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Kane's trick helps Blackhawks move past Canucks

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CHICAGO (AP) -The hats came flying out of the seats and littered the ice at the United Center. The roar of the crowd was so loud that Chicago coach Joel Quenneville had trouble calling out line changes.

All part of a pulsating and wild third period that sent the Chicago Blackhawks to the Western Conference finals for the first time since 1995.

Patrick Kane had his first hat trick - two scores in the final period - and 21-year-old captain Jonathan Toews scored the go-ahead goal as the Blackhawks beat the Vancouver Canucks 7-5 Monday night to wrap up their semifinal playoff 4-2.

"After the third goal I had chills," the 20-year-old Kane said. "I didn't know what went on the next five or six minutes. ... I was in another world."

Seems like the Blackhawks are in a world of their own. They're loose, seemingly unfazed by most of the commotion surrounding this trip to the postseason, a first for many of the young players on their roster.

They had to rally twice from one-goal deficits in the final period to beat a good team with a standout goalie.

Kane tied the game at 5 with his first goal of the third period and second of the game. Toews put the Blackhawks ahead to stay 49 seconds later when his pass across the crease on a power play hit Vancouver's Alexander Edler and went in past goalie Roberto Luongo.

Kane made it a two-goal lead by again beating Luongo - then the noise got deafening.

"I've never been in a building, sports or music concerts, as loud as that one," said Chicago's Adam Burish, who also had a goal. "It was an atmosphere I've never been a part of."

Next up is either archrival Detroit or Anaheim.

"Going into the first game against Calgary in the first round, a lot of us didn't really know what to expect," Toews said. "We've had a lot of fun so far."

Even the usually unemotional Quenneville was shaking his head over the final period.

"How it unraveled and unfolded, it was an amazing ending," he said.

When Chicago's Troy Brouwer was called for goaltender interference with just under 8 minutes remaining, Daniel Sedin scored quickly with a shot from the left circle that put the Canucks ahead 5-4.

"We didn't want to go back to Vancouver for Game 7," Toews said.

Chicago's Nikolai Khabibulin made 33 saves and Luongo 23.

"We had some chances early and I made some saves, but the rest of the way I didn't help my teammates out," said Luongo, who was nearly in tears in the Canucks' locker room. "When you let in seven goals, I don't think that's a very good performance."

Sedin had a pair of goals for Vancouver, which lost the final three games of the series in a crushing end to what the Canucks hoped would be a run to the Stanley Cup.

"We had a chance to go a long way," Sedin said. "That's the most disappointing thing. This was a great opportunity."

Vancouver's Mats Sundin scored to put the Canucks up 4-3 early in the third period, but Burish countered on a nice centering pass from Patrick Sharp to tie it.

The Blackhawks took a 3-1 lead in the second period on power-play goals by Kris Versteeg and Toews. The Canucks came charging back to tie on scores from Sedin and Shane O'Brien to momentarily quiet the frenzied crowd.

At Pittsburgh, David Steckel scored on a deflection of Brooks Laich's shot and the Capitals finally won an overtime playoff game to force a Game 7 in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

The Capitals, losers of their seven previous overtime games, couldn't hold a 4-3 lead late in regulation when Sidney Crosby scored, but made up for it when Steckel went to the net immediately after winning a faceoff. Laich wristed the puck on net from the right circle and Steckel put it past Marc-Andre Fleury 6:22 into the extra period.

The game before, Steckel couldn't score into an open net early in overtime and the Penguins won 4-3 in Washington on Evgeni Malkin's goal to take a 3-2 lead into the potential closeout game on Monday. Instead, Game 7 will be Wednesday night in Washington.

It was the third overtime game of the series, the most in any round of these NHL playoffs. Pittsburgh won the first two, both on deflections off Capitals defensemen.

Pittsburgh had won eight of its previous nine overtime games and had been 7-1 against the Capitals in OT.

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