There was the glove in Game 4 in the second period against the
This time, it was the stick in the first period in the opening game of the
The owner of the stick and glove — Ducks goalie
It had the crowd at
You usually hit the automatic button when Kane has the puck, presented with that much net. The pure goal-scorer can do wondrous things in even tighter situations and has seven goals and 13 points in 11 playoff games.
"I thought I did everything right on the play," said Kane, the league's second-leading scorer in the playoffs behind the Ducks' Corey Perry. "He just had his stick there. If I would have put it along the ice, I would have had a better chance of scoring there.
"It would have been nice to get that chance and bury it to give us the lead."
Said Ducks center
Fairly soon, an Anaheim player is bound to say: Freddie was being Freddie.
Naturally, Andersen was his usual matter-of-fact self about the save and the moment.
"He picked up a loose puck there," said Andersen. "I didn't really see how much time he had at the beginning. I played aggressive, but he was patient, tried to get me moving laterally.
"I knew I had to try to throw my stick over and take as much of the net as I could. Luckily he hit the stick."
The Ducks were scrambling at the start. Andersen has been able to keep them in a position to win even when they haven't been at their best. His glove save on Flames rookie Johnny Gaudreau in Game 4 prevented Calgary from taking a two-goal lead, and the Ducks rallied to win that night in the second round.
On Sunday, the Ducks were getting back up to speed after an extended layoff — as were the Blackhawks — but Andersen kept them in it long enough to regain their composure.
"Exactly. In the first period, he was huge for us," Ducks defenseman Hampus Lindholm said. "He's been our key all season. He's just been great for us. I think he kept us in this game today. We have a lot more to give. I don't think this was even close to our best game this year."
Andersen faced 33 shots, and the only goal he allowed — to the Blackhawks'
In Game 1s, the Ducks have outscored their opponents by a combined, 14-4, and 10-2 in the last two rounds.
This was Andersen's first appearance in the conference finals and, in some quarters, he was considered a question mark before the playoffs started.
"I don't know why," said Ducks forward
"He's as calm as can be. He's big and he controls the puck. I think he just needs to keep playing like he's doing. I don't think he needs to put too much pressure on himself."
In fact, he had been out of the lineup more than a month. Sekac played nine minutes and had three hits against Chicago.
"We're using all 15 forwards," Boudreau said. "Guys that have come in have done a real admirable job. Jiri hasn't played in a month. He came in and he looked like he didn't miss a beat, but that's because he's been practicing very hard.
"We have been practicing very hard. To me, it's like he's not out of step because of the pace of the practices, they've been that good."