Drew Doughty giveth (his team a chance) and Patrick Kane taketh (it away).
The two young superstars were front and centre in one of the most exciting and dramatic periods - games, for that matter - of this year's Stanley Cup playoffs.
The Kings needed a victory to advance to the Stanley Cup final and the defending champion Blackhawks needed a win to stay alive.
In the end it was Kane and the Blackhawks emerging victorious with a 4-3 road win that forces a Game 7 in Chicago Sunday night.
Doughty darn near gave it to the Kings with a solid showing early in the third period. His goal
and an assist on fellow defender Alec Martinez's third of the playoffs
shot his team into a slim lead. For a few minutes, it kind of looked like he might be the night's biggest hero.
Kane would have no part of it. He is one of the most dynamic individuals in the NHL and is certainly on a roll now.
Coming off a four-assist effort in Game 5, Kane took matters in his own hand.
First he spotted defenceman Duncan Keith cutting in from the point and made a pinpoint pass to his defenceman who rewarded him with an assist on his goal
Then Kane - the same player who was held pointless in the first three games of the series - scored his second goal
of the evening and eighth point in three games, helping his team force a Game 7 in what may prove to be the most dramatic series in this year's playoffs.
With the puck on his stick high in the slot, Kane spied an opening on the short side and deployed a nifty wrist shot to beat Los Angeles goalie Jonathan Quick.
"The last two games have been pretty wild, to say the least," Kane said. "We're happy we got the win, but it doesn't mean anything yet."
The way this series has gone, who could possibly predict the winner?
The King of Kings
Dwight King, whose rose to prominence when the Kings won the Stanley Cup two years ago, gave the home side a first-period lead with his second of the playoffs with the help of a couple of crafty veterans.
Justin Williams, who saves his best hockey for the playoffs, dumped the puck into the Los Angeles zone and Jarret Stoll, who does likewise, beat all the Hawks to it and sent a pass in front to King who ripped a shot
past Chicago goalie Corey Crawford.
The unregistered assist
Sometimes the player most responsible for the goal does not receive official credit. Such was the case when the Blackhawks tied the game at 1:12 of the second period. With the Kings' Anze Kopitar off for holding Jonathan Toews of the Blackhawks, Chicago's Andrew Shaw set a perfect screen in front of Quick, allowing Kane to snap a high shot home
. The pass came from the fouled Toews. Shaw had a big hand in the goal, but did not receive an assist.
It was Kane's first goal of the series.
"We had a lot of chances to start the power play," Kane said. "We had a few good shots from the point and we brought them up and got a two or three good shots from [Brent Seabrook] We tried a down-low play and I made a pass to Johnny and he passed it in front and I was able to one-time it in."
Before you could blink
Just 1:37 later, Ben Smith scored his second goal in two games and third of the series on a play that started deep in the Chicago zone with Seabrook blocking a Doughty shot. The Blackhawks got the puck and headed up ice, where Smith cut to the net with the puck. He attempted to deke Quick, lost control of the puck, but regained it behind the goal-line and directed a shot in off the L.A. netminder's skate
The one that got away
Seconds later, Chicago's Marcus Kruger and Patrick Sharp broke in two-one-one. Kruger fed Sharp a perfect pass, but his shot clunked off the crossbar.
Doughty does the Subban
Doughty just may be the most complete defenceman in the NHL. He doesn't get serious Norris trophy consideration because he doesn't rank with the league's most prolific offensive defenders. Go figure.
He is a minute-muncher, playmaker, power play specialist and, as he proved late in the second period, a physical force. Doughty drove Shaw hard into the boards with one of those P.K. Subban-like butt-first checks. The hit rocked the boards. Might have been the highlight of his night.
After Quick was crashed into at the end of the second period by Shaw, with lots of help from the Kings' Stoll, Crawford challenged Quick to a fight as the pair exchanged words while crossing paths heading to their respective dressing rooms. Quick seemed to have a lot more to say in the little tete-a-tete and Crawford wanted his knuckles to do the talking.
At the end of the night, he had his teammates shouting his praises.
"He was awesome," Keith said. "In the second period, especially, there were a couple of times where it was just rapid fire around our net where he kept making the saves. I don't know how he made them."
The future looks bright
No matter who wins this series, the future looks bright for both organizations. Neither stands to make many changes in the off-season.
The Kings have three pending unrestricted free agents: forward Marian Gaborik and defencemen Willie Mitchell and Matt Greene. They have one restricted free agent, forward Dwight King.
The Blackhawks, meanwhile, have four pending UFAs: goalie Nikolai Khabibulin, defenceman Sheldon Brookbank and forwards Michal Handzus and Peter Regin.
Kings in Peril
Las Vegas performer Lorena Peril sang the American national anthem prior to the game and some of the song sounded familiar. As Ken Campbell of The Hockey News has been known to say, "Who said the tune was optional?"
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