The Western Conference Final has been a series of give and take, absorb then respond. Chicago has to hope that trend continues as Anaheim moved within one victory of the Stanley Cup Final with its 5-4 overtime win in Game 5 tonight.
Chicago and Anaheim had gone past the 60-minute mark twice in this series before tonight’s game and the Blackhawks had claimed both of those contests. That combined with the fact that Monday’s contest went to overtime because Jonathan Toews scored twice in the final two minutes of the third seemed to suggest that Chicago was the more likely team to come out on top.
Matt Beleskey had other ideas though as he found the back of the net with help from Ryan Kesler and Jakob Silfverberg. The fact that Beleskey was the difference was an interesting wrinkle as he initially lost his second line role to Tomas Fleischmann at the start of the contest.
Shaking up the lines seemed to have a positive result at first as Anaheim dominated the first period. The Ducks came out flying tonight with an 11-3 edge in shots on goal in the first period. By the time that frame was over, Anaheim had a 3-0 lead.
The Ducks needed every last one of those markers because Chicago wasn’t ready to concede this game. Rookie Teuvo Teravainen had a big second period to narrow Anaheim’s edge to a single goal, which set the stage for Toews’ third period heroics.
Although he didn’t have the most dramatic game, this was also a historic night for Ryan Getzlaf as his two assists gives him a franchise record breaking 19 points in 14 playoff games.
Of course the most important thing for him and the Ducks is that they now have a 3-2 series lead. This isn’t how they wanted the game to go, but they can’t argue with the result.
2015 Ducks and 1979 Rangers are only teams to play 14 games to start the playoffs without losing in regulation. (fvia @eliassports)
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) May 26, 2015