NHL

Ducks have no answers for Blackhawks' Duncan Keith in Game 6

Blackhawks' Duncan Keith dominates in Game 6 win over the Ducks, who say they must 'neutralize' him in Game 7

Three assists in less than four minutes, four blocked shots and a plus-three rating.

That was Duncan Keith's Game 6. Or you could say it was his mic drop game.

The Blackhawks defenseman dominated with a stellar display of all-around excellence in Chicago's 5-2 victory over the Ducks on Wednesday night in the Western Conference Final. Keith's three assists matched his career playoff high and he leads NHL defensemen with 16 points in the postseason.

It was noted in the postgame media session Keith doesn't like talking about himself. Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews, who was seated next to Keith on the podium, adeptly handled that duty.

"There's nights where you look at the score sheet and you see how great he can be, how pivotal, how much he means to our team, especially in these big games," Toews said. "But I think whether he's on the score sheet, whether he's making those plays, he's there every night making that difference no matter what.

"I think we always know that in the locker room. We've seen it in previous years in the playoffs, games like tonight where it's must-win. You can definitely count on him stepping up and being one of our best players, if not our best player."

Keith had the secondary assist on the first goal of the game, by Brandon Saad, in the second period and then set up Marian Hossa to make it 2-0, with a double fake in the right circle before finding Hossa in the left circle.

His third assist came on Patrick Kane's goal as Keith gloved the puck down at the right point to keep it in.

Then there was the not-so-small matter of his big minutes of ice time. Keith logged a game-high 28 minutes 35 seconds. Those are massive minutes for a garden-variety defenseman. Not for Keith.

"He's kind of a freak as far as his metabolism and conditioning level," Chicago Coach Joel Quenneville said. "I think the more he plays, the more efficient, the more he gets going. Just certain guys genetically, aerobically…. he keeps doing it."

Keith has played 40-plus minutes three times in this postseason and was nine seconds short of 40 minutes in the first game of the first round. His nearly 50-minute effort in triple overtime in Game 2 against the Ducks was epic.

"Obviously he's a phenomenal player," said Ducks forward Kyle Palmieri. "He played a lot of minutes and is an important player for their team. We've got to do a better job of neutralizing him. We'll look at the video and take a look at ourselves and see what we can do better Saturday night."

With the series tied 3-3, it's down to Game 7 in Anaheim on Saturday night.

"It's just a matter of going out there and executing in the one game," Keith said. "Like I said, we've got experience being on the road. You try to draw on that as much as you can, do the best you can."

Ducks forward Patrick Maroon said they will need to be more physical.

"You saw what happened on the ice in their transition to the goals.… We don't want their defense jumping into the play by any means," he said.

Etc.

It was a rough night in the faceoff circle for the Ducks. The Blackhawks won 66% of their faceoffs. Toews won 10 of 12. For the Ducks, Ryan Getzlaf won four of 15 faceoffs and Ryan Kesler was three of 13.

The edge was especially pronounced in the first period, with the Ducks winning a mere four of 19 faceoffs. ... Saturday's Game 7 will air on Channel 4.

lisa.dillman@latimes.com

Twitter: @reallisa

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