The Blackhawks got the first scoring chance of the game on a breakaway opportunity. Artem Anisimov was sprung on a perfect pass, but the combo of Gibson and Fowler were up to the task. Fowler’s persistence forced Anisimov to the backhand and helped Gibson tremendously.
It’s great to see Theodore on the second power play unit instead of Bieksa. It led to much more puck movement and forced the Blackhawks to hover out more toward the blue line. If he stays up with the big club it will continue to create more room for the forwards down low.
The Ducks were flirting with disaster by allowing Chicago to connect on homerun passes all period. The Blackhawks scored the first goal of the game twelve minutes into the period on one such event. Lindholm and Manson were both caught after Patrick Kane got behind them. Manson was forced to leave Anisimov and challenge the obviously more dangerous Kane. This led to a great scoring chance and the eventual rebound goal. The Blackhawks carried the 1-0 lead into the first intermission.
On the first shift of the period, Silfverberg hit the short side post. Hey Carlyle, please give the Swede more opportunities on the left side of the ice. His shot always seems to be more dangerous and accurate from that wing.
Bieksa took the first Anaheim penalty of the game by whiffing on the puck (per usual) and letting the Chicago player skate unimpeded toward Gibson. All he could do was take a slashing penalty to try to minimize the scoring chance. His penalty led directly to a power play goal by Patrick Kane. John Gibson dropped to the ice before the pass leaving himself in an precarious position. Kane put it right between his arm and body to increase the lead to 2-0. If Gibson was up on his feet before the pass he would be able to square up more appropriately to the shooter and not have to make a desperate looking save.
Ryan Hartman built the lead to 3-0 fifteen minutes into the second period. After Bieksa took himself out of the play going for a check, Theodore turned the puck over in the middle of the slot. With every forward already breaking up the ice, Hartman had all the time in the world to pick a corner past Gibson.
Hey who thought this would ever happen? Nick Ritchie actually did something away from Getzlaf and Perry. Ten seconds after the Hawks goal, Ritchie hit the top corner through Seabrook’s legs to make it a 3-1 game. I have to give Ritchie credit and award him the Wesley Snipes award of the game for obvious reasons.
For the second time this afternoon, Silfverberg’s shot caught the plumbing. A few minutes later Ondrej Kase thought he got the first goal of his young career; however, it was immediately waived off. Even though the puck may not have gone in with a distinct kicking motion, the puck cannot be dropped off a glove into the goal without touching the same player’s stick. Regardless, Kase is a gamer. I’d love to see him with Rakell and maybe even Perry at some point.
At 8:51 into the period the Ducks made it 3-2. Silfverberg finally broke through with a wrap around goal. The winger was able to take advantage of Corey Crawford being out of position.
The Ducks had their chances to tie the game but ultimately could not get it done. The team played very well against a great Blackhawks team and should continue to play the same type of game. With some better goaltending, it is only a matter of time before they go on a winning streak.
The team will be back in action tomorrow night in San Jose against the Sharks.