Toews leads Hawks back to Stanley Cup final

Jonathan Toews and the Chicago Blackhawks dealt with Game 7 pressure in the same way they’ve handled just about everything during their incredible seven-year playoff run. Like champions. And after ending a remarkable Western Conference finals with a blowout victory, the Blackhawks get another chance to raise the Stanley Cup.

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Jonathan Toews and the Chicago Blackhawks dealt with Game 7 pressure in the same way they’ve handled just about everything during their incredible seven-year playoff run.

Like champions. And after ending a remarkable Western Conference finals with a blowout victory, the Blackhawks get another chance to raise the Stanley Cup.

Toews scored two goals in the opening minutes, Corey Crawford made 35 saves and Chicago roared into the Stanley Cup Finals with a 5-3 victory over the Anaheim Ducks on Saturday night.

Brandon Saad, Marian Hossa and Brent Seabrook also scored for the Blackhawks, who will play for their third NHL championship in six seasons when they face the Tampa Bay Lightning beginning Wednesday night in Florida.

After six games of tense hockey in an extraordinary series, Game 7 was an incongruous rout. Toews was responsible for it, burnishing his reputation for big-game brilliance with a rebound goal just 2:23 in and another power-play score before 12 minutes elapsed.

“There was no easy games,” Toews said. “There was nothing given to us. There was no moments in this series were there any lulls, where we felt Anaheim maybe didn’t play their best hockey and we got away with it. We felt like we had to earn everything against that team. That was an incredible test for both teams.”

Anaheim lost a Game 7 at home for the third straight season. The Ducks blew a 3-2 series lead each time, compounding the heartbreak for a talented team that hasn’t developed the post-season poise possessed by Chicago and other champions.

“We took another step this year, going a round farther, but ultimately that Game 7 we’ve got to be able to finish,” Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf said. “They played better than us tonight. I’m not telling you they are a better team than us. We didn’t do enough to win.”

The Blackhawks led 4-0 before Ryan Kesler scored late in the second period for the Ducks. Corey Perry scored for Anaheim with 8:24 to play, but Seabrook scored on a power play shortly afterward.

Patrick Kane had three assists for Chicago, which won three of the series’ final four games to seize another Western Conference title — although the Blackhawks refused to touch the Campbell Bowl during an awkward postgame ceremony punctuated by fans throwing orange towels on the ice.

The Blackhawks have defied conventional NHL parity to reach three Stanley Cup Finals and five conference finals in a seven-year stretch under coach Joel Quenneville. That’s because their stars are unmatched: From Toews and Kane to Seabrook and Duncan Keith, nobody knows how to win like Chicago.

They bounced back this season after their Game 7 loss to the Kings in last spring’s conference finals. Chicago outlasted Nashville and swept Minnesota before outlasting Anaheim in the franchises’ first playoff meeting.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Beware of Bitcoin scammers

Red Deer butcher and bistro spreading the word about bitcoin scams

Healthy Living Expo encourages Red Deerians to accomplish New Year’s resolution

Many individuals make the New Year’s resolution to live a healthier life.… Continue reading

Red Deer extreme cold snap expected to end after weekend, according to Environment Canada

Expect it to get a little warmer outside after this weekend. While… Continue reading

Ponoka RCMP asks public to help find missing person

Ponoka RCMP are looking for a woman who went missing Friday night.… Continue reading

Stettler son accused of murdering his father

The RCMP have laid charges against a son charged with killing his… Continue reading

Fashion Fridays: Look your best this year

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Your community calendar

Jan. 22 Downtown House Senior Center (5414 43 St.) in Red Deer… Continue reading

Eastern Newfoundland reeling, search underway for missing man after blizzard

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Eastern Newfoundland struggled Saturday to remove record-breaking snowdrifts… Continue reading

Disrespectful that Horgan won’t meet during northern B.C. tour: hereditary chief

HOUSTON, B.C. — It’s disrespectful that Premier John Horgan won’t meet with… Continue reading

Royal deal clears way for Harry, Meghan part-time Canada move: experts

VANCOUVER — Royal watchers say a deal reached by Prince Harry and… Continue reading

Thousands gather for Women’s March rallies across the US

WASHINGTON — Thousands gathered in cities across the country Saturday as part… Continue reading

Sanders steps up appeals to women after flap with Warren

PORTSMOUTH, N.H. — Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders stepped up his pitch… Continue reading

National Archives: ‘We made a mistake’ altering Trump photos

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — The National Archives said Saturday it made… Continue reading

Trudeau, ministers head to Winnipeg for cabinet retreat, western outreach

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is reviving his practice of holding… Continue reading

Most Read