The Chicago Blackhawks will face the top-seeded Anaheim Ducks in the 2015 Western Conference Final after both teams advanced from the second round. Chicago is back in the conference final after completing a sweep of the Minnesota Wild, while Anaheim arrives after upending the Calgary Flames.
Chicago won Game 4 at Xcel Energy Center, 4-3, on Thursday to advance to its third straight conference final. The Hawks will play the Ducks, who defeated the Flames with a thrilling 3-2 overtime victory in Game 5 on a Corey Perry game-winner on Sunday to earn a spot in the conference final.
Perry, who suffered what looked to be a severe knee injury earlier in the game, scored 2:26 into overtime.
It's the first time the Ducks have made the conference final since winning the Stanley Cup in 2007, and the first time coach Bruce Boudreau has ever made it passed the second round. Boudreau has led the Ducks to the postseason the past three seasons after his first year behind the bench. Since 2009, the Ducks have won four playoff series compared to the Hawks 14.
Ryan Getzlaf, Francois Beauchemin and Perry are the only players on the Ducks from the Cup-winning team. Beauchemin is in his second tenure with the Ducks after playing the 2009-10 season and part of the 2010-11 campaign with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The Hawks have never played the Ducks in the playoffs.
Last year, the Hawks lost Game 7 of the conference final in overtime to the Los Angeles Kings, who would go on to win their second Cup in three years.
The Hawks and Ducks met three times this season. Chicago won two of the three games, allowing one goal in each. Anaheim won the first meeting on Oct. 28 at United Center; the Hawks won the next two by identical 4-1 scores Nov. 28 and Jan. 30 at Honda Center.
Goaltender Corey Crawford was 2-0-0 with a 1.00 goals-against average and .957 save percentage. Backup Scott Darling started the first game against the Ducks and allowed the game-winner to Devante Smith-Pelly, who was traded to the Montreal Canadiens in February.
Forward Patrick Kane scored four goals and forward Patrick Sharp had four assists against the Ducks in the regular season. Kane, who after fracturing his left clavicle in late February, is on a seven-game point streak, with seven goals and six assists in 10 playoff games.
Dates and times have not yet been announced. The conference finals will not begin until the Eastern Conference semifinals are completed. They won't end until Wednesday, when the New York Rangers and Washington Capitals play Game 7 at Madison Square Garden at 6 p.m. CT.
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