Chicago, IL (SportsNetwork.com) - Andrew Shaw scored the final two goals of the contest, and the Chicago Blackhawks have forced a deciding Game 7 with a 5-2 victory over the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday at United Center.
Brandon Saad, Marian Hossa and Patrick Kane also lit the lamp for the Blackhawks, while Duncan Keith netted three second-period assists and Andrew Desjardins drew helpers on Shaw's markers.
Corey Crawford came up with 30 saves and his team now faces a terminal contest in a Western Conference final for the second consecutive season. Last year, Chicago lost a Game 7 in overtime on home ice to eventual champions Los Angeles.
"That was the toughest loss of our lives," mentioned Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville.
Patrick Maroon and Clayton Stoner tallied for the Ducks, who could have advanced to the franchise's third Stanley Cup Final with a victory. Anaheim will look to put last year's seven-game, second-round loss to the Kings in the rearview mirror in hosting Game 7 on Saturday.
"You've got one chance to go play for the Stanley Cup. It's one game in your building with your fans," noted Ducks head coach Bruce Boudreau, who has had his share of misfortune in these situations.
Frederik Andersen stopped just 18 shots in defeat, his club's first in regulation during these playoffs.
Stoner's shot from the left point at 1:57 of the third period eluded Crawford off the far post and brought the Ducks within 3-2, but might have been aided by Jakob Silfverberg's contact with the netminder's glove.
The pace began to pick up as time ticked away, and the hosts capitalized as Desjardins chased down an Antoine Vermette dump-in down the left wing and chipped ahead, where Shaw fought off Anaheim captain Ryan Getzlaf and scored on the backhand with 3:32 remaining.
Andersen was called to the bench for an extra skater with 2:23 to go, but Desjardins teamed up with Shaw to put the clincher into the vacant cage with 49 seconds showing.
Each side wasted a power-play chance in the first period, with Crawford making 10 saves and Andersen turning away six shots.
Saad broke the scoreless deadlock on his break up the middle and scored through Andersen's pads at 8:23 of the second period. The marker was made possible by a stretch pass from Keith inside his defensive zone and a one- touch tip at center ice by Kane.
Hossa made it 2-0 just over two minutes later, the recipient of Keith's patience at the point where he faked a shot twice before dishing to the veteran in the right circle for a successful shot inside the near post.
"He's kind of a freak as far as his metabolism and his conditioning level. The more he plays, the more he gets going," Quenneville said of his top defenseman, who logged more than 28 1/2 minutes of ice time.
Kane then deked a defender in crossing from right to left at the circles, then pushed a shot which slid through Andersen and over the goal line, giving Chicago a three-goal bulge at 12:08.
However, Maroon tipped in a Cam Fowler shot only seven seconds into a Brad Richards hooking minor and the Ducks were on the board with less than six minutes left before intermission.
Andersen kept it a two-goal edge by denying Marcus Kruger with his right pad at the near post a short time later.
"We weren't very good tonight. But, you know what, Saturday is a new day. We'll refocus and be much better," Maroon stated.
With the Lightning-Rangers Eastern Conference finals also going the distance, it marks the first time since 2000 (Devils/Stars) that the Cup Final entrants won in Game 7s ... Kane recorded his 10th career playoff game-winning goal, tying Jonathan Toews for third on the Blackhawks' list behind Bobby Hull and Stan Mikita (11) ... Keith's three second-period assists matched Chris Chelios' similar feat in the third frame on May 18, 1992 in a 4-2 win over the Oilers in Game 2 of the Western finals ... At one point, the Blackhawks won the game's first 12 draws and ended the first period winning 15-of-19, totaling 33-of-50 overall in faceoffs.