Fresh off exacting revenge on the Colorado Avalanche for ending their historic point streak, the Hawks were looking to start a run. Unfortunately for them, the Ducks had other plans in mind, taking down the Hawks by a count of 4-2.
In front of the largest crowd in the history of Anaheim’s Honda Center (17,610); the Ducks took to the aptly-nicknamed “Duck Pond” energized, and sitting only five points behind the Hawks. Sparked by the electricity in the building (some of which was standing room only), Peter Holland scored only 1:24 into the contest.
Not to be outdone, Chicago Captain Jonathan Toews answered with a goal of his own just two minutes later. The shorthanded tally saw Toews block a shot in his own defensive zone, then take the puck coast to coast, muscle his way to the front of the net and beat goaltender Jonas Hiller. Nicknamed “Captain Serious,” Toews has had a lot to celebrate this season. In his past three games, he has accumulated seven points.
Then in the third, the Ducks took over.
Despite battling the flu, Ryan Getzlaf began to use the strength that comes with his 221 pound frame to create a little more space on the ice. He used precision passing to set up two tallys in just over a minute. The latter was scored by the ageless wonder Teemu Selanne.
The goal (Selanne’s seventh of the season) moved the 42-year old Finn into a tie with Bryan Trottier for 15th on the NHL’s all-time scoring list. It also moved the Ducks ahead for good in the contest. With the win, the Ducks now sit only three points behind the Blackhawks in the standings with a game in hand. For the Hawks, the loss was a hard one to swallow.
Patrick Kane shared in the disappointment, shouldering the blame when talking to nhl.com.
“I could have done better tonight and obviously I wasn't good enough,” said Kane. “And [that's] the reason we lost the game."
The Blackhawks do not play again until Monday, so they will have their longest break in their schedule to work on what went wrong and perhaps let some of their injured players heal. Unfortunately for them, Anaheim also plays Monday, and has two games prior to that contest; making it possible that the Hawks will be looking up to a team in the standings for the first time this season by the time they return to the ice.