The Chicago Blackhawks broke out in the second period by scoring three goals within the span of four minutes, but Patrick Maroon was able to give the Ducks reason to hope going into the final frame.
With the man advantage late in the period, Maroon got into position and deflected Cam Fowler’s shot past goaltender Corey Crawford to narrow Chicago’s lead to two:
Maroon has been a pleasant surprise for Anaheim in the playoffs. After scoring nine goals in 71 regular season games, this was his seventh in 15 playoff contests. He’s found the back of the net in three of the Ducks’ last four games.
Anaheim still has an steep uphill climb ahead of it though. Including the regular season, Chicago is 30-0-0 when leading through 40 minutes.
With their season on the line, the Chicago Blackhawks had some great opportunities to strike first in Game 6 of the Western Conference Final, but they couldn’t quite capitalize in the opening frame.
Perhaps Chicago’s best chance of the first period occurred near the halfway mark when a turnover by Ryan Getzlaf led to a great opportunity in front by Brandon Saad. Goaltender Frederik Andersen was able to stretch out to make the save.
Chicago also nearly opened up this game late in the frame when Ducks defenseman Sami Vatanen wasn’t able to control the puck in the neutral zone, which led to Patrick Sharp flinging a shot at Andersen. The Ducks goalie made the initial save, but surrendered a juicy rebound for Teuvo Teravainen. Unfortunately for Chicago, he ended up missing the net.
You can watch those plays below:
Saad got another chance to bury the puck in the second period though and this time he would not be denied:
That opened up the floodgates as Marian Hossa and then Patrick Kane both found the back of the net within four minutes of Saad’s marker.
After a one-game break, Emerson Etem looks as though he’ll return to the Anaheim lineup tonight for Game 6 of the Western Conference Final in Chicago.
Etem, who sat Game 5 so Tomas Fleischmann could draw in, has experienced an up-and-down postseason. He scored one of the nicest goals of the playoffs against Winnipeg in Round 1, but has also flipped-flopped with Fleischman throughout, appearing in 11 of 14 games all told.
(Fleischmann had a relatively quiet Game 5, going pointless in 10:14 TOI without registering a shot on goal.)
Etem, 22, certainly gives the Ducks a different speed element in the lineup. One of the fastest skaters on the team, he can give opposing defensemen fits by trying to take them one-on-one, which might come into play tonight against a Blackhawks team that’s really only playing four blueliners, and will insert David Rundblad this evening at the expense of Kimmo Timonen.