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RECAP: Blackhawks Eliminated with Game 5 Loss, 4-3

Chicago sees season end with First Round defeat against Vegas, four games to one

by Carter Baum @CarterBaum /

The Blackhawks fought to the very end, but saw their season end on Tuesday night at the hands of the Vegas Golden Knights, falling 4-3 in Game 5 and dropping the First Round series, 4-1. 

PLAYER OF THE GAME: Corey Crawford made 35 saves on 39 shots to keep the Blackhawks in the game 'til the bitter end. 

STAT OF THE NIGHT: With his first-period goal, Jonathan Toews tied Steve Larmer for fifth in all-time Blackhawks playoff goals at 45. Only Bobby Hull (62), Denis Savard (61), Stan Mikita (59) and Patrick Kane (51) have more in franchise history. 


The first period in Game 5 was nearly a duplicate of that from Game 4: Chicago goes up 2-0, Vegas answers with a late goal and Corey Crawford stands on his head throughout the opeing 20. 

Just past the midway point of the first, Brandon Saad found Dominik Kubalik in front for a quick backhander that was turned aside by Robin Lehner in goal, but Jonathan Toews was on the doorstep to tuck the rebound home for a 1-0 lead at 10:32. 

Video: CHI@VGK, Gm5: Toews jams home rebound to open scoring

Late in the opening frame, the Blackhawks doubled the lead as Connor Murphy put a nice spin move on at the blue line to keep a rush alive, before feeding Dylan Strome at the side of the goal. The centerman quickly found Alex DeBrincat at the backdoor for the tap-in and a 2-0 lead at 18:19 of the first. 

Video: CHI@VGK, Gm5: DeBrincat buries Strome's dish in 1st

Vegas answered just 70 seconds later as a Brayden McNabb shot from the point redirected off of Toews in front and fell right to Max Pacioretty at the side of the Blackhawks net, where he cut the Chicago lead in half, 2-1, at 19:29 of the opening period. 

The parade of goals continued in the second period on Tuesday night -- a change from Game 4 that remained 2-1 until the very end. 

The Golden Knights tied things up, 2-2, in the opening minute of the middle frame as William Karlsson picked up a blocked shot in the slot and found Mark Stone for the redirect tally in front of Crawford just 57 seconds in. 

Patrick Kane had something to say at the 4:02 mark of the second period. Off a Vegas turnover in transition, Drake Caggiula corraled a loose puck and quickly sprung Kane behind the Vegas blue line, where Showtime deked and then beat Robin Lehner five-hole on a breakaway for a 3-2 lead. 

Video: CHI@VGK, Gm5: Kane beats Lehner five-hole in 2nd

Chicago's penalty kill, which had killed 14 straight minors coming into the night, was finally beat for the first time in the series on the opening man advantage of the game. With Adam Boqvist in the sin bin, Reilly Smith sent a cross-ice feed through the high slot and Alec Martinez put home a one-timer to level things up again, 3-3, at 7:28 of the second period. 

Early in the third, Alex Tuch capitalized on his own rebound off the rush, following up Crawford's pad save in a 1-on-1 with just enough to put Vegas up 4-3 at 1:34 of the final frame. 

Chicago pulled the goalie for the final 1:14 of play still trailing by a goal, but couldn't find the equalizer, falling 4-3 in the game and 4-1 in the First Round series. 

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