Ducks go one up on Blackhawks thanks to Andersen, Despres

Chicago, IL ( - Frederik Andersen stopped 27 shots and Simon Despres potted the deciding goal late in the second period, and the Anaheim Ducks claimed a 2-1 decision over the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 3 of this Western Conference final.

"I'm surprised it (game-winner) went in because I didn't get it up in the air," said Despres after recording his first career playoff goal in his 18th NHL postseason appearance and 12th with Anaheim.

Patrick Maroon netted the other goal and Ryan Getzlaf added assists on both scores for the Ducks, who assumed a 2-1 edge in this best-of-seven set.

Patrick Kane produced the sole offense for the Blackhawks, while Corey Crawford made 25 stops in the setback, the first suffered at home by his club in this postseason.

Game 4 is set for Saturday at United Center.

Crawford made 13 saves in the middle frame, but allowed a crucial one to get past him. Despres finally snapped the tie on a one-timer off a Getzlaf dish from the outer portion of the right circle with 54.2 seconds to go before the second intermission.

"I got bumped the whole game. I've got to find a way to not get caught up, I guess," said Crawford, who drew traffic in front all night and was screened just prior to allowing the go-ahead score.

Chicago failed to capitalize on Getzlaf's high-sticking call just over five minutes into the third, generating little puck motion. The hosts also couldn't solve Andersen with expanded room during a 4-on-4 through the period's midway point.

Crawford was eventually pulled for an extra attacker with two minutes to go, though the Blackhawks found little space to operate in their own zone.

Marian Hossa put his first shot inside a minute remaining into Andersen's chest and his point blast later in the shift was gloved down by Andersen while falling backwards with 35.4 to play.

Despres then saved a potential game-prolonging chance from Kane in the final 10 seconds by laying his stick across to disrupt the shot enough and force it out of harm's way.

"It just came down to us not getting a bounce around the net," said Chicago captain Jonathan Toews.

After killing off two short-handed situations in the first 12-plus minutes, Anaheim struck on its first power play chance of the contest. Hampus Lindholm's long point shot was tipped in by Maroon through a Corey Perry screen at 12:55.

Kane had the best chance to knot the score midway through a four-minute advantage later in the opening period, but as he picked the far corner from the right side, the puck hit Toews instead and only got close to Andersen after a whack in front by Andrew Shaw.

"It's great to see how we responded as a group. That's the best way to do it in the playoffs. You just have to get ready for the next game," Andersen said of recovering from Tuesday's loss in triple overtime.

Kane got that shot back with 56.1 seconds left in the first, a spinning backhander from the slot which did not miss, finding space between the crook of Andersen's left arm.

The score tied him with Steve Larmer for fourth on the club's all-time postseason list with 45. Only Stan Mikita (59), Denis Savard (61) and Bobby Hull (62) have scored more.

Game Notes

Despres became the third Ducks defenseman to have his first career playoff goal count as a game winner, joining Dave Karpa (1997) and Kurt Sauer (2003) ... Getzlaf's 14 assists are five more than the group tied for second with nine, which includes Ducks teammate Jakob Silfverberg and Lightning players Nikita Kucherov and Victor Hedman ... The Blackhawks scratched forwards Antoine Vermette and Teuvo Teravainen, with Kris Versteeg and Joakim Nordstrom drawing in ... Prior to Thursday, Chicago had won five straight home playoff games and was 14-2 on Madison Street dating back to Game 5 of the 2013 Stanley Cup Finals. All three of the Blackhawks' losses since then have come to teams based in southern California.