There was a lot riding on last night’s series finale between the Anaheim Ducks and the Chicago Blackhawks. The Ducks needed to get themselves out of a rut as a four game losing streak was starting to put them on their heels.
They needed a win not only for the team’s ego, but in respect to the standings as the their freeway foe the Los Angeles Kings were slowly creeping in their rear view mirror — only eight points back from the top spot in the Pacific Division.
Friday night was the last matchup between the Ducks and the Blackhawks — the league’s top two teams. Anaheim pulled off a win with a late third period goal, concluding the series with a sweep over the Blackhawks.
Fortunately for Anaheim, Chicago is still without the help of their star players Patrick Sharp and Marian Hossa. If both or one of them laced them up, the outcomes of either matchup over the past week could’ve wound up differently, but in sports there aren’t pity parties for teams suffering from injuries. It’s a part of the game and it’s up to those teams to find a way to win.
Last night, the Ducks showed a glimpse of what they’re capable of and what they’ve been successful at all season long. The team showed hardly any hesitation on the ice as their passes were more crisp and precise and once again they were perfect at even strength.
Bobby Ryan had multiple cracks at a goal as he threw seven shots at Ray Emery‘s way, but Chicago’s netminder made some timely saves to keep his team in it. Anaheim outchanced Chicago 13-7 and Jonas Hiller was tested only a handful of times. A lot of that had to do with the Ducks not only being confident when playing the puck out of their zone, but reciprocating that on the other end of the rink and penning the Blackhawks in their end.
The Ducks’ next road game is against the Columbus Blue Jackets, which is a relief to know after the team had played against the San Jose Sharks, the Detroit Red Wings and the Blackhawks multiple times over the past 11 days.
Just one more game left in this challenging month of March where they the Ducks have been able to stay afloat, sailing on a 9-4-3 record.
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