Ducks back up goalie Frederik Andersen

Ducks back up goalie Frederik Andersen
Blackhawks forward Brandon Saad reacts after teammate Jonathan Toews' goal on Ducks goalie Frederik Andersen late in the third period of Game 5 of the Western Conference finals. (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

There were his two assists in Game 5 between the Ducks and Blackhawks on Monday night at Honda Center. In some ways, though, what Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf did late in the game was also important.

Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews had tied it, 4-4, with a wildly improbable goal from a sharp angle, somehow getting it past Ducks goalie Frederik Andersen with 37.2 seconds remaining in regulation.

It was astonishing on many levels, easily the worst goal he has allowed in the playoffs. The captain jumped into action to try to help his goalie. Leadership wasn't about to rest.

"Getzy came down right away and tried to pick me up and told me whatever matters now is the next shot," Andersen said. "That's all I can worry about."


There were the words from Getzlaf, and teammate Matt Beleskey took care of the rest with his actions, scoring 45 seconds into overtime to lead the Ducks to a 5-4 victory over Chicago in Game 5 of the Western Conference finals. Anaheim leads the series, 3-2, and could clinch it with a victory on Wednesday at Chicago.


Andersen has been the epitome of consistency through 2 1/2 rounds. He didn't have to make a save in overtime but his teammates felt he would respond.

"I don't think he had that game in mind tonight, but he's been the difference for us all playoffs and it was nice to get him a win," said forward Andrew Cogliano. "I think he's feeling pretty good and I think he's ready to respond next game.

"Goals are going to go in. This is the playoffs. Things happen. The momentum changes in a hurry. But he'll respond. He's a great goalie."

This wasn't exactly the playbook of a typical playoff game.

The Ducks led, 3-0, by the first 14:37 and Andersen didn't have to face a shot on goal until 16:26.

Then Chicago flickered to life and Andersen didn't seem quite ready to hit the start button.

"I guess Game 4 was a little bit the same way, up and down … obviously this way ended better," he said. "It was little tougher for me in the game. We played really well in the first. That kept me just looking around a little bit. That's how it is."

Ducks center Ryan Kesler scored the game's second goal and assisted on Beleskey's game winner. The six goals are one short of his career best in playoff goals, a mark set in 2011 when he was with the Vancouver Canucks.

Kesler said some of the responsibility on the second Toews goal should be shared.

"Freddie's been solid for us all year," he said. "He's a very calm goalie and he played well tonight. Obviously, that one short side one, he'd probably like to have back. But we've got to get the puck out for him.

"That's not his fault. That's us not making plays."

Flash returns

Tomas Fleischmann, called Flash by his teammates, was in the lineup for the first time in this series, meaning Emerson Etem was the odd man out.

Fleischmann, who played a little more than 10 minutes, talked about the mood in the room before overtime.

"The last two goals they scored, the momentum was on their side," he said. "But I would say we got pretty angry about going to the third overtime [this series].

"The thought about losing just gets you mad, angry. We all wanted to win and that's what happened."

Meanwhile, the Ducks are 5-0 in the playoffs when he is in the lineup. Fleischmann smiled at that information and joked: "They call me the closer."

Ratings update

Contrary to conventional wisdom, TV ratings for this round are up in Southern California.

Through the first four games, ratings are up 7.7% — locally — over last year's Kings-Blackhawks Western Conference finals, according to NBC/Nielsen. They are also up 12% from 2013, which also involved the Kings and Chicago.

Specifically, Saturday night's Game 4 had a 3.2 rating in Los Angeles.

Follow Lisa Dillman on Twitter @reallisa