Chicago — Patrick Kane’s goal with 8:43 left in overtime sent the Chicago Blackhawks all square in their Western Conference quarterfinal series with the St. Louis Blues, giving the defending Stanley Cup champs a thrilling and critical 4-3 Game 4 victory at United Center.
Kane also scored earlier in the contest and contributed an assist as well to help the Blackhawks record their second straight win after a pair of heartbreaking overtime defeats in St. Louis, where the series will now shift for Friday’s pivotal Game 5.
Bryan Bickell came up with a big goal as well for Chicago, as his marker with 3:52 remaining in regulation tied the score at 3-3 and ended a sequence of three straight scores from the Blues that erased a 2-0 deficit.
Andrew Shaw also lit the lamp in the win, while Corey Crawford backed up his 34-save shutout in Monday’s Game 3 by turning aside 30 shots on Wednesday.
Vladimir Tarasenko scored twice for the Blues in a losing cause, with Maxim Lapierre accounting for the other St. Louis goal and Ryan Miller finishing with 30 saves.
Miller was able to thwart a couple of good scoring chances during the extra period, in which Chicago produced a 6-2 shot advantage, but couldn’t prevent a hard-charging Kane from finishing off a strong Blackhawks rush that resulted in the game-winner.
The standout wing skated into the St. Louis zone and faked a pass before rocketing a wrister over Miller’s right shoulder that evened this tightly played series.
St. Louis had taken its first lead of the night courtesy of Tarasenko’s fourth goal of the series and second of the game, which came with 7:33 left in the third period. Taking in an outlet pass from Alex Pietrangelo that began a 2- on-1, the talented youngster beat Crawford glove-side after racing down the right wing for a 3-2 Blues advantage.
Bickell, a key contributor during last year’s Stanley Cup run, forced another overtime less than four minutes later with a successful redirect of Michal Rozsival’s long drive from near the blueline.
After neither side found the back of the net during an opening period that featured a 13-save effort from Miller, the teams combined for four goals during a more wide-open second stanza.
The Blackhawks capitalized on a tripping penalty to Lapierre 8:29 into the frame to strike first. Kane fed the puck to Jonathan Toews for a close one- timer that was blocked in front of Miller, but Shaw was perfectly positioned to backhand in the carom just 11 seconds after the infraction occurred.
Kane made it a 2-0 lead with just under four minutes remaining in the period, placing a cross-ice pass from Johnny Oduya over Miller’s glove to finish off a Chicago rush.
St. Louis quickly got right back in it, however, with a pair of goals over the final 69 seconds of the session.
Columbus 4, Pittsburgh 3 (OT)
Nick Foligno’s tally at 2:49 of overtime gave the Columbus Blue Jackets their first home playoff win in franchise history which evened this Eastern Conference quarterfinal at two games apiece.
Foligno carried the puck up the left wing through the neutral zone, in a 1-on-1 with Pens defenseman Matt Niskanen, then released the puck below the circle, where it dropped from the glove hand of Marc-Andre Fleury and slid home. Fleury was also responsible for a miscue leading to the hosts’ tying goal with 22.5 seconds remaining in regulation.
Dallas 4, Anaheim 2
The Dallas Stars took care of business at American Airlines Center, winning two straight games on home ice against the Anaheim Ducks to even their Western Conference quarterfinal series at two games apiece.
Vernon Fiddler had a goal and an assist as the Stars scored four unanswered goals to claim a 4-2 victory in Game 4 on Wednesday. Jamie Benn, Cody Eakin and Alex Goligoski also lit the lamp for Dallas, which had dropped Games 1 and 2 in Anaheim.
Kari Lehtonen stopped 21-of-23 shots. Bryan Allen and Patrick Maroon scored for the Ducks. Frederik Andersen turned aside 21-of-25 shots before being pulled in the third period for Jonas Hiller.
Anaheim forward Teemu Selanne, who is playing his final NHL season, was a healthy scratch for Game 4. The Ducks, who lost defenseman Stephane Robidas to a fractured right leg in Game 3, were also without the services of center Ryan Getzlaf, who is listed as day-to-day with an upper-body injury. Game 5 is set for Friday at Anaheim.