By Kelsie Plesac
The magic number is 4 for the President’s Trophy winners thanks to a hat trick by Patrick Kane that gave the Blackhawks a 4-3 victory over the LA Kings. The Hawks went into the game on their home ice with a 3-1 advantage and will now face the Boston Bruins in the Stanley Cup Finals.
The Blackhawks attacked early with a Duncan Keith goal at 3:42. The game was Keith’s first back after facing a one game suspension. Michal Rozsival was credited with the assist. Less than three minutes later, Kane would tally his first goal of the night. The goal was assisted by Jonathan Toews and Bryan Bickell and gave the Hawks a 2-0 advantage heading into 1st intermission.
However the Kings, on the brink of elimination, still had plenty of fight left in them. After an interference penalty by Dustin Penner at 7:50 the Kings cut the lead in half with a shorthanded goal by Dwight King. Assists were given to Justin Williams and goaltender Jonathan Quick.
The Kings continued their comeback in the 3rd period taking advantage of a Bickell penalty with a power play goal by Anze Kopitar. Jeff Carter and Mike Richards tallied assists. In the final minutes Kane tallied his second goal of the night and it appeared the Blackhawks would take game 5 in regulation. However, after an icing call and a face-off win by the Kings, Mike Richards tied the game at 19:51, sending it into overtime.
After a scoreless first overtime, fans got even more free hockey as both teams faced off in double overtime. It was in double overtime that Kane completed his hat trick after a two-on-one breakaway involving him and Toews.
The Stanley Cup Finals will kick off on Wednesday at the United Center.