Goaltender Fredrick Anderson pulled off 32 saves to guide the Anaheim Ducks to win the Western Conference Final Series Opener against the Chicago Blackhawks. The Ducks thrashed Blackhawks 4-1 to take 1-0 series lead.
Hampus Lindholm, Nate Thompson, Jakob Silfverberg and Kyle Palmieri scored for the winners. Besides scoring, each of the first three had an assist. The Danish goaltender’s stellar show instilled confidence in the entire Ducks’ side to put up a spirited show against a much fancied Blackhawks, which lost their first game since April 23. Chicago won 5 consecutive playoff games on their way to the 3rd straight Conference Finals.
“I think everyone in the locker room knows we can beat this team,” said Andersen, who’s in his second NHL season. “It’s a good feeling that we showed it in Game 1. They’re going to come harder. We’ll have to play better in Game 2.”
Outstretching his stick Anderson acrobatically stopped Chicago’s prolific scorer Patrick Kane.
Corey Crawford stopped 23 shots for the Blackhawks. Brad Richards scored the consolation goal, late in the second period.
Anderson displayed few spectacular saves in the 3rd quarter, while Chicago, banking on Andrew Cogliano’s speed, unleashed an array of attacks after Thompson scored to lift the Ducks 3-1 up with 7:55 minutes remaining. Silfverberg’s goal, 1:18 minutes from close of play, finally sealed the game in Ducks’ favor.
“The way we were all able to contribute and help out definitely bodes well for our team,” Thompson said. “We’ve always had good depth. It’s one of the reasons we’ve been successful here.”
Game 2 is on Tuesday night at Anaheim.