NHL Western Conference Finals Game Five: Chicago Blackhawks at Anaheim Ducks

2015 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs
Western Conference Finals Game #5
#3 Chicago Blackhawks at #1 Anaheim Ducks
Best of Seven Series Tied 2-2

Honda Center – Anaheim, California
Monday, May 25, 2015, 9:05 pm Eastern, TV: NBC Sports
Opening Line: Anaheim -135 / Chicago +115
Current Line: Anaheim -140 / Chicago +120
Opening Total: over 5 -110 / under 5 -110
Current Total: over 5 -135 / under 5 +115

The Ducks and Blackhawks are tied at 2-2 in the Western Conference Finals.
The Ducks and Blackhawks are tied at 2-2 in the Western Conference Finals.

The Chicago Blackhawks are 4-0 this post season in multiple overtime games. The Blackhawks beat Anaheim Ducks Saturday 5-4 in double overtime in game four of the Western Conference Finals Saturday night. The series is now tied at 2 and game five is Monday in Anaheim.

Chicago, coached by Joel Quenneville, finished third in the Central Division with 102 points. The Blackhawks beat the Nashville Predators in six games in the first round, and swept the Minnesota Wild in four games in the conference semifinals.

Anaheim, coached by Bruce Boudreau,  won the Pacific Division with 109 points, and had the best record in the Western Conference. The Ducks swept the Winnipeg Jets in the first round and beat the Calgary Flames in five games in the semifinals.

Anaheim won game against Chicago 4-1. The Blackhawks tied the series with a 3-2 win in triple overtime in game two. Anaheim won 2-1 in Chicago in game three. Chicago won game four that featured one of the wildest third periods in NHL playoff history.

Chicago left wing Brandon Saad scored an unassisted shorthanded goal with less than a minute left in the first. Anaheim tied it up late in the second on a goal from Emerson Etem, assisted by Kyle Palmieri and Francois Beauchemin.

Jonathan Toews gave Chicago a 2-1 lead, less than three minutes into the third, assited by Marian Hossa and Saad. Chicago would make it 3-1 five minutes later on a goal from Brent Seabrook, assisted by Saad and Toews. Anaheim would then score three goals in a 37 second span to take a 4-3 lead. Ryan Kesler scored just over a minute after Seabrook’s goal, assisted by Jakob Silfverberg and Andrew Cogliano. Matt Beleskey scored an unassisted goal 23 seconds later. Corey Perry scored 14 seconds later assisted by Ryan Getzlaf.

It was the second fastest three goal scoring binge in playoff history. The Toronto Maple Leafs scored 3 goals in 23 seconds in a 1979 playoff game against the Atlanta Flames. Ironically, Chicago coach Quenneville recorded an assist for Toronto on one of those goals.

Patrick Kane scored a power play goal for Chicago three minutes after Perry’s goal, assisted by Brad Ricahrds and Duncan Keith. Neither team would score again in regulation. Anaheim dominated the two over periods with 21 shots to 7 for Chicago. Despite this, Antoine Vermette scored the game winner for Chicago five minutes into the second overtime, assisted by Patrick Sharp and Teuvo Teravainen.

Chicago goalie Corey Crawford made 47 saves on 51 shots. Anaheim goalie Frederik Andersen made 35 saves on 40 shots. Anaheim was 0/2 on the power play and Chicago was 1/4. The Ducks had 60 hits to 52 for Chicago. Anaheim had 26 turnovers to 30 for Chicago. The Blackhawks won 48 faceoffs to 40 for Anaheim.

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Chicago is outscoring teams 3.00-2.86. The Blackhawks are #3 in scoring in the playoffs but #12 in goals allowed. Chicago is 8/42 (19%) on the power play and 32/42 (76.2%) on the penalty kill. Chicago has 3 short handed goals and hasn’t allowed any. The Blackhawks average 34.1 shots per game and opponents average 37.9 per game.

Chicago has used 2 goalies in the playoffs. Crawford struggled against Nashville in the first round and was benched in favor of Scott Darling for four games in that series. Darling struggled too, and Crawford has started every game since. Crawford is 7-3 in the playoffs with 2.36 GAA. He has a save percentage of .936 with one shutout. Darling is 3-1 with a 2.22 GAA. He has a save percentage of .936.

Patrick Kane has 9 goals and 6 assists. Jonathan Toews has 5 goals and 9 assists. Duncan Keith has 2 goals and 10 assists. Patrick Sharp has 4 goals and 6 assists. Marian Hossa has 2 goals and 8 assists. Brad Richards has 2 goals and 6 assists. Three other players have at least 6 points in the playoffs. Defenseman Michal Rozival is out for the season with an ankle injury. Chicago was using only 4 defensemen, but called up a couple of players from the minors for help on the blue line.

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Anaheim is outscoring teams 3.62-2.15 in the playoffs. The Ducks are first in both categories among the 16 playoff teams. Anaheim is 10/38 (26.3%) on the power play and 39/48 (85.4%) on the penalty kill. The Ducks are #2 in power play percentage and #4 in penalty killing. Anaheim has allowed two short handed goals. The Ducks average 36.2 shots per game and allow 30.5 per game.

Andersen is 10-3 in the playoffs with a 1.92 GAA. He has a save percentage of .929 with one shutout.

Corey Perry has 9 goals and 8 assists. Ryan Getzlaf has 2 goals and 15 assists. Jakob Silfverberg has 4 goals and 10 assists. Ryan Kesler has 5 goals and 5 assists. Hampus Lindholm has 2 goals and 7 assists. Sami Vatanen has 2 goals and 6 assists. Six other players have at least seven points in the playoffs.

Chicago is 6-1 on one day rest, 7-2 against Pacific teams, against teams with winning records, overall and against Western Conference teams, 35-17 in Monday games, and 49-24 after scoring 5 goals or more. The road team is 6-2 in this series recently. The Blackhawks have won 4 of the last 5 in Anaheim.

Anaheim is 38-13 against Western Conference teams, 5-2 in Conference Finals games, 49-20 in Monday games, 39-16 against Central teams, 28-12 on one day rest, 65-31 at home, and 47-23 overall. The under is 19-6-2 in this series recently, including 3-0-2 in Anaheim.

Anaheim still has home ice advantage in what is now a best of three series. Still, if they do end up losing this series, they will look back in regret at games two and four. Anaheim had so many chances in both games and lost each in heartbreaking fashion. I think the Ducks pull out a close victory in game five in a low scoring game.

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