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game recap

Golden Knights top Blackhawks in Game 5, win Western First Round series

Pacioretty scores first of postseason, will play lowest remaining seed

by Mike G. Morreale @mikemorrealeNHL / NHL.com Staff Writer

Tuch follows up and scores

CHI@VGK, Gm5: Tuch buries rebound to give Vegas lead

R1, Gm5: Alex Tuch grabs his own rebound down low and jams it past Corey Crawford to give the Golden Knights a 4-3 lead in the 3rd

  • 00:42 •

Max Pacioretty had a goal and an assist, and the Vegas Golden Knights defeated the Chicago Blackhawks 4-3 in Game 5 to win their Western Conference First Round series at Rogers Place in Edmonton on Tuesday.

Vegas, which is 7-1-0 this postseason as a No. 1 seed, will play the lowest remaining seed in the Western Conference Second Round.

"It was nice to win," Golden Knights coach Peter DeBoer said. "[Chicago's] a persistent team. I thought their core players with multiple Stanley Cups, like Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Brandon Saad, Duncan Keith and Corey Crawford really played well as the series went on. We were glad to get it over with tonight because they weren't going away quietly and they made us earn it.

"I just like how we respond to adversity whenever it appears; there's no panic, we stick with it and grind away and find a way to get rewarded."

Mark Stone, Alex Martinez and Alex Tuch scored, William Karlsson had two assists, and Robin Lehner made 23 saves for Vegas.

"We're a resilient group," Tuch said. "We stuck to our game. I thought we were playing well, and they had a couple lucky bounces and made some nice plays, but we knew our goaltender was going to come out strong and he did so and we wanted to play strong in front of him."

 

[WATCH: All Blackhawks vs. Golden Knights Game 4 highlights]

 

Jonathan Toews, Alex DeBrincat and Patrick Kane scored, and Corey Crawford made 35 saves for the No. 8 seed Blackhawks, who avoided a sweep by winning Game 4 of the best-of-7 series 3-1 on Sunday.

Chicago was the 12th seed in the West and 23rd among the 24 teams in the Stanley Cup Qualifiers based on regular-season points percentage, but it upset the No. 5 seed Edmonton Oilers in four games in a best-of-5 series.

"It's tough to be done; you dream of playing in the playoffs and love to be in these situations, playing in big games," Blackhawks coach Jeremy Colliton said. "Our team played very hard. Ultimately, we came up against an excellent team with a ton of depth. They just kept pushing us, but you can't fault our work ethic and commitment."

The Golden Knights earned the top seed in the West by winning their three games in the round-robin portion of the Cup Qualifiers against the Colorado Avalanche, Dallas Stars and St. Louis Blues by a combined score of 15-10. They outshot (187-123) and outscored (15-11) the Blackhawks in the first round.

Tuch scored his first goal of the series on a rebound at the left post to give the Golden Knights a 4-3 lead 1:34 into the third period.

"[Jonathan Marchessault] made a great play, seeing me come off the bench, and it was good change by [Reilly Smith]," Tuch said. "I just tried to jump out there, use my speed, and tried to get a break towards the net. We've been talking a lot about driving pucks to the net, and myself especially.

"I just tried to get a shot on net and go for a rebound. I don't even know where it hit, but it did the job."

Toews scored his first goal of the series on a rebound in the slot to give Chicago a 1-0 lead 10:32 into the first period. DeBrincat made it 2-0 on a snap shot from the right post at 18:19.

"They're a heavy team, they're heavy on the puck, and they make it tough to get the puck off them and turn things the other way," Toews said. "We didn't do that enough in the third."

Video: Golden Knights win Game 5, advance to Second Round

Pacioretty scored his first point of the postseason in his fourth game on a wrist shot from the bottom of the right face-off circle to make it 2-1 with 31 seconds left.

"That first goal at the end of the period was huge, and that's some of our core guys stepping up at the right time," DeBoer said. "You need that if you're going to get to this point of the year in the playoffs ... your best players have to be your best players and I thought that was the case tonight."

The Pacioretty-Karlsson-Stone line accounted for five points (two goals, three assists) and was plus-6. Pacioretty did not originally travel with Vegas to Edmonton, the hub city for the West, and did not clear quarantine until Aug. 9 after recovering from an injury.

"The line really found their game tonight," DeBoer said. "We're a different team when [Pacioretty's] healthy, attacking and skating like he is now."

Stone scored from the slot 57 seconds into the second period to tie it 2-2.

Kane scored his first goal of the series on a backhand at 4:02 to give the Blackhawks a 3-2 lead.

Martinez made it 3-3 on a power-play goal off a slap shot from the right face-off circle at 7:28. It was the only power-play goal of the series for Vegas (1-for-10).

Tuch appeared to score at 15:13 of the third period, but the goal was overturned after it was challenged for goalie interference committed by Nick Cousins.

"The last two games, [Vegas] probably outplayed us, but the first three games I don't think we deserved to be down 3-0 (in the series)," Kane said. "Maybe it would've been nice to have a different outcome. We hung in there, we fought, gave it a good chance the last couple of games."

NHL.com staff writer Tracey Myers contributed to this report

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