Chicago, IL (SportsNetwork.com) - Michal Handzus tallied at 2:04 of the second overtime, and the Chicago Blackhawks remained alive in the Western Conference finals with a 5-4 victory over the Los Angeles Kings.
Brandon Saad held the puck along the right wing below the circles and dished ahead to Handzus, who controlled the disc for a second before lifting a backhander under the crossbar to end the contest.
"Two guys went on him and I got open,"Handzus said of his linemate Saad. "I was surprised I got open like that but he waited and waited and gave me a great pass."
For Handzus, it was his first career postseason overtime score, and just his second playoff game-winner after recording the only goal in a 1-0 Flyers victory against Ottawa in the 2003 second round.
Saad ended up with a goal and two assists for the Blackhawks, who wasted a pair of early two-goal leads and fell behind by a goal before rallying to extend the series to a Game 6 in Los Angeles.
"We don't want the season to end now. We're having too much fun playing," Saad admitted.
Brent Seabrook, Johnny Oduya and Ben Smith also scored, while Patrick Kane notched a career playoff-high four helpers for Chicago, which still trails the best-of-seven set three games to two.
Corey Crawford looked shaky at times, but emerged with the win thanks to 40 saves.
Dustin Brown, Marian Gaborik, Jarret Stoll and Tanner Pearson lit the lamp for the Kings, who have the comfort of home ice on Friday to try and reach the Stanley Cup Finals for the second time in the last three seasons.
If anyone thinks that it's easy ... it's not easy," Kings forward Justin Williams said of closing out an opponent in the third round. "Attaining your ultimate goal is never easy and we're going to do our best to get it done."
Jonathan Quick took the loss despite stopping 40 pucks.
Kane tallied just one point through the first four games, but caught fire and had a hand in all three Blackhawk scores in the opening 20 minutes.
Kings defenseman Drew Doughty was sent off for tripping just 30 seconds after the opening faceoff, and Seabrook's left-point blast sizzled past Quick with 1:13 played. Kane and Jonathan Toews controlled play along the right side before the successful blast.
Oduya then snuck in from his position to chop home a Kane rebound at 3:40 to put the hosts up by two.
Stoll's first point of the series ended up being the Kings' first score of the contest, as he found a loose puck in the low slot and pushed it past Crawford just prior to the midway point.
Chicago went up 3-1 only 1:17 later. Kane worked the puck free along the right-wing boards, then Saad potted Andrew Shaw's rebound from the near side, but Gaborik managed to fire one past Crawford from the right wing at 13:16 -- mere seconds after Quick denied a point-blank chance from Toews.
The Kings killed off a cross-checking minor to blueliner Jake Muzzin just after the eight-minute mark of the second, then evened the score when Brown backhanded a Gaborik rebound home at 11:08.
Pearson put the visitors ahead for the first time, when his right-circle snapshot zipped by Crawford exactly two minutes later. Los Angeles protected that margin until intermission.
"It's a tough building to play, even more so in the playoffs," Kings bench boss Darryl Sutter said in reference to eliminating the Blackhawks in their own building. "Damn near got it."
Saad's low shot from the left wing was kicked aside by Quick, but Smith beat his checker and potted the rebound for a 4-4 game just 77 seconds into the third period.
The Blackhawks had a prime chance to win in regulation when Stoll committed a tripping infraction with 3:11 on the clock. Quick made two acrobatic stops, one from Kane and the rebound on Bryan Bickell early in the advantage and added two more before its completion.
Acting on adrenaline and instinct, the first overtime featured a dozen quality chances split between the clubs. Los Angeles claimed a 10-8 shot edge in a briskly-paced fourth period.
"Overtime, I've seen a lot of games, been involved in a lot of those," said Chicago head coach Joel Quenneville. "That might have been the greatest overtime I've seen."