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Blackhawks look to tie series against Ducks in Game 2

by Curtis Zupke /



Anaheim leads best-of-7 series 1-0

The Chicago Blackhawks, looking to even the Western Conference Final, will try to avoid their thinned defense getting worn down against waves of Anaheim Ducks forwards.

Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews said Chicago's forwards can play a part in Game 2 by lessening the responsibility on its defensemen.

"I think we definitely get it from the D-men a little bit when we don't get the puck deep, and when our D-men are tired they want to change and we try and do too much," Toews said. "I think it's just having that mindset knowing that, even as forwards, we've got to keep our legs fresh if we want to keep that pace as high and as fast as we can."

Chicago continued to rely heavily on its top four defensemen in Game 1 but allowed goals to Anaheim's third line in a 4-1 loss.

Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville on Monday refused to confirm any lineup change, but multiple signs point to Kyle Cumiskey replacing David Rundblad, who struggled in Game 1 replacing injured Michal Rozsival (ankle).

Quenneville also was vague when asked about Anaheim trying to wear down his defense.

"We know they're a physical team," he said. "That's part of it. We want to make sure we don't get distracted where we've got to go to be successful."

Anaheim is 6-0 at home in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The Ducks were outplayed at the start of Game 1 and leaned on goalie Frederik Andersen throughout, a strategy coach Bruce Boudreau said has to be adjusted against the Blackhawks, who are intent on crowding the slot and creating traffic.

"It's something that we have to acknowledge and we have to get better at," Boudreau said. "I mean, we weren't very good in our net play. We've got to get better at it because, I mean, we gave up way too many opportunities in the blue paint. If you watched practice [Monday], we were working on it a little bit out there today."

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