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Ducks vs Blackhawks BEST/WORST: To the Finale We Go

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NBC loves Chicago so much they are willing to show their minor league team on national television.

Debora Robison, Getty Images

Best: John Gibson

Apparently he really wants that Game 1 start. Although this was not his toughest game, he saw a healthy dose of action from Chicago’s B team. Gibson stopped all 37 shots on goal, which ensured an Anaheim victory. With a combination of some acrobatic saves and some breaks from the plumbing, Gibson picked up his sixth shutout of the season.

He looked much more comfortable compared to his other appearances since returning from injury. There were a fair amount of rebounds he could improve on, but there was far less swimming in the crease. Positives.

If he could stop deciding to get shutouts when I cover games that would be appreciated.

Worst: Giving up 37 shots

No Jonathan Toews. No Marian Hossa. No Artem Anisimov. No Duncan Keith. No Brent Seabrook. No Niklas Hjalmarsson. And Anaheim still found a way to get outshot 37-26. If the Ducks want to make a run through the playoffs they will have to clean up their defensive zone scheme. Come back soon, Cam Fowler.

Best: Offense

Four goals against Corey Crawford aren’t too shabby. Corey Perry, Chris Wagner (two goals in two games), Ryan Kesler, and Rickard Rakell all found themselves on the score sheet. That’s a goal from every single line. Depth on a Carlyle team? We are on apocalypse watch, folks.

The Perry goal came on the power play and was a result of a great pass from Rakell. The two wingers have great chemistry, which thrives on the man advantage. Now if only we can get Getzlaf on their unit to give them a bit more firepower.

Worst: Nick Ritchie

The young forward was demoted to the fourth line to start the game and knew he had to impact for the coaching staff. The way to do that probably (and hopefully) does not involve getting a match penalty. After Michal Rozsival crosschecked Corey Perry hard into the boards, Ritchie decided to try to fight the veteran defenseman. Fighting is understandable. Sucker punching is not. Instead of getting a power play, the Ducks saw themselves short handed and Ritchie was kicked out of the game. He earned himself a hearing with the NHL and will likely be suspended for the final game of the regular season.

Honorable Mention: Jaycob Megna

Congratulations to the 24-year-old defenseman on making his National Hockey League debut. Megna played 15:20 and even about a minute on the penalty kill. He did not stand out very much, but that was nice to see from a defensive-minded rookie. Unless Hampus Lindholm recovers enough to play in the finale, Megna will more than likely get a chance to play another game.

Three Stars:

3. Artemi Panarin

2. Rickard Rakell

1. John Gibson