Blackhawks advance to Stanley Cup finals
Corey Crawford made 33 saves, and Duncan Keith scored in his return from a suspension as the top-seeded Blackhawks eliminated the Kings in five games in the Western Conference finals.
Chicago will host the Eastern champion Boston Bruins in Game 1 on Wednesday night. Boston completed a sweep of the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday night.
This is the first finals matchup of NHL Original Six franchises since 1979, and it will pit two of the last three champions against each other.
Chicago won the Cup in 2010, ending a 49-year drought. Boston captured the title the following year.
Anze Kopitar and Mike Richards scored in the third period for Los Angeles, which managed to recover after trailing 2-0 in the first period and 3-2 late in regulation. Jonathan Quick finished with 31 saves.
Kane was in the middle of a quiet postseason when he finished off Bryan Bickell's shot for his third playoff goal in Chicago's 3-2 win in Los Angeles on Thursday. The talented forward yelled in relief after that goal and came up with his best performance of the playoffs in Game 5.
After Crawford made a couple of big saves in the first overtime, Jonathan Toews carried the puck up the left side during a 2-on-1 rush in the second extra session. He then made a cross-ice pass to Kane, who one-timed a shot past Quick and into the right side.
''Johnny made a great pass, and I tried to get it off as quick as I could,'' Kane said of the winning goal.
The rollicking sellout crowd of 22,237 erupted in joy as Kane skated back toward the middle of the ice and slid on his knees as hats rained down. A distraught Quick laid down as his teammates emptied from the bench for the post-series handshakes.
Chicago was poised to finish off Los Angeles in regulation when the Kings scored the tying goal with 9.4 seconds remaining. Kopitar took a long shot from the right side and Richards managed to tip it by Crawford, leading to a celebration for the Kings while the crowd groaned in disbelief.
''So emotional,'' Kane said of the lost lead. ''You start thinking about it when it goes to 14 seconds away from going to the final. It stuck with us for the first overtime. It was nice to close it out for sure.''
Richards had a goal and an assist in his first game since he took a big hit from Chicago's Dave Bolland in the series opener, shelving the center with a suspected concussion.
Crawford recovered from the dramatic tying goal and made a couple of nice plays in overtime, using his glove to deny Williams and Jake Muzzin in rapid succession midway through the period. Bickell had an opportunity to end the game at the other end, but he was unable to corral Kane's pass on a rush to the net.
The lost lead at the end of regulation turned into a minor inconvenience for the Blackhawks when Kane finished his second career postseason hat trick.
Los Angeles also trailed 2-0 after one, but Williams' strong charge up the left side set up Dwight King's short-handed goal at 9:28 of the second. The Kings tied it 2-2 when Kopitar pushed a rebound through Crawford's legs 3 1/2 minutes into the third.
It was Kopitar's first point of the series and snapped a six-game goal drought. It also was the third power-play goal allowed by the Blackhawks in 58 playoff chances.
The tie held until the Blackhawks took advantage of a bad break for the Kings to go in front again.
Williams had the puck behind the net when he fell, and Bickell made a slick pass to Kane, who beat Quick to give the Blackhawks a 3-2 lead with 3:52 remaining.
Keith missed Chicago's 3-2 win in Los Angeles on Thursday night after he was suspended for high-sticking Jeff Carter in the face in Game 3, opening a 20-stitch gash on the face of the star forward. The defenseman said it was an accident, and he was very pleased after the Blackhawks won Game 4 without him.
Back on the ice Saturday, Keith wasted little time in announcing his presence.
With the Kings in the middle of a line change, Keith got a pass from Michal Rozsival on the left side of the ice, skated in, and fired a slap shot through Quick's legs at 3:42 for his second goal of the postseason.
The Blackhawks kept up the pressure as the Kings struggled to hold on to the puck, and a little patience by Kane led to a 2-0 lead just six minutes in. He waited while a scrum in front of the net took out Quick, and then put a shot over the prone goalie.
NOTES: It was the 38th playoff game in the past two seasons for Los Angeles. ... Toews and Bickell each had two assists.