The long awaited Game #7 finally took place at the Honda Center on Saturday night in Anaheim. A tremendous series, but one team had to go home and the outcome of tonight’s game would decide who advances to the Stanley Cup Finals. Here’s how things transpired in Game #7.
The biggest word coming into the game was START! In Game #5 the Chicago Blackhawks came out flat and in the end the slow start cost them dearly. In Game #7, the Ducks had some early push, but Corey Crawford stopped the early attempts.
The Chicago Blackhawks got on the board early (2:23 in) when Niklas Hjalmarsson got the puck near the blue line and held on long enough to get a shot through and the Captain Jonathan Toews banged home the rebound.
One thing that has really bothered the Ducks has been Brandon Saad’s speed, and it was his speed that created the Chicago Blackhawks first powerplay. The Blackhawks capitalized on the extra man with a lot of puck possession and finally Toews with almost a no look shot fooled Ducks goalie Anderson for a 2-0 lead.
The other noticeable thing about the period was Joel Quenneville was doing his old quick line changes after face-offs to get road matchups that he wanted, and in the first period it worked. The Ducks out shot the Blackhawks 8-6, but the scoreboard reads 2-0 Blackhawks at the end of 1 period.
The quick changes kept coming for the Chicago Blackhawks and the Anaheim Ducks didn’t seem to make an adjustment.
The Hawks picked up another early period goal in the 2nd when Johnny Oduya made a crafty pinch and it appeared that Patrick Kane was going to shoot it on Anderson but he deftly slid the puck to Brandon Saad who had a wide open net and the goal gave the Hawks a 3-0 lead.
The Ducks had a lot of momentum in the period, but Corey Crawford was strong throughout the big Ducks push with everyone chipping in defensively or as Pierre McGuire put it the Hawks had many layers on defense.
The Hawks got a kind of gift goal to make it 4-0 when Anderson swept a rebound right on to Marian Hossa’s skates and in to the back of the net. It was reviewed but there wasn’t any distinguishable kicking motion.
The Ducks got on the board late in the 2nd period when Ryan Kesler made a really good shot from a bad angle that beat Corey Crawford. Kesler than took a terrible penalty and the Hawks will start the 3rd period with a 5 on 3 powerplay. The Ducks out shot the Hawks 18-10 in the period but the scoreboard reads 4-1 Hawks at the end of two periods.
The Chicago Blackawks like to make you nervous, and they did that for a little bit with some tons of puck possession yet the Ducks cut the lead to 4-2 with a pretty easy goal.
Marian Hossa made a huge play that created a powerplay when the Hawks were losing the momentum and Brent Seabrook nailed a one-timer past Anderson for a 5-2 lead. The Hawks gave a last minute goal, but when the final buzzer sounded it read 5-3 Chicago Blackhawks!!
Your Chicago Blackhawks are heading back to the Stanley Cup Finals!!! The Chicago Blackhawks are the Western Conference Finals for the third time in 6 years!!
Hawks Win!! Hawks Win!!
The Hawks win their first road Game #7 since 1965 and now are back where they want to be in the Stanley Cup Finals!!
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