Once more, with Game 7 feeling.
Now, after the proud
If the Ducks can, with the support of a sold-out
"We shot ourselves in the foot tonight," Ducks forward
"This is what we played 82 games for, what we worked our butts off for — to have home-ice advantage in the playoffs. It's a best-of-one now."
The Blackhawks forced the decisive showdown by blitzing the Ducks for three goals in a 3-minute 45-second span of the second period, with Chicago defenseman Duncan Keith contributing an assist on each score.
The 3-0 chokehold led to the visitors' first regulation loss in their 15th playoff game.
"We lost our composure for the first time, I thought, in the playoffs," Ducks Coach Bruce Boudreau said. "They scored the one goal [and] it was like, 'Aah, what's going on?' We started scrambling all over. They got the momentum. We lost our composure."
The Ducks have lived this before. For the third consecutive postseason, they lost a Game 6. In 2013, they were eliminated by the
"It's going to take every guy in the room," Ducks forward
Anaheim took some solace by pulling within 3-2 on a second-period goal from Maroon and one by defenseman
But Chicago, the Stanley Cup winnerin two of the last fiveseasonsand appearing in its third consecutive Western Conference finals, improved to 10-4 in elimination games and 12-1 in Game 6s since 2009. Center
"To come down from three goals, especially against a team like that — they're experienced, they know what they're doing — we didn't get it done," Ducks first-line center
Getzlaf shouldered blame on a night he had a minus-three rating, took one shot on goal and had three others blocked.
Uncharacteristically, the Ducks were routed in the faceoff circle, 33-17.
"We've got to be better than that," Getzlaf said. "We've got to regroup."
En route to a 51-win regular season, the Ducks took honest looks at their weaknesses and effectively adapted.
They tightened up the reckless passing and sloppy defensive attention that contributed to some one-sided defeats and losing skids, winning eight of their first nine playoff games until this series, a classic that's included three overtimes.
"We need to be better, more physical, play Ducks hockey, which is throwing pucks at [Chicago goalie Corey] Crawford, getting in his eyes and getting those second and third opportunities," Maroon said. "We got away from that tonight."
Get back to it, or go home.