Author: Cam Tucker

Quenneville opted for ‘fresh legs’ by inserting Nordstrom, Versteeg into lineup


Two days removed from a triple overtime victory, Chicago Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville decided changes were necessary to his lineup for Game 3.

Out of the lineup came Antoine Vermette and Teuvo Teravainen. In came Joakim Nordstrom and Kris Versteeg. Both players that entered the series on Thursday had been out of the lineup for a month.

In Nordstrom’s case, he played a mere 7:06 and had only one shot on goal in a Game 3 loss, which has Chicago now trailing 2-1 in the Western Conference Final. Versteeg also had just one shot in just under 14 minutes of ice time.

Quenneville told reporters afterward that Vermette and Teravainen were both “fine.”

“Well, we just wanted to get some fresh legs in there. We felt that (Versteeg) had never played over a long stretch in the last series, we wanted to get him back in there,” said Quenneville.

“You know, tough game the other day, travel. We wanted to bring some new guys in.”

Now, what will the Blackhawks do for Game 4? Do they stay with Nordstrom and Versteeg, or go back to Vermette and Teravainen?

Quenneville said the club will consider its options.

Meanwhile, Chicago’s power play was unsuccessful in five opportunities. In a one-goal game, that proved to be the difference in Game 3.

Quenneville admitted the power play, which consisted of a four-minute advantage in the first period, lost momentum for the Blackhawks.

“You got to get into it a little deeper there. We didn’t have zone time. We didn’t get them tired. We’re the ones getting tired because we had to keep breaking out,” said the coach.

“So, you know, I think that was a stretch there we didn’t get the momentum where we should have put a little bit more heat on them. We had them taking penalties and we didn’t make them pay.”

Video: Ducks hold off Blackhawks in Game 3 to take series lead

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Patrick Kane had the puck on his stick, only seconds left in regulation, with a chance to send Game 3 to overtime. He missed, just barely, his shot sliding off the outside of the post.

And from there, the Anaheim Ducks were able to hold off the Chicago Blackhawks to take Thursday’s game by a final score of 2-1, which now also happens to be Anaheim’s lead in this Western Conference Final.

Sorry, no marathon overtime.

Simon Despres had never scored a Stanley Cup playoff goal before Thursday. His slap shot blast that beat Corey Crawford in the final minute of the second period stood as the winner. Talk about perfect timing.

The Blackhawks had their chances, but couldn’t take advantage.

They had five power play opportunities and were unsuccessful with each and every one of them. They are now 2-for-13 in the series. Their only goals with the advantage were in Game 2.

Chicago’s top players are also struggling to produce offensively so far in this series.

Kane did score late in the opening period for his first goal and point of this series. Jonathan Toews has only one point — an assist in Game 2. Marian Hossa has only one point. Patrick Sharp doesn’t have a point in four games.

It’s something to keep an eye on for Game 4 on Saturday.

Video: Despres scores first career playoff goal to give the Ducks the lead


Simon Despres isn’t known for his scoring. But his first career Stanley Cup playoff goal is an important one for the Anaheim Ducks.

Despres blasted a one-time shot past a helpless Corey Crawford to give the Ducks a 2-1 lead in the final minute of the second period of Game 3, with the Western Conference Final tied at 1-1.

Video: Perry denied on scoring chance seconds after breaking his stick

This was quite a sudden sequence of events.

Corey Perry had his stick broken blocking a shot in the defensive zone, but as the play immediately transitioned up the ice, the Anaheim Ducks winger sped to the bench, grabbed a new stick from a teammate and joined back in the rush for a scoring chance.

Credit his teammates with being alert at the bench. It all happened quickly, with about six seconds in between Perry’s stick breaking at the Anaheim blue line to Corey Crawford’s save on Perry.

Video: Maroon silences Chicago crowd with opening goal, Kane responds for Blackhawks

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Patrick Maroon scored only nine goals in the regular season for the Anaheim Ducks. He is now credited with five in these playoffs, his latest opening the scoring against the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 3 of the Western Conference Final on Thursday.

Maroon’s deflection goal — Corey Perry was also in front, screening Corey Crawford — gave the visiting Ducks a 1-0 lead, briefly silencing the Chicago crowd.

With less than a minute remaining in the first period, Patrick Kane responded for the Blackhawks, deploying that always dangerous backhand shot of his.

Showtime’ struck again, this time beating Frederik Andersen to tie the game at one goal apiece.

For Kane, that counts as his first goal and point of this series.