LOS ANGELES (AP) - When Bryan Bickell's shot slipped out of Jonathan Quick's usually inescapable glove and trickled into the Los Angeles net early, the Chicago Blackhawks figured Game 4 might be their chance to snap the Kings' daunting streak of home dominance.
When Marian Hossa's shot eluded Quick for the go-ahead goal two periods later, the Blackhawks knew they had cracked their foe's star goalie and the formula for winning at Staples Center.
The Kings are teetering in the Western Conference finals - and Chicago needs just one more win to topple the defending Stanley Cup champions.
Hossa scored the tiebreaking goal early in the third period, and the Blackhawks moved to the brink of the Stanley Cup finals with a 3-2 victory Thursday night, ending Los Angeles' 15-game winning streak at home.
"They were playing so well at home, and to finally break that streak, we're happy about it," Hossa said. "We knew about it. We talked about it before the game. We were hoping to break it, and we got it."
Corey Crawford made 19 saves, and Patrick Kane tapped in the tying goal as Chicago rallied from a second-period deficit to beat the Kings. Los Angeles hadn't lost in its rink since March 23, including eight playoff games. Bickell had a goal and an assist for the top-seeded Blackhawks, who took a 3-1 series lead even without suspended defenseman Duncan Keith.
After losing Game 3 in listless fashion, the Blackhawks had a solution to every dilemma, from the Kings' two early leads to the absence of Chicago's ice-time leader and top defenseman.
"We knew our defense was going to step up, and they did," Bickell said. "We had a good feeling coming in. We had a bitter taste from the last game. They had a big start, but we stuck with it and eventually got it back."
Game 5 is Saturday night in Chicago.
Slava Voynov and Dustin Penner scored for the Kings, who had the NHL's longest home postseason winning run since 2009. The champs know they are in trouble after failing to hold on to a late lead in front of their Conn Smythe Trophy-winning goalie.
"It's an incredibly skilled team," Kings defenseman Rob Scuderi said of Chicago. "We're not getting into something we didn't know. When you turn the puck over like that at the blue lines, with the skill they have, it's only a matter of time before they put one on the scoreboard. Hopefully we learned our lesson, and we've got to win the next one."
The Blackhawks thrived without Keith, who served a one-game suspension for high-sticking Jeff Carter in the face during the second period of Game 3. Sheldon Brookbank filled in while Chicago played strong team defense in front of Crawford, allowing just two shots by the desperate Kings in the third period.
"Right from the first couple shifts, we were moving our feet, playing with speed," said defenseman Brent Seabrook, who led Chicago with 26:20 of ice time. "We were getting in on the forecheck and making good plays. It was big for our group to come back with a good effort."
Los Angeles hadn't lost a playoff game at home since Game 4 of the Stanley Cup finals last season, winning nine straight overall. The Kings also had been outstanding when playing with a lead in front of Quick, who stopped 25 shots, but Los Angeles uncharacteristically surrendered that 2-1 lead late in the second period.
The high-scoring Kane ending his seven-game goal drought in a quiet postseason by charging into the crease to tap home the tying goal on a rebound of Niklas Hjalmarsson's shot and Bickell's deflection late in the second period. Hjalmarsson finished with two assists.
After Los Angeles killed a penalty to open the third period, Michal Handzus caught the Kings napping and set up a break with the speedy Hossa, who ripped a precise shot for his seventh goal of the postseason.
"That's one thing that (coach) Darryl (Sutter) has been hard on us for right now," Kings defenseman Drew Doughty said. "We're making too many turnovers, in the neutral zone especially. That was a cause of two of the goals. We made turnovers and they came back down on odd-man rushes and scored. If we want to win, it's something we can't be doing."
The Kings played their third straight game without center Mike Richards, who has an apparent concussion after a big hit from Chicago's Dave Bolland in the series opener. Richards was the Kings' leading postseason scorer with 10 points when he got hurt.
Los Angeles' unbeaten stretch at home ended in unusual fashion with the blown lead, and the low-scoring Kings' title defense could be over in two days. The NHL hasn't had a repeat champion since the Detroit Red Wings in 1998, and Los Angeles has managed just eight goals in four games against the powerful Blackhawks.
"They didn't have many great scoring chances," Crawford said. "We mostly kept them to the outside. It was great for us to shut them down."
Chicago needs one win in three games to advance to its second Stanley Cup finals appearance since 1992. The Blackhawks have been mostly rolling since their 5-2 victory in the season opener at Los Angeles in January, ruining the Kings' banner-raising ceremony.
The Blackhawks hadn't won a playoff round in the past two seasons since their Stanley Cup triumph, replenishing their roster on the fly around their talented young core.
Just nine players remain from the championship team, but it's safe to say the rebuild is complete for a team that won its second Presidents' Trophy with a 36-7-5 regular season, followed by a gutsy rally from a 1-3 series deficit against Detroit to escape the second round.
The Kings opened Game 4 with the same urgency they showed two days earlier, forcing their way into Chicago's zone and preventing the Blackhawks' usual slick passing. Los Angeles' fourth line created the first goal just 3:28 in when Kyle Clifford passed from behind Chicago's net to Voynov, who skated in alone for a slap shot past Crawford.
The goal was Voynov's sixth of the postseason, extending his single-season playoff record for Kings defensemen.
Chicago responded, easily killing a penalty while holding Los Angeles without a shot for about 11 minutes. The Blackhawks evened it on an innocent-looking play by Bickell, whose wobbly shot somehow got out of Quick's glove for his eighth goal of the postseason.
Bickell is on a remarkable playoff run before unrestricted free agency this summer, scoring a goal in each of the past three games and five of seven overall.
The Kings went back ahead early in the second period on another strong shift by their newly assembled big line featuring Carter, Penner and rookie Tyler Toffoli, who has taken Richards' place in the lineup. They also victimized the Blackhawks' third defensive pairing: Carter drove the net while Chicago's Nick Leddy failed to knock him off the puck, and Penner swept home the rebound of Carter's backhand when Brookbank couldn't move him out of the crease.
Chicago tied it late in the period when Hjalmarsson launched a long shot through Bickell's screen and past Quick. Kane tapped it home for a much-needed boost for the prolific scorer who had managed just two goals in the playoffs after getting 23 in the regular season.
After Hossa scored his second goal of the series, Quick made an exceptional glove save on Kane later in the third period. But Quick and the Kings have yielded 10 goals in the series - the same number they gave up in six first-round games and seven second-round games.
"It's a loss. They're all the same," Quick said. "We've just got to win one game. That's all we've got to do."
NOTES: The Kings lost at home in regulation just four times in the regular season. ... Brookbank played only 6:50 and was a minus-2, but coach Joel Quenneville praised his work. ... Los Angeles captain Dustin Brown has one goal in the last nine games, none in the conference finals. Top scorer Anze Kopitar has one goal in 13 games, also none in this series. Brown and Kopitar tied for the NHL playoff scoring lead last season with 20 points apiece.
MIAMI (AP) - One by one, Tony Parker was confronted by Miami's Big Three, surrounded even as the shot clock ticked toward zero and his San Antonio Spurs clung to a two-point lead.
And just when Parker appeared to have nowhere to go, when everything was going wrong for the speedy French point guard, he did what he's done these entire playoffs, and his entire career for that matter. He found a way.
Parker's leaning, twisting, step-through bank shot with 5.2 seconds left lifted the Spurs to a 92-88 victory over the Heat in Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Thursday night, a massive first step toward the franchise's fifth championship.
"It was a crazy play," said Parker, who finished with 21 points and six assists. "I thought I lost the ball three or four times. And it didn't work out like I wanted it to. At the end, I was just trying to get a shot up. It felt good when it left my hand. I was happy it went in."
The shot punctuated a triumphant return to the finals for the Spurs, who haven't been here since 2007. Capturing title No. 5 may be the most difficult task yet for these ageless Spurs, who handed the star-studded Heat just their fifth loss at home this season.
James and the Heat had slashed a seven-point, fourth-quarter deficit to two with 30 seconds remaining, and that's when Parker pulled out practically every trick in a bag stuffed full of them over a 12-year career to clinch Game 1.
The 31-year-old engine of the Spurs was face-to-face with Chris Bosh after a screen near the top of the key to start the possession. Parker immediately scooted past him to the right, leaving one Heat All-Star in the dust. He then avoided a swipe at the ball from Dwyane Wade as he headed toward the baseline.
Nice try, All-Star No. 2.
When he got close to the baseline, Parker was met by James, the reigning MVP. He lost the handle when James came to help, but was able to pull the ball back in and maintain possession as he turned his back to the basket and frantically searched for space.
When Parker tried to turn the corner on James and face the basket, he slipped and fell down to his knee, the precious seconds on the shot clock disappearing far too slowly for Heat coach Erik Spoelstra's liking.
"That seemed like a 26-second possession," Spoelstra said. "But we played it all the way through. That's probably what this series is about. It's going to go down to the last tenth of a second. Every single play you have to push through all the way to the end, and we didn't."
And Parker did.
"It seemed like forever, too," he said.
Somehow he gathered himself, stood up, pivoted twice and stepped through an outstretched James' arm. He let the shot fly a split-second before the shot-clock buzzer went off and the ball hit high off the glass, bounced twice on the rim and dropped through the net.
Au revoir, All-Star No. 3.
"Tony did everything wrong and did everything right in the same possession," James said. "He stumbled two or three times. He fell over. And when he fell over, I was like, 'OK, I'm going to have to tie this ball up. ... That was the longest 24 seconds that I've been a part of."
Just the way coach Gregg Popovich drew it up.
"We were very fortunate," Popovich said. "It looked like he lost it two or three times. But he stuck with it. He kept competing. He gained control of it again. He got it up there on the rim. Great effort by Tony, and as I said, we were fortunate."
In some ways, that play represented the entirety of the Spurs' effort in Game 1. The Heat led for most of the first three quarters, shooting 50 percent from the field and threatening to blow the game open on several occasions. But Parker, Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili have all been here before.
They didn't get rattled by the white-clad crowd's roar. They didn't back down when James and Wade barreled toward the rim. They kept their cool, remained focused and never lost hope, even when it seemed to be evaporating all around them.
As Parker dropped to one knee on San Antonio's final possession, Duncan said he had no idea what to think. The seconds were disappearing and James and the Heat were charging, and all Duncan could do was hope his unflappable teammate would find a way.
"I see him go down and I'm just praying he gets a shot off," said Duncan, who had 20 points, 14 rebounds and three blocks. "Obviously, Tony makes an unbelievable play. He does just about everything in the book that he had. He fell to the ground, pump-faked, stepped through, and still got it off the ground. It was just amazing."
All Aboard! That will be a call St. Louisans hear once again at Union Station. Owners of the National Historic Landmark announcing plans Thursday to restore excursion train travel as part of the the renewal of Union Station. KTRS' Vicki Pimentel reports from downtown.
"Union Station was built in 1894 and has weathered good times and bad. Once the busiest railway station in the world, it hasn't housed trains in years. But the purchase last summer by Lodging Hospitality Management seem to signal a new era of commitment to this St. Louis treasure.
Bob O'Loughlin heads up LHM and he's excited about the prospects. "We've had some conversations with the Rams about doing a program with them over to the Kansas City Chiefs preseason game to have fans go over there. We can do Cubs-Cards weekends, we can go to the wine country."
Excursion train travel is expected to be available this Fall. Vicki Pimentel KTRS News"
EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (AP) - Southwestern Illinois officials say hackers may have accessed thousands of credit card n umbers used by people who bought tickets to Edwardsville's Wildey Theatre.
Investigators say as many as 6,000 credit cards were compromised.
Police Chief Jay Keeven says investigators still aren't sure of the full scope of the breach, but say there's no evidence that credit card numbers used to pay city utility bills, court fines or other fees were also accessed.
The historic theater that opened in 1909 is owned by the city.
Still, Keeven said investigators "strongly suggest" people who've conducted business with Edwardsville closely monitor their credit card statements.