A triple-overtime Game 2 exceeded the already high expectations of the
Now comes the swing game.
The fact that Game 3 of the tied series will be played Thursday in front of more than 20,000 fans in Chicago is clearly an advantage for the Blackhawks.
"We're excited to try to get them on their heels a little bit more; find the excitement, energy we've had in our own building," Chicago center Jonathan Toews said. "We want to take control of the series."
The Blackhawks endured 62 shots on goal before finally beating the Ducks, 3-2, on
Meanwhile, the Ducks insisted they were braced for a grinding series and believe their brand of physical hockey sets up well for the long run.
"To me, it was a confidence boost," Ducks Coach
The Ducks outhit Chicago, 71-45, won the faceoff battle, 59-53, and kept the short-handed Blackhawks' defense busy, their top four defenseman playing 46 minutes-plus in Game 2.
"You look at some of the minutes those guys were racking up, it's something that wears on you," Ducks forward
In Chicago, Blackhawks defenseman
For both sides it was try, try again before Kruger's deflection ended a marathon that left several players visibly gassed.
Four Ducks' shots — two in the extra periods by
The Blackhawks celebrated what they thought was a winning goal in the second OT, only to have officials wave off center
"Unbelievable game … we got the bounce at the end," Chicago Coach Joel Quenneville said. "The guys have been through it, are tested in these situations. [Experience] can be a factor."
"We lost one game," the defenseman said he told teammates, "and we've got to get it back in Chicago."
As the resilient Ducks have done so often this season, they came back from a two-goal deficit after Chicago scored a pair of power-play goals in the first period. Corey Perry got the equalizer when he deflected in a
The Blackhawks failed to score on their next three power plays — including a two-man advantage in the third period — but Beauchemin said the Ducks need to stay out of the box in this series.
"Five-on-five … that's when we burn teams down," he said.
And Boudreau can add to those numbers. The deep Ducks have forwards Tomas Fleischmann and
Fresh legs anyone?
"We've had initial discussions among the coaching staff, and it's possible because we think we have a lot of good players who aren't playing," Boudreau said.
Most important, the coach said, is not obsessing on the ending of the memorable Game 2 — the longest in Honda Center annals and the longest Blackhawks game in the team's 89-year history.
"It was two really good teams who didn't want to lose going at it," Boudreau said. "Is [Chicago] a team we thought it'd be nip and tuck with the whole series? Yeah."
The Ducks' two losses in 11 playoff games have come in overtime, but Getzlaf said it would be wasteful to lament the near misses.
"Never once did we think we were going to sweep the Chicago Blackhawks," he said "We lost one. Now, we've just got to prepare again."