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Chicago Blackhawks Advance to Stanley Cup Final

The Chicago Blackhawks advanced to the Stanley Cup Final for the third time in the past seven years after defeating the Anaheim Ducks 5-3 in Game 7 of the Western Conference Final on Saturday night. The Blackhawks will face the Tampa Bay Lightning in the final round.

Chicago started strong, opening the scoring 2:23 into the contest on captain Jonathan Toews’ eighth goal of the postseason. The Blackhawks added to that lead on Toews’ second goal of the night, this time on the power play.

Not slowing down following the first intermission, Chicago’s Brandon Saad scored 1:13 into the middle frame to push the lead to three goals. Marian Hossa booted the puck past Ducks goalie Frederik Andersen for Chicago’s fourth goal of the night.

Ryan Kesler put the Ducks on the board late in the second period with a wicked wrister that ended Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford’s shutout. Corey Perry netted a goal of his own mid-way through the third period, but it was too little too late. Brent Seabrook responded 1:47 later to put the game away for good.

Chicago never let up and the Ducks were unable to generate enough consistent pressure to threaten the Blackhawks. Too many mistakes on the defensive end allowed the Blackhawks to take advantage with odd-man rushes throughout the game.

Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final is set for Wednesday night in Tampa Bay.

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