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Ducks hold shot-blocking edge on Blackhawks

by Brian Hedger /

ANAHEIM -- If it seems like the Anaheim Ducks are blocking a lot more shots than the Chicago Blackhawks in the Western Conference Final, it's because that's exactly what's happening.

The Ducks have blocked 34.9 percent of all Blackhawks shot attempts in the first six games; the Blackhawks have blocked 23.5 percent of Ducks attempts.

"I think we try to do, basically, the same things that we do all the time," Blackhawks defenseman Johnny Oduya said. "Obviously, the more blocks you can get, you want to have, but it depends a little bit on the situations in the game and the series."

Game 7 is at Honda Center on Saturday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, TVA Sports). The winner will advance to the Stanley Cup Final.

The numbers for the series, from a percentage standpoint, are close to what each team had throughout the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The Ducks have blocked 31 percent of all attempts they've faced, third among the 16 playoff teams, and first among the four teams that advanced to the conference finals.

The Blackhawks' 23.5 percent for their 16 playoff games, which mirrors their percentage from this series, ranks 14th in the postseason and fourth among the remaining teams.

"When you've been chasing [the lead] more, you have the puck more," Oduya said. "You're on the attack and you get the blocks against you, so there's a number of things that play into that. I don't think we look at anything specific, about how many pucks we block or not. We want to do the things that are necessary and we play the game that's in front of us. I think that's pretty much it."

Oduya said the Blackhawks haven't shied from blocking shots because they're down to four dependable defensemen following a season-ending injury to Michal Rozsival (fractured ankle) in Game 4 the Western Conference Second Round against the Minnesota Wild.

"The mindset is always going to be the same," Oduya said. "We come out to play every shift hard. If you have to block a shot, you block a shot. I don't think you will have the mindset any differently. If you're thinking about getting hurt, you're going to get hurt."

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