Final Score: Ducks 2, Blackhawks 3, 3OT
First Period Recap:
Jonathan Toews had a great chance in the first minute of the game, accepting a pass from the blue line to where he stood to the left of Frederik Andersen and taking a turnaround shot that Freddy stopped. A little more than a minute later, Patrick Maroon gave the Blackhawks their first power play opportunity when he took a boarding penalty, and it didn't take the Hawks' first unit that long to score. Toews and Duncan Keith passed back and forth high on the left side a couple of times before Keith took a slapshot from the point. Andrew Shaw beat Clayton Stoner for net front position and tipped the puck between Andersen's legs. 1-0 Blackhawks.
About a minute later, the Ducks' third line had a good shift, but Nate Thompson fanned on a centering pass when Andrew Cogliano was in the slot, and they did not get another great chance. The next shift saw the Hawks' first line and the Ducks' second line trade chances, starting with Marian Hossa taking a shot off an odd-man rush, which Andersen stopped. Then Sami Vatanen skated the puck all the way into the offensive zone where he made a good pass to Ryan Kesler in the middle of the ice. Toews' backchecking negated the scoring chance when he knocked the puck away from Kesler.
A minute after that, Stoner hit Marcus Kruger and he crashed into the boards, and after the whistle Stoner hit Andrew Shaw pretty high as Shaw skated in to Kruger's defense (or something like that). Stoner was lucky to end up with only two minutes in the box. Unfortunately, he didn't stay there for all two. The penalty kill actually started well with Thompson making an impressive play at the defensive blue line to break free and go in on a partial two-on-one with Kesler, but Keith made an excellent play to dive and knock the puck to the corner before Thompson could get a shot off. After the Hawks regained possession and zone time, Brad Richards took a slapshot from the right side that bounced around near Andersen and ultimately found its way to the back of the net when Marian Hossa and Simon Despres both swiped at the puck. It went off both their sticks, first Hossa's and then Despres', and then into the net. Two power play goals in the first seven minutes for Chicago. 2-0 Blackhawks.
About nine minutes in, Matt Beleskey took two shots, first a long wrister that Corey Crawford held for the whistle. After the ensuing faceoff, Beleskey took the puck to the net and forced Crawford to make a slightly better save.
Just before the halfway mark, Kimmo Timonen stepped up on Kyle Palmieri in the Ducks' zone, and Palmieri made a good play to spin off of him and pass ahead to Nate Thompson, who, once he gained the zone, passed to Cam Fowler. The puck then bounced back toward Thompson, who threw it toward the net, where it redirected off Cogliano's right skate and Bryan Bickell's leg before finding its way past the goal line. A brief review confirmed that Cogliano did not kick it in. 2-1 Blackhawks.
On the next shift, Chicago's third line got some good zone time after Stoner turned the puck over, but Andersen didn't have to be spectacular to keep them from scoring. Later, Jakob Silfverberg brought the crowd to their feet by knocking Hossa off his, and then Francois Beauchemin broke up a dangerous-looking pass from Brandon Saad that otherwise might have found its way to the slot.
With about two minutes remaining, the Ducks' fourth line of Rickard Rakell, Emerson Etem, and Jiri Sekac played a phenomenal shift, hemming the Hawks in their zone for quite a while. Crawford made the saves he had to, none of which had to be highlight-reel quality. The shift ended with a Chicago icing, and Joel Quenneville used his timeout. Following the next faceoff, the Hawks cleared the zone but the puck took a favorable bounce off a linesman to Beauchemin, who passed to Ryan Getzlaf. The Captain walked into the zone and fired a slapshot that rang off the post [Ed Note: and literally into ROW N, AS IN NANCY, OF THE UPPER LEVEL. That was one section over from me. I have never seen anything like that in my life. -CK].
Half a minute later, Hampus Lindholm gave up the puck in his zone, handing the Hawks a pair of good scoring chances, which came off the sticks of Hossa and Keith. Andersen made both saves.
Second Period Recap:
Patrick Kane got a good chance on the first shift of the period, slowing down as he gained the zone on the right wing and then sending a wrist shot on Andersen that the goaltender blocked away. A minute later, Lindholm's point shot got blocked and the Hawks went the other way. Hossa passed to Saad in a very dangerous position, but Saad couldn't control it and instead it bounced to Kruger, who got a shot off that Andersen saved but couldn't cover. The puck bounced around the slot a little bit, ending up on the stick of Niklas Hjalmarsson, whose shot didn't get all the way through. The Hawks then controlled play in the Ducks' zone for another entire minute, and only a combination of good fortune and good saves kept them from scoring.
A few minutes later, Beleskey forced a turnover from Johnny Oduya and the puck ended up on Kesler's stick. Kesler then skated into the middle of the ice and sent a backhander on net. Crawford made the save. Three minutes after that, the Getzlaf line had a good cycling shift with the help of Vatanen, which ended when Crawford covered Maroon's wraparound. Half a minute later, Lindholm found the puck in the high slot and unleashed a wrist shot that Crawford had to be sharp to stop.
Just past the halfway mark, Rakell made a sneaky pass to Etem by kicking the puck forward immediately after a faceoff, and Etem made a good move to get to the net, where he took a shot that couldn't beat the goaltender. Later on in the same shift, Patrick Sharp hooked Sekac as he skated through the neutral zone and gave the Ducks a power play. They had some halfway decent chances in the two minutes, but nothing really threatening. Toward the end of the power play, the Hawks looked like they were about to go on a shorthanded rush when Fowler knocked the puck out of their reach.
With under four minutes remaining, Rakell dropped the puck to Sekac, who rushed in on the left wing and toe-dragged around Kyle Cumiskey before getting a shot off that was saved. The shift ended with Rakell and Crawford making contact with each other as Crawford ventured outside his crease. Oduya intervened, and there was much gnashing of teeth.
About a minute later, the Ducks' first line played by far their best shift of the game, with good work from all three forwards. The shift ended with Getzlaf faking a slapshot from above the right circle as Shaw skated by him, then shooting with a wrist shot that Corey Perry redirected beautifully past Crawford's glove. The crowd exploded for the Twin's first goal of the series. 2-2 tie.
The fourth line took yet another good shift after that, and then the second line had a good shift that resulted in Keith cross-checking Silfverberg into Crawford, putting the Ducks back on the power play. Up a man, Perry made a great pass from below the left circle to Vatanen, who was skating into the right circle, but the puck bounced off Sami's stick and toward Crawford, who covered.
With about twenty seconds remaining in the period, Saad rushed up the ice shorthanded while Kruger skated to the net. Silfverberg knocked Kruger over, earning himself two minutes for interference, and the period ended with a brief bit of four-on-four that carried over into the third.
Third Period Recap:
Getzlaf tripped Saad at the beginning of the period, handing the Blackhawks a huge opportunity: a brief 4 on 3, then a minute of 5 on 3 and another 40 seconds of 5 on 4. The Hawks' best two chances came on the 5 on 3: a Hossa one-timer (pass from Kane) and then a deadly-looking wrister from Kane in the high slot. Andersen made both saves, including a beauty with he glove on Kane. Kesler wrapped up the PK with a diving play to disrupt the offense, and the Ducks ended up with a huge kill.
The Ducks' first chance of the period came at even strength with Lindholm sending a wrist shot wide of the net. The puck bounced out of the zone and the Hawks appeared to have a three-on-one developing, but they only had those numbers because six men were on the ice. The ref made the right call and the Ducks went on the power play. Vatanen created the Ducks only two chances, both at the very beginning, first by throwing one on net and watching the bounces, and then by rushing into the zone after the Hawks had cleared it and forcing Crawford to make a decent save. After that, the Hawks' PK was excellent, highlighted by Oduya winning a battle with Getzlaf behind Crawford's net and helping to move the puck out.
At even strength again, Cogliano and Palmieri teamed up for a rush, but didn't produce. Then the Ducks' top line iced the puck three times in a row, but the Hawks could not take advantage. A minute or so later, Bickell found himself with the puck around the right circle, but he fanned on the shot and Despres cleared the puck away. A minute later, Andersen made two saves: first on a Sharp turnaround shot, then on a very dangerous attempt by Teuvo Teravainen. Then Palmieri and Keith both took wrist shots that didn't get to the goalies, and Shaw finished off a good shift with two shots, both stopped by Andersen. Kesler had a couple of opportunities later on.
Fifteen minutes into the period, Kruger grabbed on to Vatanen, preventing him from making a play, and handing the Ducks a late power play. Saad was the best player for either team during the ensuing two minutes, rushing up the ice and killing valuable time. Getzlaf, Perry, and Maroon finished the power play with some good puck control, which continued after the penalty expired, but Crawford did all he had to.
Palmieri had the last good chance of regulation, wiring a slapshot at the net that Crawford stopped. Niklas Hjalmarsson iced the puck at the very end, setting up a faceoff with one second remaining. Getzlaf shot the puck from the dot, and it bounced up and fluttered before Crawford gloved it.
First Overtime Recap:
Crawford made things interesting by starting off the overtime with a turnover to Silfverberg. He then made a save on Silf's shot. Hossa took a shot right after the puck went the other way, and Andersen stopped it. The teams traded dangerous chances a couple minutes later when Kane passed to Richards, whose one-timer was blocked by Vatanen, and then Cogliano took a shot that was stopped by Crawford but Palmieri almost made something happen with the rebound.
Eight minutes into the period, Kane took a swing at a bouncing puck right in front of Andersen. He barely missed the puck, and Freddy covered up. On the next shift, Silfverberg stole the puck near the offensive blue line and passed to Beleskey, who charged toward the crease and sent a backhander just over the net.
A minute after that, Thompson fanned on a shot and sent Teravainen and Sharp going the other way. Sharp took the shot and Andersen made a really nice save. Then, almost exactly halfway through the period, Perry skated up the right wing and fired a wrist shot that beat Crawford and hit the iron.
Forty seconds later, Hjalmarsson tripped Etem in the Hawks' zone, giving the Ducks a huge power play. Vatanen equaled Perry by letting loose a one timer that also beat Crawford and rang off the crossbar. The Ducks never got another good chance on the man advantage.
A couple minutes later, Sharp sent a nice pass to Antoine Vermette, who forced Andersen to make an impressive save on his wrist shot. Three minutes after that, Lindholm coughed up the puck at his blue line Kane took it and skated the other way before taking a wrist shot that Andersen got his glove on.
The Ducks ended up with one last dangerous shift in the first overtime when Perry crashed the crease and Crawford lost his stick for at least thirty seconds. Etem and Beauchemin both had chances during that sequence, but neither could get the puck on net. The teams headed to their locker rooms after 80 minutes of inconclusive hockey despite several incredible chances by both teams in overtime.
Second Overtime Recap:
Palmieri started things out with a wraparound attempt that didn't get past Crawford. A minute later, Kruger sent a beautiful pass through Vatanen and Stoner to a wide open Shaw in the slot. Shaw took the one-timer from the most dangerous spot on the ice but Andersen shut him down.
A few minutes after that, Teravainen took a shot from high in the zone on a broken play that Andersen made a save on. Not long after, Thompson lost the puck in his own zone and Richards grabbed it and passed to Bickell, who raced in on the left wing and let fly a wrister that Freddy stopped.
On the next shift, Hossa shot one from above the circles that rebounded off Andersen to Hjalmarsson, who shot it for another rebound that went to Toews, whose shot Andersen also saved. That makes three consecutive great stops on three different players. It was the Ducks' turn to almost score a couple shifts later, because Vatanen hit the iron with a wicked shot for the second time since regulation ended, and then Rakell and Perry both took shots that Crawford saved.
A minute after that, the Ducks took a penalty for too many men, and the Hawks very nearly ended the game on the ensuing power play. Kane took a shot from the right side, and the puck bounced in the air toward Shaw, who knocked the puck in with his head. The entire Chicago bench emptied onto the ice for the usual playoff overtime victory jubilation, but alas Toronto overturned the goal because you are not allowed to direct the puck in with something other than your stick. Wow. What a game. What. A. Game.
The Ducks finished the penalty kill with a strong effort, including a nice hit on Hossa by Stoner. A couple minutes later, the Ducks almost ended it again. Perry lost the handle in the left circle and the puck made its way to Fowler in the high slot, who absolutely ripped it, but Crawford came up huge with a shoulder/chest/neck save. Seconds later, Perry got himself an even better chance, finding the puck right in front of the net in prime Corey Perry territory. He shot it low glove side, and Crawford came up with a save nobody should have expected him to make.
On Perry's next shift, he passed to Maroon from behind the net and Crawford made another great save on the Big Dog. A little later, he made another save on Palmieri and sent the puck the other way, where the Hawks dominated for about a minute. Seabrook took two booming shots during that time, one of which was blocked and the other of which was saved by Andersen.
The last two minutes featured another phenomenal chance for each team. First, Rakell made a great pass to Perry, who was in alone on Crawford, but he redirected the puck just wide of the stick side. After that, Kane passed to Vermette in the slot, and the former 'Yote got two good whacks at the puck. Andersen stopped both, and the period came to an end.
Third Overtime Recap:
Maroon had the first two good opportunities of the third OT during a good shift from the top line, but Crawford made both saves. At the end of that shift, Fowler threw one in front that looked dangerous but was cleared before anything could happen. The Hawks had the next good chance when Cumiskey shot-passed to Vermette, who tipped it wide of the net.
Stoner got a good hit on Kruger and Shaw also hit Getzlaf. Then Palmieri dragged it toward the net, Crawford made a save, and Palmieri went off briefly with what looked like a minor tweak, but he returned shortly thereafter looking fine. Andersen then made a save off a Teravainen snapshot from the left circle.
Seven and a half minutes in, Kesler and Silfverberg went in on a partial two-on-one, and after Kesler passed to Silfverberg, Silf couldn't get the shot on net. Then Despres and Bickell tussled with each other while laying on the ice as Kane walked into the Ducks zone and tried to set up an odd-man rush that ended up failing. After that, Beauchemin made a nice pass to Palmieri in the slot, who forced Crawford to make yet another really good save.
With seven minutes remaining, Lindholm' stick broke and Perry gave him his, allowing the Hawks significant zone time that might have been even more significant if not for a good block by stick-less Perry. Two minutes after that, Palmieri accepted a beautiful pass from either Cogliano or Thompson and took a shot from the slot that Seabrook blocked. That would be the Ducks' last great chance of the night.
Sixteen minutes into the sixth period, Seabrook took a point shot that deflected off Kruger's stick and into the net. No doubt about the legality of this one. Absolute heartbreaker for the Ducks, who outplayed their opponent in that last period. 3-2 Blackhawks.
The Good: If it was possible for me to look at this game a little more objectively, I might be able to say that this was one of the best hockey games I have ever seen. Not only did this one take six periods, but all six of those periods were extremely entertaining, especially the overtimes. Overall, the Ducks had the better of the play, but not by a huge margin. Palmieri, Vatanen, and Perry looked excellent, most of the team looked pretty good, and Andersen played better than can ever be expected of any goalie.
The Bad: The discipline in the first period wasn't good, and the penalty kill was worse. That's the thing about playing a team like Chicago: Even if most of your game is good, you only need a couple of rough patches to make the difference.
The Ugly: Losing, plain and simple. Losing a triple-OT game after hitting the posts and crossbar three separate times after regulation ended. Losing on home ice in front of all of those fans. Losing a chance to go up 2-0 in the Conference Final.
3rd Icehole: Marcus Kruger — He played a solid game all-around, and he capped it off by ending the longest game in Blackhawks history.
2nd Icehole: The Iron — Came up huge when Chicago needed it most.
1st Icehole: Corey Crawford — This was a goaltending duel for the ages, and the man they call Crow came out on top after a brilliant performance with 60 saves on 62 shots.
Next Game: Game 3, Thursday May 21 5:00 PM PST @ United Center