Chicago, IL (Sports Network) - Dustin Byfuglien finally broke out, scoring two goals and adding two assists, and the Chicago Blackhawks moved one step closer to a championship with a 7-4 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals.
Byfuglien, who had been held to just one assist through the first four games, was finally the presence the 'Hawks had been looking for. His goal with 4:15 left in the second period helped thwart another furious Flyers rally to help give Chicago a 3-2 series lead, with Game 6 slated for Wednesday in Philadelphia.
Kris Versteeg had a goal and two assists, while Patrick Kane, Dave Bolland and Brent Seabrook each had a goal and a helper for the Blackhawks, whose power play was lethal after looking lethargic for the first four contests. Entering the game with a 1-for-9 mark on the man advantage, Chicago went 2-for-4 on Sunday to take one step closer to claiming the Stanley Cup for the first time since 1961.
Antti Niemi, fresh off giving up eight goals in Games 3 and 4 -- both losses -- allowed four goals on 27 shots to earn the victory. The Hawks now have history on their side, as the team winning Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals when tied, 2-2, has gone on to win the series 14 of 20 times. However, one of those six defeats came last season, when Pittsburgh rallied to beat Detroit in seven games.
Scott Hartnell, James van Riemsdyk, Simon Gagne and Kimmo Timonen scored for the Flyers, who will have to make yet another comeback to finish off their fairy tale with a happy ending. Philadelphia, which recovered from an 0-3 deficit in the conference semis and an 0-2 deficit here in the Stanley Cup Finals, will have to extend the series to a Game 7 if it wants an opportunity to win the championship.
Michael Leighton allowed three goals on 13 shots in the first period, prompting the Flyers to insert Brian Boucher, who made 11 saves the rest of the way. Chris Pronger, who had been a steady defensive force for each of the first four games, took a minor penalty and had a minus-five rating.
Philadelphia's power play, which went 5-for-16 in the first four games, was 0-for-3 in Game 5.