NHL: Blackhawks advance; Rangers put Flyers on brink of elimination
Duncan Keith had a goal and three assists, and the Chicago Blackhawks used a four-goal third period to finish off the visiting St. Louis Blues with a 5-1 victory in Game 6 of their first-round playoff series Sunday.
Chicago won four in a row after a slow start in St. Louis. The defending Stanley Cup champions will play the winner of the Minnesota-Colorado series in the Western Conference semifinals. The Avalanche lead the Wild 3-2 heading into Game 6 in Minnesota tonight.
Jonathan Toews, Patrick Sharp, Andrew Shaw and Keith scored in the third period as the Blackhawks improved to 14-2 in home playoff games over the last two seasons. Corey Crawford made 35 saves, keeping Chicago in a tie game when St. Louis controlled the second period.
T.J. Oshie scored for the Blues, who outshot the Blackhawks 36-27. Ryan Miller finished with 22 saves.
St. Louis went 0-for-6 in 10 minutes of power-play time over the first two periods, wasting a chance to take the lead. The Blues went 2 for 29 with the man advantage for the series.
The Blackhawks also struggled on the power play, but they scored when it mattered most.
With Jay Bouwmeester in the box for tripping, Keith made a nice stop to keep the puck in the St. Louis zone, then fired a pass over to Toews. The captain beat Miller over his right shoulder for a 2-1 lead just 44 seconds into the third period.
N.Y. Rangers 4, Philadelphia 2: Brad Richards and Dominic Moore scored second-period goals, and Henrik Lundqvist made 24 saves as the New York Rangers pushed the Philadelphia Flyers to the brink of elimination with a 4-2 victory in Game 5.
Defenseman Marc Staal gave the Rangers the lead in the first period and they extended it in the second in taking a 3-2 edge in the first-round series. Game 6 is Tuesday in Philadelphia. If necessary, a deciding seventh game would be back at Madison Square Garden Wednesday.
The teams have alternated wins the entire series.
Philadelphia’s Steve Mason wasn’t nearly as sharp in his second straight start following a late-season injury. He stopped 18 shots after his 37-save effort in a 2-1 victory in Game 4 got the Flyers even.
Vinny Lecavalier made it 3-1 late in the second period on the power play, and Claude Giroux scored his first of the series with 1:29 left after Mason was pulled for an extra skater.
But Moore won a race to negate an icing call and fed a pass to Brian Boyle, who scored with 15 seconds left to seal it.
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