The marathon finally came to an end.
The Chicago Blackhawks, in what was the longest game in their franchise’s long history, prevailed over the Anaheim Ducks by a final score of 3-2 in triple overtime, which evens this Western Conference Final up at 1-1.
Marcus Kruger was in the right spot at the right time. He managed to tap the puck over the goal line to score the winner at the 16:12 mark of the third overtime period. Before the Kruger goal, you had to go all the way back to 6:19 of the first period for Chicago’s second goal of the evening.
“No, it’s a great feeling. We almost played two games out there. To put it in and get a big win here, leaving California with 1-1, we’re pretty satisfied with,” Kruger told reporters.
“Going back to Chicago, it’s going to be a great feeling stepping out there on the United Center.”
The series now shifts back to Chicago for Games 3 and 4.
The Ducks will lament three goal posts hit during the overtime session. They also couldn’t get that one final goal by Corey Crawford, who was sensational, making 60 saves for the win. At the other end, Frederik Andersen was just as good, making 53 saves in the second longest game in Ducks’ franchise history.
This game seemed to have a little bit of everything.
Chicago felt it had the OT winner in the second extra period, when Andrew Shaw head-butted the puck into the net. After a brief review, the goal was waved off.
Crawford, who looked completely exhausted at times during stoppages in play in the third overtime, tried to throw a hit on Rickard Rakell and fell over, with a scrum ensuing.
And Chicago was victorious essentially leaning on four defensemen for the majority of six periods. Duncan Keith, Niklas Hjalmarsson, Brent Seabrook and Johnny Oduya each played more than 45 minutes, while Kimmo Timonen and Kyle Cumiskey were both under 20 minutes of ice time.