CHICAGO -- Duncan Keith
could very easily have the Norris Trophy in his possession after this season. After the Chicago Blackhawks emerged with a 7-4 victory against the Philadelphia Flyers in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final, the defenseman is one win away from having the Cup, too.
Keith didn't have his best game of the playoffs Sunday night at United Center, but he had an assist on Dustin Byfuglien's power-play goal in the second period while spending a team-high 27:11 on the ice as Chicago won 7-4 and grabbed a 3-2 lead in the best-of-7 series. Keith was on the ice for a pair of Flyers goals, but his stick exploded while taking a shot and he was unable to prevent Simon Gagne's goal that cut the lead to two with 2:36 remaining.
After the game, Keith, who could floss with a ham sandwich if he wanted to right now -- he still shows the effects of losing seven teeth from taking a puck in the face in the previous round -- sat at his locker and spoke to reporters. Q: Was this the type of game you wanted to play where the tempo was a little faster than it was in Philadelphia? Keith:
I thought we tried to dictate the pace. I thought for the most part it was pretty solid from start to finish. Q: How important was it to have the defense controlling things from the back? Keith:
I think that's part of it, getting the D activated and relieving some pressure on the forwards. Q: How big was the crowd tonight? Keith:
I think we talked about using the home ice to our advantage and having everyone going; battling, second efforts, and that was the result. Q: Was this one of your better games of the playoffs? Keith:
I don't know. I don't think so. I think it was just an average game. Q: What's it like to know you have just one more game to win to get the Stanley Cup? Keith:
We've got a great opportunity here. At the same time, we can't think about the result. It's all about the first shift at the start of the game and going from there just like we did tonight. Q: How important was it to not only get the fast start but to also prevent them from answering back quickly like they were doing in Philadelphia? Keith:
That was key. There have been times when we've come out and had starts where we played the way we liked, but then there were times we've had lapses and they've taken the momentum away. For the most part, we did a good job staying out of the box better than we've done. We can still be better, but we did a good job penalty killing tonight and using our speed. Everybody on the team was battling. Q: Is it a sign of maturity that this team isn't celebrating this win too much? Keith:
I'd like to think so. We just realize that nothing's won yet. We need one more win to do it. Q: Did Joel Quenneville shuffling the lines give the team the boost it needed in this game? Keith:
I don't know. I thought everybody was skating and everyone was working hard. Whether that was the lines or not, I don't know. I just think the compete level was better than we've had it. Follow Dave Lozo on Twitter: @DLozoNHL
Author: Dave Lozo | NHL.com Staff Writer