This time, the Blackhawks season was on the line, and there was no way Chicago’s captain was starting his summer on Saturday night.
At 2:44 in yet OT, Jonathan Toews made a deposit into the Phoenix net. Viktor Stalberg ended a personal performance he would probably like to forget with the only assist on the score.
Stalberg had a remarkable game. He was called for four minor penalties in the game, only to come back with the overtime apple.
Toews won 14 of his 18 faceoffs and was credited with one hit and one blocked shot to go with his game-winning goal.
The Blackhawks and Coyotes tied an NHL record with their fifth overtime game in a series; it was the seventh straight playoff game for the Chicago franchise to go overtime (also a record).
Unlike the first two games in Phoenix, the Hawks didn’t wait until the final 14 seconds to tie the game on Saturday night. Nick Leddy scored at 9:15 in the third to bring the game back to even, and rookie Brandon Saad was credited with his first NHL assist on the play.
Chicago dominated the box score yet again, allowing only 18 shots to reach Corey Crawford in regulation. But they weren’t able to generate any consistent in spite of 34 shots getting to Mike Smith before the overtime.
Again, the all-too-familiar storyline of the series.
The only other time a playoff series has seen five overtime games was the 1951 Stanley Cup Finals.