CHICAGO – Antoine Vermette scored at 5:37 of the second overtime, and the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Anaheim Ducks 5-4 on Saturday night to tie the Western Conference finals at two games apiece.
Vermette, left out of the lineup for Chicago's 2-1 loss in Game 3 on Thursday night, was stopped on his first try in front but stayed with the rebound and shot it over Frederik Andersen for his second goal of playoffs. He then skated over to the corner and was mobbed by his teammates as the season-high crowd of 22,404 cheered wildly.
Brandon Saad had a goal and two assists for Chicago, which has won all four of its overtime playoff games this year. Captain Jonathan Toews had a goal and an assist, Patrick Kane scored for the second straight game, and Corey Crawford finished with 47 saves.
Ryan Kesler, Corey Perry and Matt Beleskey scored in a 37-second stretch in the third for Anaheim, and Andersen had 35 saves. Emerson Etem also scored.
Anaheim outshot Chicago 17-5 in the first overtime, forcing Crawford to make several clutch stops. The Blackhawks also had a prime opportunity when Andrew Shaw shot it off the crossbar on a power play, and Patrick Sharp was stopped by Andersen on a breakaway.
Etem's third goal of the playoffs tied it at 1 late in the second, setting the stage for a wild finish to regulation.
Toews' wrist shot over a prone Andersen got the lead back for Chicago at 2:38, and Brent Seabrook made it 3-1 on a big slap shot 5 minutes later. It was the first goal of the series for Toews, who has been wrestling with Kesler all over the ice for most of the series.
The Ducks responded with a frenzied rally, silencing the big crowd. First, Kesler beat Crawford for his fifth goal of the playoffs at 8:42, and then Beleskey used Blackhawks defenseman Kimmo Timonen as a screen for perfectly placed wrister that tied it at 3. Perry capped the dazzling stretch with a rebound score for Anaheim's first lead at 9:19.
The three goals in 37 seconds were the second-fastest three playoff goals scored by one team in NHL history, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Toronto scored three times in 23 seconds against the Atlanta Flames on April 12, 1979, with Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville assisting on the final goal in that stretch for the Maple Leafs.
And there was still one more goal to go in the third. Kane's tying score came at 12:39.