Road to the Stanley Cup: Blackhawks v Ducks
For the second straight season, the Blackhawks found themselves in a critical Western Conference championship Game 7 against a bruising opponent. This time they prevailed, although not before falling behind 3-2 in the series after collecting a pair of wins in double and triple overtime.
Ducks 4, Hawks1
Game 1: May 17 at Anaheim
Recap: Ducks goalie Frederik Andersen stopped the first 23 shots he saw and finished the game with 33 saves to lead the Ducks to a convincing Game 1 win. The Ducks took the lead in the first period on a Hampus Lindholm goal and improved their record to 5-0 in the postseason when scoring first. Kyle Palmieri doubled the Ducks' lead at the 4:17 mark, before Brad Richards scored late in the second period to make it 2-1. The Ducks added insurance goals in the third period to claim a 1-0 series lead.
John Dietz's stars of the game: Ducks Frederick Anderson, Hampus Lindholm, Nate Thompson
Quote: "They're a good hockey team. I don't think by any means did we expect to steal and take wins from them. It's going to be a fight for us. We have to realize that this is the best team we've faced yet." -- Patrick Kane
Hawks 3, Ducks 2 (3 OT)
Game 2: May 19 at Anaheim
Recap: Marcus Kruger scored at the 16:12 mark of triple overtime to seal a win in the longest game in franchise history. The game, which lasted 116 minutes and 12 seconds and ended at 1:08 a.m. Chicago time, was the longest game since April 9, 1931 when the Blackhawks defeated Montreal 3-2 in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final. The Ducks racked up a whopping 71 hits in the loss. The Hawks raced to a 2-0 lead in the first 6:19 of the game on power play goals from Andrew Shaw and Marian Hossa, but the Ducks rallied with goals from Andrew Cogliano and Corey Perry.
Stars of the game: Corey Crawford, Marcus Kruger, Andrew Shaw
Quote: "It's pretty neat to be a part of. Let's just hope we don't have too many more like that." -- Andrew Shaw, on playing in the longest game in franchise history
Ducks 2, Hawks 1
Game 3: May 21 at Chicago
Recap: The Hawks struggled on the power play, mustering 1 shot on 11:18 of power play time, including a four-minute power play, as the Ducks took a 2-1 series lead. Patrick Maroon scored the opener for the Ducks, but Patrick Kane scored his eighth goal of the playoffs to tie the game at 1 with 57 seconds left in the first period. Simon Despres scored a one-timer with 55 seconds left in the second period to give the Ducks the lead for good. Frederick Anderson made 27 saves for the Ducks.
Stars of the game: Ducks Simon Despres, Ryan Getzlaf, Frederick Anderson
Quote: "We didn't have zone time, we didn't get them tired -- we're the ones getting tired because we had to keep breaking out. I think that was a stretch there where we didn't get the momentum where we should have put a little more heat on them. We had them taking penalties and we didn't make them pay." -- Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville, on the failed four-minute power play
Hawks 5, Ducks 4 (2 OT)
Game 4: May 23 at Chicago
Recap: After being a healthy scratch in Game 3, Antoine Vermette scored the game-winner in double overtime to even the series at two games. Patrick Sharp assisted the game-winner after slipping a pass to Vermette whose shot went past Frederick Anderson. The Ducks almost made it a comeback for the ages. Trailing 3-1, Anaheim scored 3 goals in 37 seconds in the third period to take a 4-3 lead. Patrick Kane tied the game at 4-4 with 7:21 left in regulation to force overtime.
Stars of the game: Antoine Vermette, Brandon Saad, Patrick Sharp
Quote: "No matter who scores, we're happy. But that just shows the character that he has as a person and as a player to come back like that and step up in a big moment for us." -- Patrick Kane on Antoine Vermette, who scored the game-winning goal after being a healthy scratch in Game 3
Ducks 5, Hawks 4
Game 5: May 25 at Anaheim
Recap: Matt Beleskey scored the game-winning goal 45 seconds into overtime on a rebound to give the Ducks a 3-2 series lead and put the Blackhawks on the verge of elimination. Patrick Maroon scored with 5:15 left in the game and put Anaheim ahead 4-2. Jonathan Toews roared back for the Blackhawks with 2 goals in 83 seconds to tie the game and force overtime. The Hawks surrendered 3 first-period goals, allowing the Ducks to take a commanding lead after 20 minutes. Teuvo Teravainen and Brent Seabrook scored in the second period to put the Hawks back into the game.
Stars of the game: Ducks' Ryan Kesler and Matt Beleskey, and Jonathan Toews
Quote: "I think going into overtime we were feeling that the game was in our hands and we're going to get that next break, so it's unfortunate that we couldn't take advantage of it." -- Jonathan Toews
Hawks 5, Ducks 2
Game 6: May 27 at Chicago
Recap: Brandon Saad, Marian Hossa and Patrick Kane all scored in a 3-minute, 45-second span in the second period and Andrew Shaw added 2 insurance goals in the third period to help the Hawks force a decisive Game 7. Duncan Keith assisted on all three of the opening goals, further improving his chances as the eventual Conn Smythe winner. After the Hawks took a 3-0 lead, Anaheim rallied to make it 3-2 early in the third period. Shaw added a goal with 3:32 to play and iced the win with an empty-netter with 49 seconds to play. Corey Crawford made 28 saves in net.
Stars of the game: Duncan Keith, Patrick Kane, Brandon Saad
Quote: "It was do or die tonight. We knew we had to compete and it's going to be even tougher in their building. I think we're all looking forward to coming home with a win." -- Brandon Saad, on playing Game 7 on the road
Hawks 5, Ducks 3
Game 7: May 30 at Anaheim
Recap: Jonathan Toews scored 2 goals and Brandon Saad and Marian Hossa added tallies of their own to help the Hawks race to a 4-0 lead, and then they never looked back, clinching a spot to compete in their third Stanley Cup Final in six seasons. The Hawks won this Western Conference finals Game 7 after losing last season's Game 7 to the Los Angeles Kings. For the Ducks, it was their third Game 7 loss at home in the last three seasons. Corey Crawford made 35 saves in the decisive win and only allowed 5 goals over the last two games.
Stars of the game: Jonathan Toews, Brandon Saad, Corey Crawford
Quote: "I looked at it a little bit, but we all know what we're working for the whole year. Just a quick picture and out of there." -- Corey Crawford, after the Hawks were presented the Campbell Bowl for winning the Western Conference.