Ducks, Blackhawks Conclude Epic Series With Game 7
The 2015 Western Conference Finals have been one of the most evenly-matched, spectacular Stanley Cup playoff series this decade and unfortunately it will have to conclude on Saturday night in Anaheim when the Ducks host the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 7. Anaheim is a -127 favorite at Bovada with a total of 5 goals. The Stanley Cup Finals begin Wednesday.
Need To Know
Anaheim defenseman Francois Beauchemin said the Ducks-Blackhawks series has been “for sure the most exciting series I’ve ever been a part of.
“It seems like every game, the team that was down, found a way to come back and make a game of it,” Beauchemin said. “Even if you’re down by two or three goals, the other team has found a way to come back.”
Both the Ducks and Blackhawks are preparing for their first Game 7 appearance of the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs. The last Game 7 appearance for each was a home loss to Los Angeles during the Kings’ run to the championship in 2014. The Kings eliminated the Ducks with a 6-2 win at Honda Center in the Second Round and vanquished the Blackhawks with a 5-4 overtime win at United Center in the Western Conference Final.
The Ducks are playing in a Game 7 for the third consecutive season, having dropped home decisions to the Detroit Red Wings in the Western Conference Quarterfinals in 2013 and to the Kings in 2014.
“The last two years, we were a different team,” Beauchemin said. “We were a younger team. We added some players last summer that have been making the difference all year long for our team. Like I said, it’s not going to be the same Ducks that played Game 7 the last two years.”
The Blackhawks will be skating in their fourth Game 7 in the past five seasons, with each of the past three extending to overtime. Chicago dropped a 2-1 decision at Vancouver in the 2011 Western Conference Quarterfinals and defeated Detroit 2-1 on a Brent Seabrook goal in the Western Conference Semifinals in 2013 en route to the Stanley Cup before their loss to the Kings last season.
If there is a lesson to come from last season, it’s the Blackhawks want to decide Saturday’s Game 7 in regulation. As much success as the Blackhawks have had in overtime — they’re 4-1 in overtime games in this year’s playoffs — they also understand the randomness of it.
“Obviously, you get in overtime in a Game 7, anything can happen,” Coach Joel Quenneville said. “Those type of things, we’ve seen three overtime games in our series here. There’s some unpredictability there. But Game 7, as a player, those are the type of games you want to be a part of. The disappointment that we exited with is something that should get us excited.”
Blackhawks forward Brad Richards brings a perfect 7-0 record in Game 7s to Saturday’s showdown, while teammate Marian Hossa will be appearing in his ninth such game (2-6), the most on both rosters. The combined Game 7 record of Blackhawks players is 28-30; the Ducks’ is 7-29. Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau is 1-5 in his coaching history in Game 7s.
The Ducks have surrendered 14 goals in the past three games, but the consensus is goalie Frederik Andersen was sharper in the Game 6 5-2 defeat than he was in giving up two goals late in the Game 5 overtime victory. Andersen said the chaos in front of him in Game 6 was costly as the Blackhawks scored three goals in a 3-minute, 45-second stretch in which defenseman Duncan Keith assisted on all three.
Key Betting Trends
Blackhawks are 5-2 in their last 7 when their opponent scores 2 goals or less in their previous game.
Blackhawks are 1-4 in their last 5 when their opponent allows 5 goals or more in their previous game.
Ducks are 5-0 in their last 5 games playing on 2 days rest.
Ducks are 4-1 in their last 5 after scoring 2 goals or less in their previous game.
Ducks are 10-3 in their last 13 games following a loss of 3 or more goals.
Under is 3-1-2 in the last 6 meetings in Anaheim.
Over is 3-1-2 in the last 6 meetings.
Blackhawks are 9-23-2 in the last 34 meetings in Anaheim.
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