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Ducks beat Blackhawks, 2-1, for series lead in Western Conference finals

Ducks hold off Blackhawks' furious third-period comeback attempt and grab a 2-1 victory in Chicago

Ducks 2, Chicago Blackhawks 1 (end of regulation)

The Ducks have had several third-period comebacks during the Stanley Cup playoffs. This time, they denied one to take control of the Western Conference final.

Simon Despres and Patrick Maroon scored goals for the Ducks, but it was defense and goaltender Frederik Andersen that gave them a 2-1 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 3 Thursday at the United Center.

The Ducks protected a one-goal lead throughout the third period. Andersen made 10 saves in the period and 27 for the game. The Ducks also blocked 27 shots before they reached the net. The Blackhawks were on the power play for 9 minutes 18 in the game, but were unable to cash in on any of their four power plays chances.

The Blackhawks pulled goaltender Corey Crawford with two minutes left and spent nearly the entire time in the Ducks' zone. Yet, they were denied.

Andersen stopped Marian Hossa twice in the last minute, including a glove save on a shot from the point with 35 seconds left.

The victory gave the Ducks a 2-1 lead in the series, and returned home-ice advantage to them. Game 4 will be in the United Center on Saturday at 5 p.m.

If either team was feeling fatigued after Tuesday's three-overtime Game 2 marathon -- won by the Blackhawks -- they didn't show it. The pace was brisk at the start, and remained so most of that game.

The Ducks took a 1-0 lead with a power-play goal 12 minutes 55 seconds into the game.

With Hossa in the box for holding, Hampus Lindholm fired a shot into traffic that was redirected by Maroon past goaltender Corey Crawford.

It was Maroon's fifth goal of the playoffs.

The Blackhawks pushed to the end of the period and were rewarded.

Brad Richards carried the puck up ice on a rush and passed to Patrick Kane in the slot. The puck rattled off Kane's skates, but he regained control, spun and flicked a back-hander past Andersen to tie the score at 1-1 with 57 seconds left.

The Ducks took the lead late in the second period. A slick pass from Ryan Getzlaf left Despres with a wide-open net to shot at. He lasered in a one-timer before Crawford could slide to his left for a goal with 55 seconds left.

Ducks 2, Chicago Blackhawks 1 (end of second period)

The second period was dominated by goaltenders, with the Ducks' Frederik Andersen leaving the ice with the lead.

A slick pass from Ryan Getzlaf left Simon Despres with a wide-open net to shoot at. He lasered a one-timer in before goaltender Corey Crawford could slide to his left for a goal with 55 seconds left in the period.

Until then, Crawford had been solid. Twice he denied Corey Perry on quality opportunities. He made 13 saves in the period.

But Andersen was better in making 11 saves.

Jonathan Toews came in alone but Andersen didn't give him any significant part of the net to shoot at midway through the period. Kris Versteeg was alone after taking a pass to the left of the net. Andersen reacted with a toe save 14 minutes into the period. 

With less than two minutes left, Brandon Saad sent a shot through traffic that Andersen found at the last second to make a sprawling save.

Ducks 2, Chicago Blackhawks 1 (19:05 second period)

A slick pass from Ducks forward Ryan Getzlaf left defenseman Simon Despres with a wide-open net to shoot at.

Despres lasered a one-timer in before Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford could slide to his left.

Ducks 1, Chicago Blackhawks 1 (end of first period)

There seemed no evidence of fatigue in the Ducks or Blackhawks two nights after going three overtimes in Game 2 of Western Conference final.

The pace was brisk, and the hitting tilted toward the bigger Ducks. Yet, all it produced was a push on the scoreboard.

The Ducks took the lead with a power-play goal 12 minutes 55 seconds into the game.

With Marian Hossa in the box for holding, Hampus Lindholm fired a shot into traffic that was redirected by Patrick Maroon past goaltender Corey Crawford.

It was Maroon's fifth goal of the playoffs.

The Blackhawks pushed to the end of the period and were rewarded.

Brad Richards carried the puck up the ice on a rush and passed to Patrick Kane in the slot. The puck rattled off Kane's skates, but he recovered and flicked a back-hander past goaltender Frederik Andersen with 57 seconds left.

Chicago was on the power play for nearly seven minutes, yet came up empty.

Ducks 1, Chicago Blackhawks 1 (19:03 first period)

The Blackhawks continue pushing, and are rewarded with a goal.

Brad Richards carried the puck up ice on a rush and passed to Patrick Kane in the slot. The puck rattled off Kane's skates, but he recovered and flicked a back-hander past Ducks goaltender Frederik Andersen.

Ducks 1, Chicago Blackhawks 0 (12:55 first period)

The Ducks pick up the early lead with a power-play goal.

With Blackhawks forward Marian Hossa in the box for holding, Ducks defenseman Hampus Lindholm fired a shot into traffic which was redirected by forward Patrick Maroon past goaltender Corey Crawford.

It was Maroon's fifth goal of the playoffs.

Pregame

The Ducks lost home-ice advantage in the Western Conference final when the Chicago Blackhawks scrapped out a 3-2 victory in three overtimes Tuesday.

The two teams get re-acquainted in the United Center tonight, with the Ducks needing to pick up at least one victory on the road in order to advance to the Stanley Cup final. It will be a difficult chore.

The Blackhawks are 5-0 in the United Center during the playoffs this season. In the last three playoffs, Chicago has a 23-4 record. Two of those losses were to the Kings in the 2014 Western Conference final, including a 4-3 overtime loss in Game 7.

Follow Chris Foster on Twitter @LATimesFoster

 

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