CHICAGO – First, it was Jonathan Toews on a power play, and then Patrick Sharp got loose on a breakaway. Andrew Shaw tipped one home, and it was all over.
One dazzling stretch for the Chicago Blackhawks put an end to their tight first-round series against the St. Louis Blues.
Duncan Keith had a goal and three assists, and the Blackhawks used a four-goal third period to finish off the Blues with a 5-1 victory in Game 6 on Sunday.
“It feels good to contribute in a big game,” Keith said, “and I think just the main thing for me is just being able to move on and get a couple days to relax and just regroup and focus on the next round.”
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 on Monday night.
Toews, Sharp and Shaw scored in the first 7½ minutes of the third and Keith closed out the scoring as the Blackhawks improved to 14-2 in home playoff games over the past two seasons.
Bryan Bickell scored in the first and Corey Crawford made 35 saves, keeping Chicago in a tie game when St. Louis controlled the second period.
“They were dominating the first 40 minutes here and we came back with maybe the best period of the year,” coach Joel Quenneville said.
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.
“I think both the PK and (Crawford) won the game and the series ultimately,” Quenneville said. “I think that was the big factor in us getting through.”
Rangers 4, Flyers 2
In New York, Brad Richards and Dominic Moore scored second-period goals, and Henrik Lundqvist made 24 saves as the Rangers pushed the Flyers to the brink of elimination.
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 on Wednesday.
Ducks 5, Stars 4
In Dallas, Nick Bonino scored 2:47 into overtime, after getting one of Anaheim’s two goals late in regulation as the Ducks beat the Stars in Game 6 to clinch the first-round series.
Bonino took a wrist shot from in front of the net after getting a pass from Andrew Cogliano, and made sure the Ducks didn’t need a Game 7 to advance.