After two series wins against overachieving Canadian clubs, the Anaheim Ducks are on to the Western Conference final for the first time since 2007.
Anaheim draws its toughest test of the Stanley Cup playoffs against the Chicago Blackhawks, arguably the most successful team over the past decade.
Between Corey Perry, Ryan Getzlaf, Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews, there will be plenty of star power in the best-of-seven series, but the match-up could come down to goaltending.
Ducks goaltender Frederik Andersen has posted a 1.96 goals-against average and a .925 save percentage since the post-season began while Chicago’s Corey Crawford bounced back in Round 2 after a shaky start against the Nashville Predators when backup Scott Darling had to step in.
Here’s a look at how the two teams match up.
ANAHEIM DUCKS: 51-24-7. 1st in Western Conference
CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS: 48-28-6. 4th in Western Conference
Last game played head-to-head: On Jan. 30, Patrick Kane had two goals and an assist while Patrick Sharp registered four assists to lead Chicago to a 4-1 victory over the Ducks. Frederik Andersen stopped 29 shots for Anaheim.
LEADING PLAYOFF SCORERS
Anaheim: Corey Perry (15 pts), Ryan Getzlaf (12), Jakob Silfverberg (11)
Chicago: Patrick Kane (13 pts), Jonathan Toews (11), Duncan Keith (10)
ADVANCED STATS (regular season)
Anaheim: 5on5CF% – 51.1; 5on5Sv% – .919; 5on5Sh% – 8.53; PDO = 100.4
Chicago: 5on5CF% – 53.6; 5on5Sv% – .936; 5on5Sh% – 7.02; PDO – 100.6
SECOND ROUND SERIES
Anaheim: Beat the Flames 4-1
Chicago: Beat the Wild 4-0
LAST TIME THEY MET IN THE PLAYOFFS: The Ducks have never faced off against the Blackhawks in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
ANAHEIM’S HIGHLIGHT OF THE PLAYOFFS
Ducks forward Emerson Etem walks through Jets defenceman Jacob Trouba with a ridiculous individual effort to score the goal of the post-season.
CHICAGO’S HIGHLIGHT OF THE PLAYOFFS
With all due respect to some great goals from Patrick Kane, Duncan Keith, and Jonathan Toews, it’s tough to top Brent Seabrook’s triple overtime winner that sunk the Predators in Round 1.
Chicago: Michael Rozsival (out: fractured left ankle), Kris Versteeg (day-to-day: lower-body injury)