CHICAGO -- The defending Stanley Cup champions spent the second intermission Wednesday knowing they needed a goal or it would be the last in-game break of the season.
Ben Smith provided that goal for the Chicago Blackhawks, and it didn't take very long. Smith scored his third goal of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs 77 seconds into the third period of Game 5, and the Blackhawks defeated the Los Angeles Kings 5-4 in double overtime to avoid elimination.
"I don't think we were nervous," Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane said. "We knew we had a whole period to try and get one back. It worked out that we got one early, so it made things a lot better.
"[Smith] with the huge goal to make it 4-4. I think the rest of the game we had most of the momentum, and that led to us scoring the fifth and final goal."
Smith started the play in his own zone by sending a cross-ice pass off the boards to Brandon Saad, who carried the puck into the Los Angeles end. Saad flicked a relatively harmless looking shot on net from near the blue line, but Kings goalie Jonathan Quick kicked the rebound into the path of Smith. He was able to put his shot into the net before falling to the ice to avoid crashing into it.
The goal was Smith's third of the postseason and enabled the Blackhawks to avoid having to play through what could have been some nervy moments inside United Center.
"We had the lead going into the third, you can't ask for much more than that," Kings defenseman Drew Doughty said. "To give up a goal so early in the third was kind of like a dagger."