NHL Drama: Chicago Blackhawks win thriller, stay alive

Michal Handzus’ backhand goal in the second overtime period saw the Blackhawks reduce the deficit to 3-2 in the Western Conference finals.

Reigning Stanley Cup champions Chicago led 2-0 and 3-1 in the first period, but needed Ben Smith’s goal in the third to force overtime.

The Blackhawks return to Los Angeles’ Staples Center for game six on Friday, and the Kings have won both of their home games so far this series.

Goaltenders Jonathan Quick and Corey Crawford both made 40 saves in an open encounter, while Patrick Kane finished with four assists.

Chicago looked to be on track for a far more comfortable win as Brent Seabrook and Johnny Oduya scored in the opening four minutes.

Jarret Stoll pulled a goal back for the Kings, but Brandon Saad restored the Blackhawks’ two-goal lead soon after.

Marian Gaborik made it 3-2 and second-period goals from Dustin Brown and Tanner Pearson had the Kings in the lead.

Smith’s wrist shot forced overtime and the Blackhawks scored the winner through a former King in Handzus.

Handzus went untracked as Saad and Kane set him up to net the backhand winner, sending the home fans at the United Center wild.

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