Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Ducks 4, Blackhawks 2
By Dan Arritt
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- The Anaheim Ducks scored three times in the final 5:27 to steal a 4-2 victory from the visiting Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday night in a showdown of the top two teams in the Western Conference.
How it happened: The Ducks hadn’t scored since their first shot of the game at the 1:24 mark of the first period, when suddenly Anaheim winger Bobby Ryan found a loose puck at his feet following a save by Chicago goalie Corey Crawford and stuffed it into the net with 5:27 left in the game to tie the score at 2. The largest crowd ever to watch an NHL game at Honda Center suddenly became amplified and, less than a minute later, Ducks center Ryan Getzlaf slid a pass to Teemu Selanne on his right and the 42-year-old winger buried it for a 3-2 lead. The Ducks added an empty-netter to finish off the visitors.
Player of the game: Chicago center Jonathan Toews made a spectacular individual effort to tie the score shortly after Anaheim had taken a 1-0 lead. With the Ducks on a power play, Toews blocked a shot from the point and headed in the other direction on a breakaway. He made a slick maneuver, moving from the left of Ducks goalie Jonas Hiller to his right, then sweeping a backhand into the corner of the net. Unfortunately, he only got off one more shot the rest of the way.
What it means: The Blackhawks set a NHL-record 24-game point streak to start the season, but the Ducks haven’t gone anywhere thanks to their own record-breaking start. With the win, they’re now just three points back of Chicago for the West lead. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, two NHL teams with a points percentage over .800 have never met this far into a campaign.
What’s next: The Blackhawks return home for the first time since a March 10 loss to the Edmonton Oilers and host the defending champion Los Angeles Kings on Monday. L.A. has won three in a row and sits 15 points back of the Blackhawks.