ST. LOUIS — Patrick Kane scored on a backhander early in the second overtime and the Chicago Blackhawks avoided first-round elimination with a 4-3 victory over the St. Louis Blues late Thursday night.

The game-winner was the first goal in the series by the defending Stanley Cup winners' stars, Kane and Jonathan Toews. Both assisted on Artemi Panarin's goal in the final second of the second period for a 3-1 lead.

Kane, who led the NHL in scoring with 107 points, circled the net to corral his own shot that slowly slid wide, and poked it past Brian Elliott at 2:56 to send the majority of a standing-room crowd of 19,956 home unhappy.

David Backes tied it on a deflection that slipped past Corey Crawford with 5:10 to play. Rookie Robby Fabbri and Jaden Schwartz also scored for St. Louis.

Marian Hossa and Artem Anisimov also scored for Chicago, which takes the series back home for Game 6 on Saturday. Every game in the series has been decided by a single goal.

Chicago won despite being outshot 46-35, and helped road teams improve to 19-15 in these playoffs.

The Blackhawks have won three of the last six Cups, but also are trying to avoid first-round elimination for the third time in six seasons.

Kane and Toews have combined for one goal and eight assists in the series. They were paired on the top line for Game 5 and both assisted Panarin's seemingly back-breaking goal with 0.4 seconds left in the second period for a 3-1 cushion.

The Blues are trying to end a string of three consecutive first-round playoff exits. In 2014 they had a 2-0 lead on Chicago and then lost four straight.

Chicago stayed alive without Andrew Shaw, suspended for one game for making a homophobic slur at the end of Game 4.

The teams combined for 11 game misconduct penalties at the finish of the Blues' 4-3 win in Game 4 on Tuesday. There were no penalties in the first period of Game 5.

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Night Desk Editor

Assistant Night Editor for The Pantagraph.

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