Blackhawks

Blackhawks

The Blackhawks — who will be playing in their fifth Conference Final in the last seven seasons — know the feeling of being one series away from the Stanley Cup Final. 

It's been a while for the Anaheim Ducks, who haven't gone this deep in the postseason since 2007 when they won it all.

But they didn't have much time to let it soak in after their series-clinching overtime win over the Calgary Flames late Sunday night.

"The instant it happened, I felt really good. ... It was a pretty nice win, so I think I'm allowed five minutes of joy," Ducks head coach Bruce Boudreau said in a conference call Monday. "But a half hour later, I was thinking about Chicago."

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Particularly, how he can slow down a Blackhawks team that won two of three regular-season contests, and outscored Anaheim by five this year. 

While he hasn't revealed the line pairings yet, Boudreau knows he'll have his hands full establishing matchups.

"We're dealing with a team that knows how to win in the playoffs, has the experience and talent to back it up," Boudreau said. "They are arguably the fastest group of forwards, and you add [Duncan] Keith and [Johnny] Oduya and some of those on the back end, and they're probably the fastest team in the NHL."

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The two teams last met on Jan. 30, but both their rosters have changed since then and both are playing at higher levels. 

The Ducks — motivated by ridding the bad taste in their mouth from last year's postseason after letting a 3-2 series lead slip away against Los Angeles in the second round — know this is familiar territory for the Blackhawks. 

But the Ducks are also a group that feels they have much to prove.

"Every round is tougher. To be able to win, you have to be better than you were before," Boudreau said. "... They're good and we know what to expect. We know what playoff hockey is about, too. We know we're better than when we played them in the regular season."