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Blackhawks confident in close games against Ducks

by Curtis Zupke /



Best-of-7-series tied 2-2

The Chicago Blackhawks have a positive outlook about being in a tied series with two of the remaining three games away from home. Close games have gone their way for most of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, including their second overtime win against the Anaheim Ducks in Game 4.

"We just need to bypass the first three periods and just play OT, it seems like," Chicago forward Bryan Bickell said.

Bickell got serious and added, "I thought the last game was a big step to find the back of the net against [Anaheim goalie Frederik] Andersen. You see that he is kind of human because he’s been standing on his head of late. [You] take some goods and bads off of the last game and feed off it."

After its 5-4 win Saturday, Chicago is 4-0 in overtime; Anaheim is 2-3. But Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said though they typically are better late in a series, the Ducks are not like most opponents.

"These games, they’re long games, they’re hard games, even if it goes 60 [minutes]," Quenneville said. "At the same time, we feel we have to get better each and every game. We know we needed our best game [Saturday] night. I thought we had a hell of a game [Saturday] night. We’re going to need a better game in Game 5 going into their building."

Much of the talk Sunday continued to revolve around Anaheim trying to wear down Chicago’s thin defense. The Blackhawks said the Ducks are, in turn, spending a lot of energy trying to do so and it hasn’t mattered much.

"It’s going to wear them down," Anaheim center Ryan Kesler said. "No human can withstand that many hits. We’re going to keep banging out there and going after them."

Anaheim is probably spending too much time on defense because of the discrepancy in power plays: The Ducks have nine to the Blackhawks' 17. Anaheim captain Ryan Getzlaf was diplomatic, saying, "It’s a matter of bearing down, winning special teams. When you have those kills, you have to get them. When we have power-play opportunities, we have to take advantage of them."

Neither Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau nor Quenneville revealed any lineup changes. Boudreau has forwards Tomas Fleischmann and Chris Wagner, and defenseman James Wisniewski available, but said he didn’t want to make any rash decisions.

Boudreau is aware Chicago is coming in with positivity and experience.

"I think they feel pretty good," Boudreau said. "I think they know they’re in a series. I mean, I don’t think they think they’ve had it very easy. It’s our job to continue to make them feel that way."

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