For one reason or another, the Chicago Blackhawks have always found a way to be a part of some historically important and historically long playoff hockey games.
Tuesday night in Anaheim was no exception — in fact, it was the longest Blackhawks playoff game in franchise history.
Throughout all of the six period bonanza the Ducks were trying to hold off the Blackhawks from scoring any more after a two-goal first period for Chicago.
They nearly accomplished that feat.
After the Ducks tied it at two goals-a-piece in the second period thanks to a late Corey Perry goal there was no scoring for over sixty minutes. While both teams are obviously NHL juggernauts, when the game shifted to the overtime phase it was beyond obvious that neither squad felt prepared to go that long in the ring.
A perfect example of that was a bizarre goal by Andrew Shaw who head-butted it past Frederik Andersen after Patrick Kane’s shot bounced off a leg pad and into mid-air.
At first, it looked like Chicago had just won it on a circus shot but the referees called it off.
Take a look for yourself:
Instead of the game ending in favor of Chicago following that incident, the game went on to play for nearly another thirty minutes.
This meant a ton of extra hockey, which is great for the fans and the media and all, but I can only imagine how exhausting it must have been to stay on the ice and actually try and play your hardest.
Even Chicago, with their plethora of triple, double, and normal overtime experience looked worn out by the time the sixth period was about to get under way.
It looked like things might even be headed to a fourth overtime, but before that could happen Marcus Kruger brought the puck home past Andersen with less than four minutes remaining in triple overtime.
Take a look:
That kind of a shot is what it took for things to simmer down in Honda Center and as you can imagine the fans were not to happy about the way it ended after all that.
To add insult to injury, Anaheim had several shots ring off the post and one of them even got behind Corey Crawford’s mask and went right off the top crossbar.
Sometimes I guess it just wasn’t meant to be.
With the win the Blackhawks tie the Western Conference Final at 1-1 and now control home ice in the series.
The Ducks will need all the help they can get to be able to grab at least one game in Chicago to tip the scale back in their direction but with the way the Blackhawks are playing — and the way Chicago fans are — we might not see that happen.
The winner of this series will face the winner of the Tampa Bay Lightning – New York Rangers series (also tied 1-1) going on to determine the Eastern Conference champion and then those two teams will square off for the Stanley Cup Final.