What. A. Game.
In one of the most riveting games of the 2013 NHL playoffs, the Chicago Blackhawks defeated the defending Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings by a score of 4-3 in an indescribable double-overtime affair.
The 4-1 series win sends the Blackhawks back to the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time since their 2010 championship run.
From awe-inspiring saves to an overtime-forcing goal with just 9.4 seconds remaining in regulation, we saw it all.
Regardless of which team you pledge allegiance to, this was one of the most exciting games of the 2012-13 season.
Patrick Kane was the star of this one, picking up a hat trick with three key goals, including the game-winner in double-overtime. Jonathan Toews assisted on two of those three, including the clinching goal.
Corey Crawford saved 33 of the 36 shots he faced for the Blackhawks, and Duncan Keith scored the team's other goal.
Dwight King, Anze Kopitar and Mike Richards scored the three goals for the defending champions. Unfortunately, it just wasn't enough, as the Blackhawks were simply too powerful.
Jonathan Quick saved 31 of 35 shots on goal before letting up the game-winner.
The action started early, as Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith scored just 3:42 into the first period. The goal was Keith's second of the postseason and came off of a feed from Michal Rozsival, thus extending Jonathan Quick's recent meltdown.
The distance of the shot took Twitter by storm.
Duncan Keith shot that from Cicero.— lisa dillman (@reallisa) June 9, 2013
Just two minutes later, the Blackhawks struck again.
After a quiet postseason, Patrick Kane had his best night of the series. Unfortunately for Quick, that meant he was in for another long evening.
It started at the 5:59 mark of the opening period.
Just two minutes and 17 seconds after Keith found the back of the net, Kane did the same to make it 2-0. Toews and Bryan Bickell came up with the assists, thus restoring the faith in Chicago's vaunted first line.
After 20 minutes, the Kings had no counter.
With the Blackhawks on the power play, it appeared as if they were going to put this one away in the second period. Just like that, however, the advantage was mitigated, as Dwight King scored a short-handed goal off of assists from Justin Williams and goaltender Jonathan Quick.
Believe it or not, that made King a record-holder.
Dwight King is now the Kings all-time leading goal-scorer in the Conference Finals...King has six total goals...Gretzky had 5 vs. TOR in '93— LA Kings (@LAKings) June 9, 2013
Not the name you expected to surpass Wayne Gretzky, is it?
During the third period, the Kings came out as the aggressors, looking to tie the game at 2-2. After numerous failed attempts, it was Anze Kopitar that broke through on the power play.
Moments after a shot hit the post, Kopitar used feeds from Jeff Carter and Mike Richards to even this thing up.
An impressive feat.
Just like that, the stars were put on alert as their teams were each in position to lose this game. Unfortunately, only one group could come through when it counted most.
Quick settled down after allowing the second goal of the game, eventually holding the Blackhawks scoreless for a span of 50:09. Unfortunately, the term "scoreless streak" means that it eventually ended.
Again, Kane did the honors.
With just 3:52 remaining in the third period, pandemonium arose in front of and behind Quick. Before the Kings could take control of the puck, however, Kane flew across the ice and netted an incredible goal to give Chicago the 3-2 lead.
Chicago was thus mere moments away from the Stanley Cup Final.
#Blackhawks in front. Bryan Bickell gets away with a trip of Justin Williams. Puck goes to Patrick Kane. Bang. 3-2.— Elliott Teaford (@ElliottTeaford) June 9, 2013
With time running out and the Kings seeing their season wither away, there was one last attack of the net. With Crawford having put in a very strong performance, all hope appeared to be lost for L.A.
Just like that, we remembered why it isn't over until the final buzzer tells us so.
With 14.4 seconds remaining in regulation, Jarret Stoll won a huge faceoff to give his team one final chance. Kopitar proceeded to put a shot on net, allowing his strength to grant the Kings the opportunity to extend this game.
Mike Richards positioned himself in front of the net, where the puck bounced off of his leg and tied the game with 9.4 seconds remaining. Watch it for yourself:
That's postseason hockey.
Few words could describe the magnitude of the goal, as it saved one season and delayed another team's coronation as Western Conference champions. For that reason, we've chosen to go with a tweet of few words.
It's all about the impact.
Tied.— lisa dillman (@reallisa) June 9, 2013
We were all holding our breath for it, but that tie would not be broken during the final 9.4 seconds.
Instead, we moved into overtime, where both teams had everything to gain. For the Blackhawks, it was about securing a berth in the Stanley Cup Final, while the Kings simply wanted to extend their season.
Only one team could fulfill their dream on this night, but neither did it during the first overtime.
During the second overtime, it was the stars of the franchise that stepped up when it mattered most. Toews broke into the open ice, and with one flick of the wrist, he found Kane.
For the third time, Kane found the back of the net. This time around, the goal sent the Blackhawks to the 2013 Stanley Cup Final.