ANAHEIM, Calif. — The Anaheim Ducks probably already had the Blackhawks in their nightmares, considering how the Western Conference Final went last spring. The Blackhawks added to their angst on Friday.
After faltering for a good deal of their afternoon game, the Blackhawks came back with a crazy four-minute span, split between regulation and overtime, to beat the Ducks, 3-2. It was a wild finish for what was otherwise a mundane game for the Blackhawks, but they’ll certainly take the end of it.
So before we end this day, let’s look at Five Things to take from the Blackhawks’ comeback victory over the Ducks.
1. Patrick Kane keeps on going. The Blackhawks looked like they were going to get shut out, and Kane’s point streak looked like it would end at 17. But then there was Duncan Keith’s goal, on which Kane had the secondary assist, with a scant 26.6 seconds remaining in regulation. And just like that, Kane’s got a career-best, 18-game point streak, equaling the best run by a U.S.-born player (he shares it with Eddie Olczyk and Phil Kessel). Corey Crawford said, “He could be the best American player of all time, and he’s still young. But he continues to do so many things and be that sort of game changer he’s been his whole career.”
2. Keith keeps scoring. The Blackhawks knew Keith’s return would mean a boost in their game, including on offense. Well, this is what his return has meant: In his six games prior to right-knee surgery, Keith had just two assists. In his seven games since returning, Keith has four goals — including two in as many games — and two assists. Yes, the Blackhawks missed him.
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3. Brent Seabrook quietly goes about his business. It was Seabrook feeding Keith on what would be the game-tying goal and Seabrook again setting up Artem Anisimov for the game winner. Seabrook recorded his second three-point game of the season with three assists during the Blackhawks’ late comeback. Not a bad finish for him, either.
4. Crawford big when necessary. Yes, Crawford got beat on two goals. Those two goals were a 2-on-0 and another odd-man rush, respectively. Otherwise Crawford was strong, holding off a Ducks team that was getting way too good of chances through the first and second periods. He also stopped two of his teammates’ inadvertent shots on him, so credit for those, too.
5. Ducks stunned. The Ducks were the better team through most of this one, there’s no doubt about that. And we’ve seen sturdier tripping calls than the one Ryan Getzlaf got whistled for on Andrew Shaw. But even after giving up the Marian Hossa power-play goal, the Ducks needed to stay calm. They didn’t. As Bruce Boudreau told the Ducks media after the game, “We’ve got to have better composure when we get the puck. We have to go to spots, make plays and not just throw it at (the Blackhawks). That’s what we ended up doing in the last two minutes. We were panicking and throwing it at them.”