After a thrilling Game 2 that went to triple overtime, the Chicago Blackhawks wanted to keep their perfect 5-0 home record intact, while the Anaheim Ducks were looking to bounce back after a heartbreaking loss. Fortunately for the players, this game did not need overtime, as Anaheim won the game 2-1 to take back the lead in the series.
Western Conference Final – Game Three
Despite the loss in Game 2, the Ducks iced the same lineup in Game 3. Chicago on the other hand, made a few changes. In came Kris Versteeg, Joakim Nordstrom, and Kyle Cumiskey, and out went Antoine Vermette, Teuvo Teravainen, and David Rundblad.
Considering the amount of hockey played in the last game, it wasn’t much of a surprise to see both teams playing sloppier than they normally would. This lead to a number of turnovers in the first period, some creating good scoring chances, so both Frederik Andersen and Corey Crawford had to be sharp.
Halfway through the period Ryan Kesler took a holding penalty, then just over a minute later Marian Hossa got called for one as well. After Kesler’s penalty had expired, the Ducks got to go on the powerplay (which was the only one they got all game) and they made it count. With Corey Perry and Patrick Maroon creating traffic, Hampus Lindholm took a shot from the point, and Maroon tipped it in to give the Ducks a 1-0 lead. Anaheim finally got their powerplay working after going 0-for-1 and 0-for-5 in Games 1 and 2 respectively.
Shortly after the goal, Jakob Silfverberg got called for high sticking, and it turned out to be a double minor. Chicago couldn’t get anything going on the powerplay though, going 0-for-4 on the period. The Blackhawks did get on the board late in the period, when a miscommunication between three Ducks left the puck on Patrick Kane’s stick, and he was able to backhand it home to tie the game in the final minute of the first.
However, the Ducks would respond with a last minute goal of their own in the second period. With three Ducks near the blue line, Cam Fowler passed the puck to Ryan Getzlaf, who set up Simon Despres for the one timer, giving the lead back to Anaheim. Perry was in front of the net again providing the screen, which prevented Crawford from finding the puck until it was too late.
Chicago shifted gears in the third period, outshooting Anaheim 11-5 after being outshot 22-18 throughout the first two periods. Andersen made a number of key saves, bailing out his team when they continuously iced the puck late in the game. The Blackhawks got one final chance in the dying seconds, when Kane got a semi-breakaway on a broken play, but he couldn’t bury it.
It was a good bounce back game for the Ducks. They got timely goals, saves, and played well defensively. They had 26 blocked shots compared to Chicago’s 9, as well as 17 more hits. They did a good job at keeping the Madhouse on Madison relatively quiet.
The Ducks now lead the series two games to one, with Game 4 being on Saturday at 8:00 EST.