and the victory, with Dale Weise's tally providing the winning margin.
The first period of Game 5 featured only 10 shots on goal total, but the opening stanza of Game 6 was a raucous affair that featured four different goals. The Blackhawks got on the board first, as Marcus Kruger’s aggressive forechecking put the puck directly on Andrew Ladd’s stick and the forward buried a shot to put Chicago ahead by a 1-0 margin.
Andrew Desjardins had an opportunity to score again a few moments later, but the puck rolled toward him and the winger shanked a shot wide. St. Louis promptly went down the ice and scored to knot things up, as Scott Upshall received a feed on a 2-on-1 rush from Steve Ott to make it a 1-1 game.
Just a few minutes later, the Blues scored again. This time it was Alex Pietrangelo doing the scoring, but Troy Brouwer burned his former team as he set things up. Brouwer skated through the offensive zone without much pressure, and as Pietrangelo loaded up on his shot, Niklas Hjalmarsson screened Corey Crawford and allowed the puck to hit the back of the net to put St. Louis ahead.
St. Louis finished off the scoring a few minutes later as they scored again. Yet again Vladimir Tarasenko found open space in the slot, and when he got the puck he didn’t miss on the shot as he rifled a wrist shot past Crawford to give the Blues a 3-1 lead after 20 minutes of intense action.
The second period got off to a positive start for the Blackhawks as they rang up eight of the first nine shots on goal, and one of those did indeed beat Elliott to bring Chicago back within a goal. Artem Anisimov was the lucky goal scorer for the Hawks, waiting for an airborne puck to drop below the crossbar before skipping it through the blue paint and into the net to make it a 3-2 game.
The Blackhawks had several chances after that goal, with Andrew Shaw getting the best one on a 2-on-1 rush with Weise, but it took until the 13-minute mark for the home side to tie things up. Hjalmarsson blasted a stretch pass up the ice to Richard Panik, who patiently sealed off a defender and fed a touch pass to Jonathan Toews. The captain then found Trevor van Riemsdyk on the rush, and the defenseman buried a goal top shelf to tie the game at 3-3 and send the United Center into a frenzy.
That frenzy got even louder late in the second period as the Blackhawks took the lead and set the crowd off again. Artemi Panarin made a big play behind the net to collect the puck, and on his pass to the front of the crease Dale Weise blasted a shot off of Elliott’s arm and just under the crossbar to give the Hawks a 4-3 advantage.
The third period was a wild affair with both teams racking up incredible scoring chances. The Hawks had the majority of the high danger opportunities, with a rolling puck robbing Andrew Shaw and a crossbar preventing Andrew Ladd from scoring a goal as well. The Blues had a great chance on a Pietrangelo drive into the zone, but Panik dove and chipped the puck away to prevent the opportunity.
The Blackhawks got a late power play in the third period after Panik was hauled down by Jay Bouwmeester, and after killing off a ton of time, they scored to put the game out of reach. Andrew Shaw did the honors, hammering a one-timer feed from Kane into the back of the cage to give the Hawks a 5-3 lead and help send the series back to St. Louis.