Third matchup: January 30th, 2015
January 30, 2015; Anaheim, CA, USA; Chicago Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane (88) controls the puck against the defense of Anaheim Ducks defenseman Clayton Stoner (3) during the third period at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
The third and final regular season matchup between the Hawks and Ducks and the second that took place in Orange County, it was the Patrick Show.
Patrick Kane and Patrick Sharp stole the show and lead the Hawks to a 4-1 victory. Kane had two goals and an assist while Sharp had his best game of the season with four assists, which is a career-high.
As far as trends go, the Hawks outshooting the Ducks seems to be a legitimate one. This time, the Hawks outshot the Ducks 33-22. While legitimate, it is also a very promising trend and it should make Hawks fans feel very optimistic.
Crawford saved 21 of the 22 shots that he faced while Andersen stopped 29 of the 33.
What we can take from these matchups is that the Hawks are easily the favorite to advance to the Stanley Cup Finals. Yes, the Ducks beat the Hawks in Chicago, but that was all the way back in October and the key players in that game are either on other teams or are backup goaltenders.
While the Ducks barely beat the Hawks in Chicago, the Hawks convincingly beat the Ducks in Anaheim. Twice! The Hawks easily played the best hockey in all three games played against the Ducks.
Yes, the playoffs are a totally different animal. However, the Hawks have an advantage there too. They are far more battle-tested in the post-season and have faced stiffer competition in the first two rounds and made it look even easier.
Hopefully, the long layoff between games doesn’t throw things off the rails. We shall see.