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    NHL playoffs: Blackhawks eliminate Blues

    A young Blackhawks fan in Chicago reinforces what the Blues already know, their season is coming to an end.
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    A young Blackhawks fan in Chicago reinforces what the Blues already know, their season is coming to an end.

    First, it was Jonathan Toews on a power play, and then Patrick Sharp got loose on a breakaway. Andrew Shaw tipped one home, and it was all over.

    One dazzling stretch for the Chicago Blackhawks put an end to their tight first-round series against the St. Louis Blues.

    Duncan Keith had a goal and three assists, and the Blackhawks used a four-goal third period to finish off the Blues with a 5-1 victory in Game 6 on Sunday in Chicago.


    ‘‘It feels good to contribute in a big game,’’ Keith said, ‘‘and I think just the main thing for me is just being able to move on and get a couple days to relax and just regroup and focus on the next round.’’

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    Chicago won four in a row after a slow start in St. Louis. The defending Stanley Cup champions will play the winner of the Minnesota-Colorado series in the Western Conference semifinals.

    Toews, Sharp, and Shaw scored in the first 7½ minutes of the third and Keith closed out the scoring as the Blackhawks improved to 14-2 in home playoff games over two seasons.

    Bryan Bickell scored in the first and Corey Crawford made 35 saves, keeping Chicago in a tie game when St. Louis controlled the second period.

    ‘‘They were dominating the first 40 minutes here and we came back with maybe the best period of the year,’’ coach Joel Quenneville said.


    T.J. Oshie scored for the Blues, who outshot the Blackhawks, 36-27. Ryan Miller finished with 22 saves.

    St. Louis went 0 for 6 in 10 minutes of power-play time over the first two periods, wasting a chance to take the lead. The Blues went 2 for 29 with the man advantage for the series.

    ‘‘I think both the PK and [Crawford] won the game and the series ultimately,’’ Quenneville said. ‘‘I think that was the big factor in us getting through.’’

    Ducks 5, Stars 4 — Nick Bonino scored 2:47 into overtime, after getting one of Anaheim’s two goals late in regulation, and the Ducks beat host Dallas to clinch the first-round series in six games.

    The Ducks scored twice in the final 2:10 of regulation to force overtime for the first time in the series. First, Bonino skated around from behind the net and got a puck over Kari Lehtonen’s left shoulder to get the Ducks within 4-3. Anaheim forced OT with 24 seconds left, after a wild scramble in front of the net with an extra skater and Lehtonen without his stick.


    When the puck trickled free, Devante Smith-Pelly pushed into the open gap for his second goal of the game and a 4-4 tie.

    Instead of sending the series to Game 7 on Tuesday, the Stars were left to wonder how they squandered a 3-1 lead after one period.

    Rangers 4, Flyers 2 — Brad Richards and Dominic Moore scored second-period goals, and Henrik Lundqvist made 24 saves as New York pushed visiting Philadelphia to the brink of elimination.

    Defenseman Marc Staal gave the Rangers the lead in the first period and they extended it in the second in taking a 3-2 edge in the first-round series. Game 6 is Tuesday in Philadelphia. If necessary, a deciding seventh game would be back at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday.

    The teams have alternated wins the entire series.

    Philadelphia’s Steve Mason wasn’t nearly as sharp in his second straight start following a late-season injury. He stopped 18 shots after his 37-save effort in Game 4 got the Flyers even.

    Vincent Lecavalier made it 3-1 late in the second period on the power play, and Claude Giroux scored his first of the series with 1:29 left after Mason was pulled for an extra skater. But Moore won a race to negate icing and fed a pass to Brian Boyle, who scored with 15 seconds left to seal it.