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Chicago 5, ANAHEIM 3 – CHI wins series 4-3
OFFENSE POWERS BLACKHAWKS INTO STANLEY CUP FINAL
The Chicago Blackhawks built a 4-0 lead in the second period – triggered by two goals from captain Jonathan Toews in the opening frame – and stifled a rally by the Anaheim Ducks to claim a Game 7 victory and a berth in the Stanley Cup Final.
* The Blackhawks advanced to the Final for the 13th time in franchise history and for the third time in the past six seasons (also 2010 and 2013). Via Elias, Chicago is the third team in the last 24 years to reach the Stanley Cup Final at least three times in a six-year span. The others: the Detroit Red Wings (1995-97-98 and 1997-98-2002) and the New Jersey Devils (2000-01-03).
* The Blackhawks improved to 7-6 in 13 all-time Game 7s, including 2-3 on the road. Their only other Game 7 win on the road was in the 1965 Semifinals, when they beat the Red Wings 4-2 before losing to the Montreal Canadiens in seven games in the Stanley Cup Final (4-0 L at Montreal in Game 7).
* The Blackhawks improved to 11-4 when facing elimination since the start of the 2009 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
* The Blackhawks won a series in which they faced a 3-2 series deficit for the third time in franchise history and the second time in the past three years; they also did it in the 2013 Western Conference Semifinals vs. Detroit. The only other such instance also was against Detroit, in the 1965 Semifinals.
* The Blackhawks scored five goals in three of seven games against the Ducks – all wins: Game 4 (5-4 OT), Game 6 (5-2) and Game 7 (5-3). Via Elias, the Blackhawks are the first team to score five or more goals in Games 6 and 7 of either the Conference Finals or Stanley Cup Final since the Kings in the 1993 WCF vs. the Toronto Maple Leafs (Game 6: 5-4 OT W, Game 7: 5-4 W).
* Chicago last scored five or more goals in three games in a single playoff series in the 2010 WSF vs. the Vancouver Canucks (Game 3: 5-2 W, Game 4: 7-4 W, Game 6: 5-1 W).
* The Blackhawks improved to 32-0-0 when leading after two periods this season (regular season and playoffs), including a 7-0 during the postseason. They are the only team that has not lost in any manner this season when taking a lead into the third period.
* The team that scored first won all seven games in this series. Chicago is 9-1 when scoring first this postseason; their nine victories are tied for first in the NHL with their Stanley Cup Final opponent, the Tampa Bay Lightning (9-0).
* ICYMI: Click here to see the handshake line between the Blackhawks and Ducks.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS: TOEWS AND KANE
Chicago captain Jonathan Toews (2-0—2) and Patrick Kane (0-3—3) combined for five points in Game 7 and totaled 14 points in the series (Toews: 5-2—7, Kane: 3-4—7).
* Toews registered his second multiple-goal game of the postseason and second straight such performance at Honda Center. He scored twice in 72 seconds in the final two minutes of Game 5 to enable the Blackhawks to force overtime.
* Per Elias, Toews is the first player in NHL history to record multiple goals in Games 5 and 7 on the road in a single playoff series. Pavel Bure was the last player to accomplish the feat – multiple goals in Games 5 and 7 on the road – in a single postseason (1994 – Game 7 of WQF at the Calgary Flames and Game 5 of the Final at the New York Rangers).
* Elias adds that Toews is the first Blackhawks player to score four straight team goals on the road in the playoffs (the last two goals in Game 5 and the first two in Game 7) since the 1963 Semifinals at Detroit. The last player to do it for any team was Joffrey Lupul, who scored all four goals for the Ducks in Game 3 of the 2006 WSF at the Colorado Avalanche (4-3 OT W).
* Via Sportsnet Stats, Toews has seven multiple-goal games in the postseason since the start of the 2009 Stanley Cup Playoffs. The only player with more in that span is Kane (8).
* Overall, Toews is tied for fifth in the NHL with 18 points this postseason (9-9—18 in 17 GP). His nine goals equal the career-high he set last year in 19 GP.
* Via Elias, Kane had his 31st career performance with three or more points in the playoffs and sixth such game with the Blackhawks facing elimination (5-1). His last three-point playoff game was exactly one year earlier, on May 30, 2014, in Game 6 of the WCF at the Los Angeles Kings (2-1—3, 4-3 W).
* Kane has multiple points in each of Chicago's past five games when facing elimination dating to last year vs. Los Angeles.
Patrick Kane, last five games with CHI facing elimination
May 28, 2014 – Game 5 vs. Kings: 0-4—4
May 30, 2014 – Game 6 at Kings: 2-1—3
June 1, 2014 – Game 7 vs. Kings: 0-2—2
May 27, 2015 – Game 6 vs. Ducks: 1-1—2
May 30, 2015 – Game 7 at Ducks: 0-3—3
* Kane (10-10—20) leads the Blackhawks and is tied for second in the NHL in goals and points this postseason (17 GP). Tyler Johnson (12-9—21) of the Lightning is the only player ahead of him in each category.
USUAL SUSPECTS (AGAIN) GUIDE BLACKHAWKS
Beyond Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane, Chicago was again led by other notable names, including multiple-point efforts from Duncan Keith (0-2—2) and Brad Richards (0-2—2) and goals by Brandon Saad, Marian Hossa and Brent Seabrook.
* Keith, who logged a game-high 27:51 of ice time, had his second consecutive multi-assist performance. In Game 6, he tallied 0-3—3 to become the fourth player in Blackhawks history to have three assists in one period of a playoff game.
* Keith leads NHL defensemen in assists (16) and points (18) this postseason (17 GP), establishing playoff career highs in both categories. He also paces all skaters in total time on ice (537:04) and plus-minus (plus-13); his 31:35 average time on ice leads all players still participating in this year's playoffs.
* Saad hit the back of the net for the sixth time this postseason and the third time in his last four outings (3-2—5). His six goals this spring match the career-high he set last year (19 GP).
* Hossa, who had 2-2—4 in Games 4-7, scored his 12th career playoff game-winning goal and second this year (tying a career high). Elias says the Blackhawks are 16-0 all-time when Hossa scores in the playoffs.
* Hossa (49-91—140 in 188 GP), who has 4-9—13 this postseason (17 GP), surpassed Jacques Lemaire (61-78—139 in 145 GP) for 34th place on the NHL's all-time postseason points list. Only Jaromir Jagr (78-121—199 in 202 GP) has more points among active players.
* Richards improved to 8-0 in career Game 7s (five with the Rangers, two with the Lightning, one with the Blackhawks), becoming the first player in NHL history to win eight consecutive Game 7s at any point in a career. The only other players with at least seven consecutive such victories are Red Kelly (7-0 in his career) and former Rangers teammate Anton Stralman, who improved to 7-0 in his career with Tampa Bay's victory against the Rangers on Friday.
* Richards also tied the NHL record for most career Game 7 victories; Glenn Anderson and Ray Bourque are the only other players with eight Game 7 wins.
Brad Richards, All-Time Game 7s
5/30/15, w/ CHI, WCF vs. Anaheim (CHI 5 at ANA 3)
5/13/14, w/ NYR, ESR vs. Pittsburgh (NYR 2 at PIT 1)
4/30/14, w/ NYR, EFR vs. Philadelphia (PHI 1 at NYR 2)
5/13/13, w/ NYR, EQF vs. Washington (NYR 5 at WSH 0)
5/12/12, w/ NYR, ESF vs. Washington (WSH 1 at NYR 2)
4/26/12, w/ NYR, EQF vs. Ottawa (OTT 1 at NYR 2)
6/7/04, w/ TBL, F vs. Calgary (CGY 1 at TBL 2)
5/22/04, w/ TBL, ECF vs. Philadelphia (PHI 1 at TBL 2)
* Corey Crawford stopped 35 of 38 shots he faced to improve to 2-2 with a 2.59 goals-against average and .919 save percentage in four career Game 7s. This was his first Game 7 that did not require overtime.
* Crawford also improved to 11-3 in 14 career games when facing elimination (2.28 goals-against average, .922 save percentage). Overall, he is 9-4-1 with a 2.56 goals-against average, .919 save percentage and one shutout in the 2015 playoffs.
2015 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS BRACKET CHALLENGE
Among the more than 800,000 entries for the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs Bracket Challenge powered by Samsung, 30.20% picked the Blackhawks to reach the Stanley Cup Final.
Only 609 brackets (0.07%) have correctly selected the winner of all 14 series that have been completed thus far this year.
GAME 7 TRENDS
* Road teams are 67-94 (.416) in 161 all-times Game 7s in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, including 2-3 this year. The two wins came in the conference finals; the Lightning defeated the Rangers 2-0 in New York on Friday.
* The club that scores first improved to 119-42 (.739) in Game 7s, including 4-1 this year.
The Ducks fell to 2-5 in seven all-time Game 7s and are 1-3 at home. … Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville improved to 3-4 in seven all-time Game 7s; he is 2-2 with Chicago. … Ducks goaltender Frederik Andersen made 21 saves in the loss while playing in his first career Game 7. He finished the 2015 playoffs with an 11-5 record, 2.34 goals-against average, .913 save percentage and one shutout. … Ducks forward Corey Perry (16 GP) scored his 10th goal, tying the single-year franchise playoff record (Andy McDonald: 10-4—14 in 2007, 21 GP). … Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf registered his League-leading 18th assist of the postseason (16 GP). He finished the 2015 playoffs with 2-18—20, setting career highs and franchise record for assists and points in a single playoff year. … Getzlaf and Francois Beauchemin each played in his 97th career playoff game, all with the Ducks, to surpass Teemu Selanne and establish a franchise record. … Ryan Kesler and Matt Beleskey also scored for the Ducks to finish the postseason with 7-6—13 and 8-1—9, respectively (16 GP). … Kesler matched a single-year playoff career high with seven goals; he also had seven in 25 games with Vancouver in 2011. … ICYMI: The Chicago Cubs tweeted a photo of the entire team wearing Blackhawks jerseys. … Former Ducks forward Teemu Selanne, who retired after the 2013-14 season, joined in the excitement ahead of Saturday's Game 7. … Click here for an all-access look at Game 7 between the Lightning and Rangers and here to watch the handshake line. … #MyPlayoffsMoment: Watch Lightning fans react to Tampa Bay's victory, which propelled them into the Stanley Cup Final for the second time in franchise history. … The NHL and the Nashville Predators unveiled the official logo for the 2016 NHL All-Star festivities, which will be held Saturday, Jan. 30 and Sunday, Jan. 31 at Bridgestone Arena in downtown Nashville.