So after almost two hours of hockey without scoring a goal, it took Marcus Kruger to finally beat Frederik Andersen and give the Chicago Blackhawks a 3-2 win in a triple overtime game, tying the series at 1-1.
The Blackhawks opened the game with two power play goals by Andrew Shaw and Marian Hossa, but from 6:19 into the game and until Kruger scored in the third overtime, the Blackhawks kept shooting blanks, getting 53 saves out of Andersen while Corey Crawford made an even more impressive 60, conceding once in the first period (Andrew Cogliano) and then in the second period from Corey Perry.
Maybe the most memorable moment from the game was Andrew Shaw scoring a goal with his head, like a soccer striker rising to connect with a cross, but the play and goal were cancelled, ruled illegal by the officials. During a power play in the second overtime, Shaw tried using his helmet to score off of Patrick Kane’s shot, but the referees called that one no good, as you’re not allowed to score goals intentionally with anything but the stick.
It was just a reaction right there. You do whatever you can to get that puck across the line. But we just kept working and competing, and we got lucky. Overtime goals are huge, so I tried to sell it as much as I could. It was just exciting, the reaction at the net. I was just out there using my head, I guess.
After having such an easy time in their conference semifinals, it seems that the Blackhawks and Wild are using up all that extra energy they saved up rather quickly. It was the longest game in the history of the Honda Center in Anaheim, the 17th-longest in NHL history and the longest since Dallas and San Jose went four overtimes on May 4, 2008. The Ducks haven’t been in a multi-overtime game since 2009, unlike the Blackhawks who needed a couple of marathons to beat the Predators in the first round. The game was the second longest in Ducks history, trailing only a five-overtime game at Dallas in 2003.
It was the first loss for the Ducks at home in the postseason (6-1 now), and it’s going to be very interesting seeing how these teams rebound from the incredible difficult ordeal as they head to Chicago.
You’re drained. I think both game plans on both teams get a little lax because you’re out there for so long. Physically, it’s tough. Guys cramp. You’re out there for so long, going through so many hits, and the game is so fast-paced, especially against this team. It’s a tough pill to swallow right now, but you’ve just got to get over it. We’ve got to recover.