The Ducks are one game away from reaching the Stanley Cup Final.
They got to that position in a wild roller-coaster fashion, in overtime. Unlike the other two overtime games this series, it ended quickly.
Left wing Matt Beleskey scored on a rebound just 45 seconds into overtime to push the Ducks past Chicago, 5-4, on Monday night at Honda Center in Game 5 of the Western Conference finals.
The Ducks lead the best-of-seven series, three games to two.
Game 6 is on Wednesday at United Center in Chicago.
That hardly bothered Chicago's captain
And so, Game 5 heads to overtime. This is the third game in the
Toews was the man responsible with his statement third period. Actually it was a statement two minutes.
He scored twice with less than two minutes remaining in regulation, both goals coming with Blackhawk goalie
Textbook Toews, showing the will and determination of a captain.
Chicago was able to get goalie
The assists went to forward
Tension was finally eased -- a tad -- for the Ducks' fans at
It came off a nice passing play, at 14:45, and was finished off by
For Getzlaf, it was his second assist of the night and 19th point of the postseason.
For Maroon, it was his sixth goal of the playoff, second only behind teammate
Anaheim opened the third with two excellent scoring chances -- by
Despite that, Chicago has had the run of play since then.
Settle in for a massive third period.
The Blackhawks grabbed the momentum in the second period and held on tight, scoring twice to cut the Ducks' lead to 3-2 with goals by forward Teuvo Teravainen and defenseman
Seabrook scored from the base of the right circle with 24.8 seconds left in the second period, off a nice setup from Teravainen, who has two points so far. His first was a goal, coming at 1:11 of the second.
All season, the Ducks have found the second period to be problematic. And it was again.
They had five shots on goal in the second and didn't have one until the 9:14 mark.
About midway through the period, the
That was an issue with Chicago during the season.
Of note, with his first-period assist,
Chicago got a much-needed lift when Ducks goalie
It was just the fourth shot on goal for the Blackhawks and cut Anaheim's lead to 3-1.
The assists went to
In the first period, Teravainen and Sharp were the only Chicago skaters not a minus on the plus-minus scale.
OK, so the Ducks needed a bit longer than 37 seconds to score three goals.
They pulled that feat off in Game 4 and ended up losing in double overtime.
On Monday, they got off to an inspired start, scoring twice in 32 seconds and adding another before the end of the first period to lead 3-0.
Scoring for the Ducks were defenseman
For the two defensemen, it was their first goals since the first round against Winnipeg.
Chicago didn't muster much of a response and didn’t record a shot on goal until captain
The Ducks outshot the Blackhawks, 11-3. Fowler, incidentally, led the Ducks in ice time, playing 8:48. For Chicago, defenseman
Ducks 3, Chicago Blackhawks 0 (5:23 left in first period)
The Ducks expanded their lead at 14:37, going up, 3-0.
It started with a textbook faceoff by captain
Chicago eventually did get a shot on goal, by the way. It came at 16:26 from Blackhawks captain
Chicago was able to stem the tide ... for a bit.
The Ducks had three shots on goal on the power play.
Another stat, of note. Through the first 14 minutes, the
Yes, no shots on goal. Stay tuned.
The Ducks got off to about as perfect a start as possible, scoring two goals in the opening 5 minutes 42 seconds of the game, on consecutive shots against Chicago goalie
They scored twice in the span of 32 seconds. Defenseman
It was his sixth goal of the playoffs.
Fowler made it 1-0 with his shot from the slot as center
Ducks Coach Bruce Boudreau was in full change-up mode, tweaking the lines.
He dropped left wing
It appears as though the Ducks will be making at least one lineup change for Game 5. The Ducks will start forward
That means forward
You can study the stats but there is the one: the Fleischmann Factor. The Ducks are 4-0 in the playoffs with him.
The versatile forward stepped in and shifted to center for the final two games of the Winnipeg series. And he also played the final two games against Calgary in the second round, Game 4 and Game 5.
His teammates call him, "Flash." He didn't mind it when one reporter suggested another one, "The Closer" before Game 4 in Calgary.
"I'll take that nickname," said the Ducks forward, who was raised in the Czech Republic.
Minutes away from puck drop for Game 5 of the tightly contested
Tightly contested, of course, is something of an understatement in this series.
The series is tied 2-2 and it is a given that it will head back to Chicago for Game 6 on Wednesday at United Center.
A victory tonight would put the Ducks within one game of the
Here are some more stats to ponder:
Chicago has been on the power play 17 times this series, while the Ducks have had the man advantage nine times. The difference was striking in Game 3 and Game 4 as the Blackhawks had nine power plays to the Ducks' three.
The hitting has been tenacious with the Ducks leading, 220-116, in that department.
"No human can withstand that many hits," said Ducks center
The Blackhawks disagreed, naturally.
"I haven't seen a problem yet," said Chicago Coach Joel Quenneville in his media session on Monday afternoon. "We've had some teams that like to hit, like to get after us physically.
"To me, as long as you don't get distracted to where you got to go to be successful, let's make sure we keep doing what we've been doing."