In another overtime thriller the Chicago Blackhawks continue to do what they are becoming known league wide for doing, battling back and becoming masters of the overtime. In a game where it looked like the team had it salted away with another win until there was a 37 second span that saw the Ducks take the lead for the first time in the game.
Now most teams probably would have packed it in but this is the Chicago Blackhawks and that is simply just not an option.
The Anaheim Ducks are not without their resolve as well. How many teams going down 3-1 would have just packed it in and asked when it the flight back to Anaheim? But we should know this Ducks team is different from the past years as evidenced by their series against the Winnipeg Jets. They simply will not quit either which makes this series one that looks to go the distance in a battle of two titans.
What distinguished this game from the others in this series is that the stars shined on both sides. The Toews line had a huge night with Toews getting a goal and an assist, Hossa had an assist and Brandon Saad had a huge game with one goal and two assists. Patrick Kane had a monstrous game tying goal and Mr. Clutch Brent Seabrook just keeps launching his bombs from the point or slot that dent the oppositions nets.
The Ducks stars also shined with goals from Kesler and Perry and an assist from Getzlaf. No one in Chicago likes Corey Perry and for good reason. The guy is just unstoppable like Patrick Kane you might slow him down but you will never completely stop him. Just get used to it.
What was similar in this game to the others in this series was special teams once again played a huge role. This time it was in the Hawks favor. The Blackhawks had a shorty by Brandon Saad and the big power play Patrick Kane game tying goal. The penalty kill also stopped Anaheim that went zero for three on their power play and the Hawks were one for five but that one gave the Hawks a chance to win the game.
The other story coming into this game was the line-up. Coach Quenneville went back to having Antoine Vermette and Teuvo Teravainen and both factored in with Vermette getting the game winning goal and Teravainen with the assist along with Patrick Sharp on that goal.
Teuvo Teravainen also had a beautiful pass that sprung Sharp he just didn’t quit finish it but the pass was a thing of beauty. Like Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane, we are seeing Andrew Shaw, Brandon Saad and Teuvo Teravainen grow up as hockey players before our eyes. Enjoy it Chicago.
Chicago is very glad as well for Antoine Vermette not only getting back into the line-up but having scored undoubtedly the biggest goal of his career at the United Center. Vermette has been nothing short of professional and demonstrated nothing but character. He wears the Indianhead sweater well.
Some other stats, the Hawks won the face-off battle as team winning 55% as a team with Antoine Vermette leading the way with a ridiculous 70% followed by Toews at 65% and Kruger at 50%.
What was a bit surprising on the stats sheet was the hits yes the Ducks won that battle with 60 but what was surprising was how close the Hawks were with 52 hits themselves which is sort of out of character for the Hawks.
Corey Perry said after the game that he thought the Ducks were wearing the Hawks down. They probably don’t want to bank on that because the Hawks knew they were in for a long battle and you can rest assured Hawks fans they are prepared to battle for the duration no matter how many hits, shot blocks or overtimes are involved.
The battle changes sites now and heads back to Anaheim for game five on Monday night and who knows what to expect in that game. Anything as we have seen can happen, just tune in and enjoy the Battle of Titans.