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CHICAGO -- Patrick Kane used his quick hands to lift the Chicago Blackhawks to a two-goal lead and Corey Crawford did his part by stonewalling the Boston Bruins three days after taking heat for actually being on the winning side of a rare offensive barrage in the Stanley Cup Final.
It all added up to the Blackhawks earning the opportunity to win the Stanley Cup on the road for the second time in 36 months.
Kane scored his eighth and ninth goals of the Stanley Cup Playoffs and Crawford had a bounce-back performance with 24 saves Saturday night as Chicago held on to beat the Bruins 3-1 in Game 5 at United Center to take a 3-2 lead in the best-of-7 series.
The Blackhawks can lift the Stanley Cup in Boston on Monday, when Game 6 is scheduled for TD Garden (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS). They won the championship on the road in 2010 on Kane's Game 6 overtime winner after they beat the Philadelphia Flyers at home in Game 5.
Kane is ready for a repeat.
"I think it's exciting to be back in that situation again," Kane said. "This is what you work for all year, all summer, when you're training throughout the year at training camp, whatever it may be. This is what you work for, this opportunity. We've got to seize the moment and take advantage of it."
Crawford, who got the win in Game 4 despite giving up five goals, was beaten on his highly-criticized glove side by Zdeno Chara's howitzer of a one-timer 3:40 into the third period.
However, Kane had already scored goals in the first and second periods as the Blackhawks used their speed and the extra space the Bruins were giving them to build a 2-0 lead less than 26 minutes into the game.
"We've been good at home, and we need to be good at home obviously next game," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "It's as simple as that. Again, there is no panic. You're not going to push us away that easily. We're a committed group, and we plan on bouncing back."
The Bruins did just that in 2011, when they were in the exact same situation against the Vancouver Canucks -- down a game heading home for Game 6. They won the last two games by a combined 9-2 score to claim the Stanley Cup.
"We've been through it before, but it doesn't help to think about what happened in the past," Rask said. "We have to live in the moment. We have to be ready on Monday, get the first win. And Game 7, if that happens, it's going to be up for grabs."
The question for both teams is whether they will have their Selke Trophy-winning centers for Game 6. Neither Boston's Patrice Bergeron, the 2012 winner, nor Chicago's Jonathan Toews, this year's winner, finished the game Saturday.
Bergeron left after playing two shifts in the second period. He was taken to a local hospital for observation and later released, but Julien said he did not have an update on his status. Carl Soderberg, who was making his Stanley Cup Playoff debut, skated in Bergeron's spot between Jaromir Jagr and Brad Marchand.
"As far as we're concerned, he's just getting evaluated right now," Julien said of Bergeron. "Not much I can say on his situation."
Toews, who assisted on both of Kane's goals, was hit hard by Boston defenseman Johnny Boychuk with 8:12 left in the second period, but played four more shifts to close the period. He was late returning to the bench to start the third period and was never allowed to take the ice.
Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said it was an upper-body injury and he's hopeful Toews will be ready for Game 6.
"I came across and read it and hit him," Boychuk said. "I tried to hit him clean and I thought it was. I don't know how he fell, awkwardly or how he fell. I'm going to try and play physical, he's going to drive the net like he's supposed to and I'm going to hit."
Marcus Kruger was the first center to replace Toews on a line with Kane and Bryan Bickell early in the third period -- and they were on the ice when Chara cut the Blackhawks' lead in half with a blistering one-timer from inside the left circle that went over Crawford's catching glove. Andrew Shaw finished the game centering the top line.
Chara's goal was the only shot the Bruins could get past Crawford, who did exactly what the Blackhawks thought he would do after being the subject of criticism following Game 4.
"It's funny, we keep answering questions about Corey after every game and I'll give you the same answer -- we don't have any questions about him," left wing Patrick Sharp said. "He's been great for us from start to finish. Even giving up five goals, we could care less, we know he's going to be a rock back there and he was great [Saturday night]."
Kane was feeling it as well. He did his damage before Toews was forced out of the game.
He lifted the puck in from the slot with the shaft of his stick, popping the water bottle off the top of the net, to give Chicago a 2-0 lead 5:13 into the second period. Kane scored his first goal with 2:33 left in the first period, deftly changing from his forehand to backhand to tuck the puck inside the left post after Johnny Oduya's shot broke Dennis Seidenberg's stick and came to him at the side of the net.
Chara was on the ice for all three of Chicago's goals in Game 5 and has been on the ice for eight of the Blackhawk' past nine goals.
"Sometimes you catch some breaks," Kane said. "I think I was in the right spot at the right time [Saturday night] on both goals. I thought I had some other chances, too, I could have scored. But I think playing with Johnny and [Bryan Bickell], they create a lot of space, and I've been taking advantage of the space they do make.
"I think everyone wants to be that guy in big-time games, and I've been lucky enough in a couple to step up."
|Patrick Kane (8) Backhand shot - ASST: Johnny Oduya (4), Jonathan Toews (9)|
1 - 0 CHI
|Patrick Kane (9) Backhand shot - ASST: Bryan Bickell (8), Jonathan Toews (10)|
2 - 0 CHI
|Zdeno Chara (3) Slapshot - ASST: David Krejci (16), Milan Lucic (12)|
2 - 1 CHI
|EN - Dave Bolland (2) Wrist shot - ASST: Michael Frolik (6)|
3 - 1 CHI
|Patrick Sharp Roughing against Johnny Boychuk|
|Johnny Boychuk Roughing against Patrick Sharp|
|Nathan Horton Hooking against Michal Handzus|
|Michal Handzus Diving against Nathan Horton|
|Dennis Seidenberg Boarding against Marcus Kruger|
|Adam McQuaid Roughing against Andrew Shaw|