The Chicago Blackhawks were staring sudden death elimination in the face when Patrick Kane scored to extend the season. That's as close as any team can get to things ending - but it wasn't to be, not yet.
And truly, this first round series between the Blackhawks and St. Louis Blues didn't deserve to end in just five games. So as we approach Game 6, the NHL has brought us this handy and, frankly, nail-biting stat:
Per @EliasSports: @StLouisBlues / @NHLBlackhawks series has been tied or within one goal for 94.5% of total playing time (313:55 of 332:11).— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) April 23, 2016
For as much as the Blues had the chance to put Chicago away in just five games, this series has been much, much, much closer than that. A few pucks going the other way, and who knows; elimination could be threatening the other team. Can still reach that point, as a matter of fact.
Let's recap just how close it's been:
- Game 1: A 1-0 OT victory for St. Louis thanks to a bad bounce off Trevor van Riemsdyk, even though Chicago outshot them 35-18.
- Game 2: Thanks to Artemi Panarin's empty net goal, Chicago had a two-goal lead. For 1:24, before Kevin Shattenkirk scored again. Chicago won 3-2, though they were outshot 31-29.
- Game 3: No team had more than a one-goal lead at any point. St. Louis won 3-2, but were outshot 46-36.
- Game 4: Alexander Steen gave the Blues a two-goal lead early in the third period. It lasted for 9:54 before Duncan Keith scored to make it a one-goal game again. St. Louis won 4-3, and were outshot 42-20.
- Game 5: Panarin gave the Hawks a two-goal lead at the very end of the second period. It lasted 6:58, before Robby Fabbri scored to bring St. Louis back within one. It was eventually tied, and though Chicago was outshot 46-35, they won in overtime to extend the series.
If this series is any indication, Game 6 is going to be terrifying in the way only playoff hockey can bring about. Get ready.