The NHL Western Conference finals are all knotted at two games apiece, with the Ducks and Blackhawks alternating wins. Anaheim struck first with a 4-1 victory in Game 1. Every game after Game 1 was decided by one goal, with two games going multiple overtimes.
The Ducks took a 2-0 lead in Game 1 after goals by Hampus Lindholm scored in the first period followed by a goal from Kyle Palmieri in the second. Chicago’s Brad Richards cut the deficit in half with a second period goal, but that would end the scoring for the ‘Hawks. Nate Thompson and Jakob Silfverberg added third period insurance goals en route to taking Game 1.
Not wanting to go down 2-0, Chicago bounced back and was able to outlast the Ducks 3-2 in triple overtime. Andrew Shaw and Marian Hossa each scored a first period power play goal to give Chicago a 2-0 lead. Andrew Cogliano scored for Anaheim in the first to make the score 2-1 before the second. In that second period, Corey Perry knotted the game up at 2-2, which would end the scoring in the game for over an hour of game time. Neither team was able to score in the third period, first or second overtime. Chicago’s Marcus Kruger tied the series up with his goal in the third overtime. The series would then shift to Chicago for games 3 and 4. Corey Crawford made 60 saves in the victory.
A pair of Patrick’s scored in the first period of Game 3, with Patrick Maroon getting the scoring started and giving Anaheim a 1-0 lead before Patrick Kane tied the game with a first period goal of his own. Simon Despres scored what would be the game-winning goal in the second period. Anaheim regained the lead in the series.
Game 4 proved to be the wildest one of the series thus far as the two teams combined to score nine goals. Chicago got a short-handed goal from Brandon Saad in the first period. Emerson Etem tied the game before the theatrics happened. Chicago struck first in the wild third period as Jonathan Toews and Brent Seabrook lit the lamp to give the Blackhawks a 3-1 lead. Anaheim would then regain the lead, scoring three goals in 37 seconds. Kane would not allow his team to go down 3-1 as he scored a goal to force overtime. One overtime would not be enough yet again. In the second overtime, Antoine Vermette tickled the twine to tie the series at two games apiece.
This series can go either way. These two teams will take the ice again on Monday for a pivotal Game 5 in Anaheim. On Wednesday one of these two teams will be able to end the series and advance to the Stanley Cup finals back in Chicago. If Game 7 is necessary, it will take place Saturday in Anaheim.