Stanley Cup finals: Patrick Kane leads Blackhawks to Game 5 win

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Crawford 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.

“We understand the situation and what’s at stake, but our mindset is going in there and trying to have the best game possible,” defenseman Duncan Keith said. “It’s no different from tonight’s game.”

Not so for Boston.

“It’s do or die,” Julien said. “We’ve been there before, and we’ve done well in that situation.”

Boston and Chicago returned to the ice three days after they played the highest-scoring game in this year’s NHL playoffs.

It was a marked departure from the first three games of the finals, and raised questions about what the play would be like in the last part of the series. The answer, at least in Game 5, was a return to the strong team defense and disciplined play. It meant little room to maneuver in both offensive zones, especially for the series’ biggest stars — except Kane.

“Guys that have that kind of innate skill of scoring and being a top player, they anticipate like the rest of us would like to,” Quenneville said.

With 2½ minutes left in the first, Johnny Oduya’s long slap shot broke the stick of Boston defenseman Dennis Seidenberg and trickled to the left side of the net where Kane poked it in for eighth playoff goal.

The line of Kane, Toews and Bickell, which Quenneville put back together before Game 4, struck again in the second. Bickell was stopped by Rask on a rush along the left side, but skated behind the net and threw it back in front.

The puck went off the right side of the goal as Rask got his blocker to the post. Kane then deftly backhanded the bouncing puck into the top of the net to make it 2-0 at 5:13.

“You’re not going to get those chances often, so it was good to bury them,” he said.

That proved to be enough for Crawford, who has allowed one goal or less in nine games this postseason. But this one had to be particularly satisfying after facing a barrage of questions about his glove over the past two days.

“I have a job to do,” said Crawford, who watched from the stands when the Blackhawks won it all in 2010. “Whatever is being said doesn’t really affect what I’m going to do on the ice.”

Since the NHL went to a best-of-seven format for the Stanley Cup in 1939, the winner of Game 5 in a deadlocked series has gone on to win the title 15 times in 22 occasions.

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