CHICAGO – Frederik Andersen and the Anaheim Ducks left that grueling Game 2 loss back in Anaheim. They brought their special teams to Chicago.
Andersen made 27 saves, helping Anaheim kill off five power plays, and the Ducks beat the Chicago Blackhawks 2-1 on Thursday night for a 2-1 lead in the Western Conference finals.
Defenseman Simon Despres scored his first career playoff goal in the second period as top-seeded Anaheim bounced back quite nicely from Tuesday night's triple-overtime loss that included two power-play goals for Chicago. Patrick Maroon also scored for the Ducks, and Ryan Getzlaf had two assists.
"This was a character win," coach Bruce Boudreau said.
Ryan Kesler's two holding penalties contributed to more than nine power-play minutes for the Blackhawks, but the Ducks' penalty killers kept most of Chicago's opportunities to the outside, and Andersen stood his ground during a couple of goalmouth scrums.
"Yeah, we just sharpened up on the PK," Andersen said. "We weren't satisfied with what we did the last game. That was huge for this group coming off a tough loss where we gave up two goals on the PK. We wanted to be better today."
Patrick Kane scored his eighth playoff goal for Chicago, and Corey Crawford made 25 saves.
"It's frustrating that we lost, and frustrating because we had some opportunities whether it was the power play or different chances and stuff that would get me back in the game," Kane said. "Other than that, we knew it was going to be a tough series. This is a good team. It's tough to lose, especially at home, but we've got to regroup."
The Blackhawks shuffled their lineup while the Ducks went with the same group for Game 3. Forwards Kris Versteeg and Joakim Nordstrom were active, replacing Antoine Vermette and Teuvo Teravainen.
"We just wanted to get some fresh legs in there," coach Joel Quenneville said.