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Ducks/Hawks Game 1 Instant Reaction

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The noon start threw us off, but we have a mini recap now and the full recap later tonight.

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

It wasn't necessarily pretty, but the Ducks got better as the game went on and ended up taking Game 1 by a score of 4-1 thanks almost entirely to depth scoring.

The first period was awful.  The Ducks were massively outplayed, outshot 16-7 and out attempted 25-11 at 5v5.  The Ducks survived, thanks to Frederik Andersen holding on to anything that came within arm's distance and a seeing eye shot from Hampus Lindholm that gave the Ducks a 1-0 lead.  The only other bright spot of the first period was the penalty kill that put as many shots on Corey Crawford as the Hawks directed toward Freddy.

The second period was better, at least in terms of actual shots on goal (9-8, Chicago) but still they only survived with a one goal lead after 40 minutes.  The Ducks were the more consistent team through the middle 20 but some stretches of extreme pressure from the Blackhawks gave them a 25-18 lead in shot attempts.  The Ducks extended their lead to 2-0 just past the four minute mark when Kyle Palmieri scored on a rebound as he was falling to the ice.  But just to make sure it wasn't too comfortable, Brad Richards scored on a strong individual effort, getting around Francois Beauchemin and firing a perfect shot over Freddy's blocker with only 39 seconds left.

Surprisingly, instead of shelling to the extreme, the Ducks outshot and out attempted the Hawks in the third 12-8 and 17-10, respectively.  The Ducks took two penalties early, but again the PK stood strong, not quite as well as the first period, but still very important going to start the third period with a lead.  Nate Thompson of all people, gave the Ducks some breathing room off of an Andrew Cogliano rebound (shot for the far pad, exactly how they teach it).  A few clenched cheeks later, Jakob Silfverberg gained the blueline and fired the finishing blow off the post, but the rebound went in off of the pile of players crashing the crease and it was officially over.  There was a very short review to see if the puck was kicked in (which I was super paranoid about) but it counted and the Ducks won 4-1.

Head over to Kid Ish's playoffmetrics for some charts and stuff, and we'll have more on this game later tonight.