CHICAGO (AP) -- Patrick Kane was right there again. Slicing through the middle of the ice, setting up his teammates for prime opportunities. Using his skills to beat another hot goaltender.
When it comes to the Stanley Cup finals, the talented forward just loves to put on a show.
Kane scored two goals, Corey Crawford made 24 saves and the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Boston Bruins 3-1 on Saturday night to move within one victory of their second championship in four years.
"This is what you work for all year, all summer, when you're training throughout the year, at training camp, whatever it may be," Kane said. "This is what you work for, this opportunity. We've got to seize the moment and take advantage of it."
Kane had a terrific postseason when Blackhawks won it all in 2010, including the winning score in a 4-3 overtime victory in Philadelphia that secured Chicago's first title in 49 years. Now he's picking up steam with the Blackhawks set to play for another Stanley Cup on Monday night in Boston, collecting seven goals in the last seven games.
Dave Bolland added an empty-net score, Toews had two assists and Bryan Bickell was credited with a team-high six hits and an assist. Toews also won nine of his 12 faceoffs before leaving with an upper-body injury.
"We're hopeful he'll be ready next game," said coach Joel Quenneville, providing the usual vague description of injuries that's so common in the NHL playoffs.
The Bruins also lost one of their key players when Patrice Bergeron was hurt in the second. It was unclear what happened to the star center, but the team said he was taken to a hospital for observation.
"As far as we're concerned, he's just getting evaluated right now," coach Claude Julien said. "Not much I can say on his situation."
Zdeno Chara scored in the third period for the Bruins, who lost consecutive games for the first time since the first round against Toronto. Tuukka Rask made 29 saves, keeping the Bruins close while they scrambled to generate quality chances.
"We just ran out of time," Rask said.
Chara got a nice pass from David Krejci from behind the net and beat Crawford on the glove side to make it 2-1 at 3:40 in the third period. The whistling slap shot by the big defenseman came after he was on the ice for five of Chicago's goals in the Blackhawks' 6-5 overtime victory Wednesday night.
The location of Chara's third postseason goal brought to mind the glove-side difficulties for Crawford in Game 4. But he held up just fine coming off the worst postseason game of his career.
"I think it was a big effort by everyone to come back, play defensively, block shots, sacrifice our bodies to block those pucks and quickly get on to offense," he said.
Crawford gloved Daniel Paille's slap shot early in the third, and the Blackhawks helped their embattled goaltender by turning up the pressure on Rask after the Bruins cut it to one. Kane forced Rask to make a couple of nice stops, and Michael Frolik also made a run to the net.
The Blackhawks survived one last push by the Bruins after they pulled Rask, and the crowd of 22,274 roared when the overhead videoboard showed the No. 1 and the Stanley Cup on the screen, signifying the team is one victory away from its fifth title.
"We understand the situation and what's at stake, but our mindset is going in there and trying to have the best game possible," defenseman Duncan Keith said. "It's no different from tonight's game."
Not so for Boston.
"It's do or die," Julien said. "We've been there before, and we've done well in that situation."
Boston and Chicago returned to the ice three days after they played the highest-scoring game in this year's NHL playoffs.
It was a marked departure from the first three games of the finals, and raised questions about what the play would be like in the last part of the series. The answer, at least in Game 5, was a return to the strong team defense and disciplined play. It meant little room to maneuver in both offensive zones, especially for the series' biggest stars - except Kane.
"Guys that have that kind of innate skill of scoring and being a top player, they anticipate like the rest of us would like to," Quenneville said.
With 2 1/2 minutes left in the first, Johnny Oduya's long slap shot broke the stick of Boston defenseman Dennis Seidenberg and trickled to the left side of the net where Kane poked it in for eighth playoff goal.
The line of Kane, Toews and Bickell, which Quenneville put back together before Game 4, struck again in the second. Bickell was stopped by Rask on a rush along the left side, but skated behind the net and threw it back in front.
The puck went off the right side of the goal as Rask got his blocker to the post. Kane then deftly backhanded the bouncing puck into the top of the net to make it 2-0 at 5:13.
"You're not going to get those chances often, so it was good to bury them," he said.
That proved to be enough for Crawford, who has allowed one goal or less in nine games this postseason. But this one had to be particularly satisfying after facing a barrage of questions about his glove over the past two days.
"I have a job to do," said Crawford, who watched from the stands when the Blackhawks won it all in 2010. "Whatever is being said doesn't really affect what I'm going to do on the ice."
Since the NHL went to a best-of-seven format for the Stanley Cup in 1939, the winner of Game 5 in a deadlocked series has gone on to win the title 15 times in 22 occasions.
Those numbers likely don't scare Boston very much. The Bruins faced the same situation against Vancouver in 2011 and came back to win the championship.
"We're going to fight," center David Krejci said. "We're going to fight with everything we have and force Game 7."
NOTES: Bruins rookie Carl Soderberg made his first career playoff appearance when Julien decided to scratch Kaspars Daugavins. The 27-year-old Soderberg played a little more than 14 minutes in his first game since April 28. ... Former Blackhawks G Ed Belfour received a loud ovation and chants of "Ed-die! Ed-die!" when he was shown on the videoboard in the second period. ... Actress Michelle Pfeiffer and her husband David Kelley, a TV writer and producer, attended the game. ... The Bruins had no power plays.
ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Nelson Cruz snapped a ninth-inning tie with a two-run single through a drawn-in infield and the Texas Rangers beat the St. Louis Cardinals 6-4 Friday night in the opener of a series between 2011 World Series opponents.
Derek Holland was strong at the end of a seven-inning stint after a shaky start, Neal Cotts (4-1) escaped a bases-loaded jam in the eighth when Jon Jay tapped out on a full-count pitch and Joe Nathan finished for his 23rd save in 24 chances. All of Cotts' decisions have come this month.
Left fielder David Murphy robbed Carlos Beltran of an extra-base hit and saved a run with a running catch at the wall in left-center to end it.
Allen Craig had two hits and two RBIs, plus he made a handful of outstanding plays at first base for the Cardinals. Joe Kelly worked five scoreless innings after Tyler Lyons was yanked in the second.
The opener of the three-game series drew a sellout of 45,228 to Busch Stadium, where the Cardinals closed out the '11 Series with wild wins in Games 6 and 7.
This game had some of the drama that made that series one of the best in recent memory.
Trevor Rosenthal (1-1) struck out two in a perfect eighth but gave up two hits, botched a sacrifice attempt for an error and threw a wild pitch to the backstop in the ninth.
Both managers insisted the matchup between 2011 World Series opponents was just another series, with the Cardinals' Mike Matheny noting both rosters have changed a lot and the Rangers' Ron Washington saying he's been over the gut-wrenching feeling left by those two final losses in St. Louis since the start of spring training in 2012.
Holland struck out the side in the seventh and retired the final 12 in order. Holland allowed three doubles and a walk to the first four hitters in the Cardinals' three-run first but gave up few hard-hit balls thereafter.
Andrus was in a 2-for-25 slump before his two-run single in the second chased Lyons, who lasted 1 2-3 innings. A.J. Pierzynski and Mitch Moreland opened the innings with doubles for a run and Nelson Cruz greeted Kelly with an RBI single to cap a four-run rally that put the Rangers up 4-3.
After winning his first two career starts for a rotation hit hard by injuries, Lyons is 0-3 with an 8.19 ERA in four outings. Kelly was 5-7 in 16 starts last year after replacing injured Jaime Garcia and could replace Lyons.
The Cardinals jumped on Holland in the first with three doubles and a walk the first four at-bats with Beltran driving in a run and Craig getting two RBIs. Pete Kozma doubled to open the second, advanced on the first of Kelly's two sacrifice bunts, and scored on a passed ball.
NOTES: The Rangers' top pitching prospect, lefty Martin Perez, will be recalled from Triple-A Round Rock to make his second career start Saturday. Perez is 5-1 with a 1.75 ERA in the minors. Washington said talk about an extended stay in the rotation was very premature. The Cardinals' Shelby Miller (8-4, 2.08) leads NL rookies in ERA. ... Moreland (hamstring) was activated from the 15-day DL earlier in the day and RHP Josh Lindblom was optioned to Triple-A Round Rock.
President Dilma Rousseff called an emergency meeting about the protest with top Cabinet members Friday, after a largely silent and much criticized response to some of the biggest demonstrations seen in this 192 million-person country in decades.
There were also growing calls on social media and in mass emails for a general strike next week. If it materializes, the action could bring in unions and other organized groups to what has so far been an amorphous explosion of discontent over everything from high crime to poor education.
Brazilian media have mercilessly called out Rousseff and other leaders for their confused response to the protests.
"Dilma Rousseff and (Brasilia Gov.) Agnelo Queiroz are the epitome of Brazilian rulers," wrote political commentator Fernando Rodrigues in the country's biggest newspaper, Folha de S. Paulo.
"They embody the perplexity and the lack of leadership capabilities of several parties' politicians vis-a-vis the new phenomena of protests without leaders or defined proposals. ... It seems they are just waiting and hoping the tsunami will end."
To be sure, the lack of any organization or concrete demands behind the protests has made a unified government response nearly impossible. Several cities have cancelled the transit fare hikes that had originally sparked the demonstrations a week ago, but the outrage has only grown more intense.
Gilberto Carvalho, the secretary general of the presidency, provided little direction Friday after a meeting to discuss Pope Francis' planned July visit to Rio de Janeiro for World Youth Day.
"We can't anticipate the future," Carvalho said. "We don't know what it's going to be like. Perhaps things will not be so intense (as the recent protests) but we have to be prepared for anything."
Foreign Minister Antonio Patriota, for one, hit back at protesters the morning after his modernist ministry building was attacked by a boisterous crowd. At one point, smoke billowed from the building, and windows were shattered along its perimeter.
Standing before the battered ministry, he told reporters Friday he "was very angry" that protesters attacked a structure "that represents the search for understanding through dialogue." Patriota called for protesters "to convey their demands peacefully"
"I believe that the great majority of the protesters are not taking part in this violence and are instead looking to improve Brazil's democracy via legitimate forms of protest," Patriota said.
The majority of protesters have been peaceful, and crowds have taken to chanting "No violence! No violence!" when small groups have prepared to burn and smash. The more violent demonstrators have taken over once night has fallen.
Protesters and police clashed in several cities into the early hours Friday.
At least one protester was killed in Sao Paulo state Friday when a driver apparently became enraged about being unable to travel along a street and rammed his car into a group of demonstrators.
In Rio de Janeiro, where an estimated 300,000 demonstrators poured into the seaside city's center, running clashes played out between riot police and clusters of mostly young men with T-shirts wrapped around their faces. But peaceful protesters were also caught up in the fray, too, as police fired tear gas canisters into their midst and at times indiscriminately used pepper spray.
Thundering booms echoed off stately colonial buildings as rubber bullets and gas were fired at fleeing crowds.
At least 40 people were injured in Rio, including protesters such as Michele Menezes, a wisp of a woman whose youthful face and braces belied her 26 years. Bleeding and with her hair singed from the explosion of a tear gas canister, she said she and others took refuge from the violence in an open bar, only to have a police officer toss the canister inside.
The blast ripped through Menezes' jeans, tearing two coin-sized holes on the back of her thighs, and peppered her upper arm with a rash of small holes.
"I was leaving a peaceful protest and it's not the thugs that attack me but the police themselves," said Menezes, removing her wire-rim glasses to wipe her bloodshot eyes.
She later took refuge in a hotel, along with about two dozen youths, families and others who said they had been repeatedly hit with pepper spray by motorcycle police as they also sheltered inside a bar.
Protesters said they would not back down.
"I saw some pretty scary things, but they're not going to shake me. There's another march on the 22nd and I'm going to be there," said 19-year-old university student Fernanda Szuster.
Asked if her parents knew she was joining in the protests, Szuster said: "They know and they're proud. They also protested when they were young. So they think it's great."
Clashes were also reported in the Amazon jungle city of Belem, Porto Alegre in the south, the university town Campinas north of Sao Paulo, the northeastern city of Salvador and dozens of other towns.
The protests took place one week after a violent police crackdown on a small demonstration against an increase in bus and subway fares in Sao Paulo galvanized Brazilians to take their grievances to the streets.
The unrest is hitting the nation as it hosts the Confederations Cup soccer tournament, with tens of thousands of foreign visitors in attendance. It also comes one month before the papal visit, and ahead of the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics, raising concerns about how Brazilian officials will provide security.
Brazilian bishops called a press conference Friday to discuss the papal visit in light of the protests, but no announcement of any changes had been made.
Mass protests have been rare in this country of 190 million people in recent years, and the mushrooming demonstrations of the past week caught Brazilian government officials by surprise while delighting many citizens.
"I think we desperately need this, that we've been needing this for a very, very long time," said Paulo Roberto Rodrigues da Cunha, a 63-year-old clothing store salesman in Rio.
Despite the energy on the street, many protesters said they were unsure how the movement would win real political concessions. People have held up signs asking for everything from education reforms to free bus fares while denouncing the billions of public dollars spent on stadiums in advance of the World Cup and the Olympics.
"This is the start of a structural change in Brazil," said Aline Campos, a 29-year-old publicist in Brasilia. "People now want to make sure their money is well spent, that it's not wasted through corruption."
___ Brooks reported from Sao Paulo. Associated Press writers Marco Sibaja in Brasilia, Stan Lehman in Sao Paulo and Ricardo Zuniga in Salvador contributed to this report.