Marcus Kruger daggers Ducks in triple OT thriller

Marcus Kruger daggers Ducks in triple OT thriller

ANAHEIM, Calif. – The Anaheim Ducks showed their depth in their Game 1 win over Chicago. In Game 2, the Blackhawks showed they also have some depth and energy up and down their lineup.

From top to bottom, the Blackhawks got contributions from their big guns and their lesser-known quantities to knot their Western Conference Final 1-1 with the Ducks in a 3-2 triple overtime win.

The next two games of this series will be played at the United Center in Chicago.

Marcus Kruger scored the game winner with 3:48 left in the third extra session. The game was the longest in the illustrious history of the Blackhawks.

“It was wild, grueling, exhausting… It kind of felt like the first couple periods were just back and forth. Not taking any chances. Nobody wanted to screw up," Hawks forward Bryan Bickell said. "Then, an easy shot from the point, we’ve got a couple of guys I front, and we get the rebound.”

All overtimes were full of chances for both teams. Sami Vatanen hit the post twice for the Ducks. Andrew Shaw attempted a header for the Blackhawks that seemed to be a game-winner in the second overtime. On further review the referee deemed it no goal.

In the second OT Chicago forward Antoine Vermette fired a point-blank shot into Anaheim netminder Frederik Andersen. Ducks forward Corey Perry also fired a shot off the post.

By the time the teams hit the third OT, the players appeared to lose all energy and focus after about 20 seconds of each shift.

"We stay well fueled," Shaw said of how the players tried to refresh between periods. "You get the fluids in you, the snacks going around the room. Make sure you’re well-fed and well-hydrated and lots of positive vibes going around the room. Just stick to it and we’ll find a way to win."  

Corey Crawford stopped 60 Anaheim shots on goal in the win. Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith played 49:51 to lead all skaters.   

In the second period, Perry tied the game on a deflection off a shot by Ryan Getzlaf late in the frame. It was Perry’s first goal of the series. This knotted the game at 2-2 at the 17:30 mark.

Getzlaf shot the puck from near the boards and Perry swatted it in front, past Chicago goaltender Corey Crawford.

With 10:46 left in the first period, Ducks forward Andrew Cogliano put the score at 2-1 on a rush that came off a bad pinch by Chicago defenseman Kimmo Timonen on the Ducks' blueline. Timonen couldn’t get back into the play in time, which led Anaheim to continue up ice.

Anaheim took the body often that period, out-hitting Chicago 25-14

Marian Hossa put Chicago up 2-0 off a scrum in front of the Ducks net with 13:41 left in the first period. The goal came off a bad boarding penalty by Clayton Stoner on Kruger.

Hossa actually knocked the puck out of the net, but Ducks defenseman Simon Despres accidentally pushed it behind Andersen.

Could this be crushing for the Ducks? By the end, both teams just seemed gassed and to some degree ready for the next game.

"Yeah, I think both teams had numerous (chances)," Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said. "I haven't counted them up yet, but both teams had numerous chances to win it. You know, we had chances to win it.  We didn't win it. They took advantage of their chance."