ANAHEIM—The third overtime game in the Western Conference Final series ended much quicker than the first two.
Left wing Matt Beleskey scored just 45 seconds into overtime to give the Anaheim Ducks a 5-4 win in game 5 over the Chicago Blackhawks Monday night at the Honda Center.
“That’s the biggest goal I’ve ever scored,” said Beleskey. “It was a huge goal and it felt unbelievable.”
The game-winner, a rebound off a shot from center Ryan Kesler, is the second fastest overtime goal in Ducks playoff history. The franchise is now one win away from their first Stanley Cup Playoff appearance since 2007.
Anaheim dominated shots on goal early to get out to a 3-0 lead after a goal by Sami Vatanen with 5:22 left in the first period. The Ducks scored all three goals before the Blackhawks attempted their first shot on goal, a shot from Jonathan Toews, with just 3:30 left in the first.
Two goals by Toews during a 1-minute, 12–second span tied the game at 4-4 with just 38 seconds left in the third period. The Ducks handed the Blackhawks its first overtime loss of the postseason.
“Obviously, in the second period they had a push,” Kesler said. “They got one early, got one late, and they seemed to dominate most of that period. The third was a toss up.”
“We all knew what we had to do. We had to play mad out there and we had to get the job done right away…and we did.”
Kesler and Sami Vatanen both scored a goal and recorded an assist for Anaheim, while Ryan Getzlaf and Jakob Silfverberg both finished the game with two assists. The Ducks, the conference’s top seed, look to clinch the playoff series in Game 6 on Wednesday at the United Center.