The Chicago Blackhawks (48-28-6) looked sloppy in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals against the Anaheim Ducks (51-24-7), and now seek to correct their mistakes and avoid going down 2-0 when they visit Honda Center, tonight (9:00 PM Eastern).
The Ducks’ leaders of Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf were quiet on the score sheet in Game 1, notching just one assist between the two of them. Instead the team flexed its depth with the likes of Hampus Lindholm, Nate Thompson and Kyle Palmieri lighting the lamp.
“We know, and the Blackhawks know, that you have to get scoring from everywhere in your lineup to win at this level,” Ducks Center Ryan Getzlaf told the Associated Press. “We’ve got a bunch of it this year, and the guys came through in Game 1 when our line wasn’t very good. We’ve got players we trust all through this lineup.”
The Ducks are flying high in this postseason, winning nine of 10 games so far, and scoring a league’s best 3.9 goals per game while allowing just 1.9 against. Anaheim has saved their best hockey for the final frame, outscoring teams 18-3 in third period this postseason.
Chicago had a five-game winning streak going before the Ducks thrashed them 4-1 in Game 1; the team was outhit 44-34 and frustrated by Frederik Andersen who stopped 33 shots, including 16 in the first period.
The Blackhawks haven’t trailed 2-0 in a postseason series since last year’s first round matchup against the St. Louis Blues, a series they came back to win. The bad news for them is Anaheim is still unbeaten at home during these playoffs.
“We’ve had some of our top guys playing really well, (but) I think there’s still some guys who feel like their offense is yet to come,” said Jonathan Toews to the Associated Press. “Doesn’t matter who it is. We’ll keep pushing, we’ll find ways, and we’re confident.”
Anaheim 15-7-1 SU in its last 23 games when playing at home against Chicago. The total has gone UNDER in nine of the Ducks last 13 games when playing at home against the Blackhawks.
Pick: Ducks (-126).
(Photo credit: Michael Miller (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.)