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Blackhawks building to a big finish

CHICAGO — In show business, a performer's rule of thumb is always to leave the feeling you have something more to give.

And that worked for the Blackhawks as it had for the Flyers.

Building on a strong third-period effort in their Friday loss that had evened the Stanley Cup finals at 2-2, the Blackhawks rolled to a 3-0 first-period lead and wound up with a 7-4 win, leaving them one victory from claiming their first Cup since 1961.

The Flyers had done the same in the third period of the defeat that gave the Hawks a 2-0 series lead.

Game 6 is Wednesday night in Philadelphia.

After going 1-for-9 on power plays in the first four games, the Hawks converted 2 of 4.

For the second time in the series, Flyers coach Peter Laviolette tried to shake up his team by pulling goalie Michael Leighton in favor of Brian Boucher, this time after the first period.

"We left our goaltender out to dry all day," Flyers captain Mike Richards said.

The Hawks finally found a solution to Flyers defenseman Chris Pronger, who came into Game 5 with a plus-9 rating and talk of being the series MVP. Pronger was on the ice for six Hawks goals and in the penalty box for the other one. He finished minus-5.

The Hawks were the first team to score seven goals in a finals game since 2000, when the Devils did it against the Stars.

As expected, Hawks coach Joel Quenneville continued the shake-up of his lines that began in the third period of Game 4, when he broke up the top line — Dustin Byfuglien, Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane — in an effort to give his offense a different look.

Toews skated with Marian Hossa and Tomas Kopecky on the first line, with Kane joining Patrick Sharp and Andrew Ladd on the second.

"I thought we had good energy right from the outset," Quenneville said. "Had speed on all the lines. There was some balance as far as offensive ability, defensive reliability."

The Hawks got their first six goals from six players — three from third-liners Byfuglien, Kris Versteeg and Dave Bolland, although two of those three came on power plays. Brent Seabrook, Kane and Sharp had the other Hawks goals.

Byfuglien, the Hawks' leading postseason goal-scorer entering the finals, added an empty-netter for his first two goals of the series and had two assists.

"He got rid of us and started performing," Kane said of Byfuglien.

Scott Hartnell, Kimmo Timonen, Simon Gagne and James van Riemsdyk scored for the Flyers.

With the 203-pound Kopecky replacing the much lighter Kane, the Hawks' first line had a brawnier look that it used effectively on the forecheck.

After the Hawks dominated the first period, the Flyers scored 32 seconds into the second period, one of four times they cut the lead to two. The last, at 6:36 of the third period, came after a Kane turnover led to van Riemsdyk's goal.

phersh@tribune.com

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