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Blackhawks stave off elimination, top Kings 5-4 in double OT


CHICAGO (Reuters) - The Chicago Blackhawks fought back from the brink of elimination on Wednesday, recovering from a third-period deficit to beat the Los Angeles Kings in double overtime 5-4 to stay alive as the best-of-seven series moves back to California.

Michal Handzus scored his second goal of the playoffs two minutes into the second extra frame, assisted by Brandon Saad and Patrick Kane, who had four assists in the game.

Chicago gained an early lead with goals from defensemen Brent Seabrook and Johnny Oduya in the first four minutes of the match. The Kings' Jarret Stoll briefly narrowed the lead midway through the period before Brandon Saad recaptured Chicago's two-goal margin.

Los Angeles battled back to take the lead with three straight goals by Marian Gaborik, Dustin Brown and Tanner Pearson. But Chicago's Ben Smith evened the match early in the third period to send the game to overtime.

Chicago goaltender Corey Crawford, who entered the game with a dismal 0.870 save percentage against the Kings, made 40 saves and snapped a three-game losing streak. Kings netminder Jonathan Quick stopped 40 of Chicago's 45 shots.

The Kings, who lead 3-2, will have another opportunity to clinch the series in Game Six on home ice on Friday.

The series winner will battle either the Montreal Canadiens or the New York Rangers, who lead that series 3-2, for the Stanley Cup.

(The story corrects second paragraph to state Kane had four assists)

(Reporting by Karl Plume and Michael Hirtzer; editing by Amlan Chakraborty)