CHICAGO -- The top line of the Chicago Blackhawks dominated the early part of the third period Saturday and scored twice to give them a two-goal lead at 7:38.
But by the time Jonathan Toews, Brandon Saad and Marian Hossa returned to the ice for another shift, the Blackhawks were losing.
Chicago managed to survive and win Game 4 of the Western Conference Final, 5-4 in double overtime, but not before the Anaheim Ducks produced a stunning flurry of goals.
The Ducks scored three times in 37 seconds, the second-fastest three goals in Stanley Cup Playoffs history, to take a 4-3 lead.
"I've come to realize that our team's capable of a lot of things, especially at times when it looks like things are pretty dark and we might be out of it, were a group that believes, no matter what, in here," Ducks defenseman Cam Fowler said. "I'm really proud of our guys for fighting and battling back. Down a couple of goals, it would be easy to pack it in, but we didn't feel sorry for ourselves, we kept working at it and certainly gave it our all. So it's unfortunate to lose, but I thought we did a lot of really good things."
After Toews and defenseman Brent Seabrook scored to give Chicago a 3-1 lead, Anaheim didn't wait long to respond. Ryan Kesler scored 56 seconds after Seabrook when he shoveled a one-timer from Jakob Silfverberg past goaltender Corey Crawford while standing still in the slot at 8:42 of the third.
Antoine Vermette, about 90 minutes before becoming the overtime hero, was about to skate the puck out of danger for the Blackhawks on the next shift, but Ducks forward Matt Beleskey stole it from him and beat Crawford with a shot at 9:05.
Chicago coach Joel Quenneville called his timeout, one he said might have been "the worst timeout I've ever called" because the Ducks' bombardment continued. Ryan Getzlaf threw the puck at the net from the left wing and Corey Perry was able to tuck home the rebound while falling to ice at 9:19.
"Even though we lost the game, I think it puts a little more doubt in their mind by getting those three goals and going up 4-3," Ducks forward Andrew Cogliano said. "I think they can say what they want and they won the game. [The series is] 2-2, but we went up 4-3, and if we are ever in that situation again -- hopefully not -- but they know we're not going to give up and that's a good sign for this team to do that. We didn't give up. We battled back. We got the goals that we needed, but ultimately they won and the series is tied."
Game 5 is at Honda Center on Monday (9 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).
The goals happened so quickly, the public address announcer had to announce all three at the same time when play resumed after Perry's goal. The United Center crowd was silent for a couple of minutes, though a penalty on Silfverberg at 12:23 and Patrick Kane's power-play goal 19 seconds later changed that.
"I can't describe what happened during those few minutes there," Blackhawks center Brad Richards said. "I couldn't dream that up in a million years."
Thirty-six years ago, on April 12, 1979, the Toronto Maple Leafs scored three goals in 23 seconds against the Atlanta Flames in the preliminary round.
Chicago has been tied 2-2 in a playoff series seven times since Toews and Kane arrived. Not only have the Blackhawks won each of those seven series, they've never faced a Game 7.
Chicago is 14-0 in Games 5 and 6 since 2008-09 when the series is tied after four.
"It is 2-2, but the longer the game goes, the more those [defensemen] play. That's a good thing for us," Cogliano said. "Those guys are great defensemen. They are top, top-end defensemen, but they are playing a lot of minutes. We're going home and we're going to make it tough on them and we're going to get on the forecheck.
"I thought we held our own in this building. We had two road games that were pretty good. We got the split. It would have been nice to get the OT winner tonight, but it is going to be a long series. This is a championship team and they don't die."