The Ducks held a 2-1 lead with six minutes to go and looked very comfortable squeezing another win away from the ‘Hawks. They kind of remind me of a boa constricter just suffocating every last breath away from their victims. On this night, though, Kris Versteeg played the part of the heroic mongoose (just follow me on this one) and dazzled the United Center crowd with two amazing assists. The tying goal came during a 4 on 4, Versteeg carried the line and made an awesome inside out move on the Anaheim defenseman. He calmly slid the pass over to a pinching Duncan Keith, Keith froze Anaheim goalie Jonas Hiller and turned it over to Marty Havlat (TRADE HIM! TRADE HIM NOW!!) who one-timed it into the back of the net. The play never happens though without Versteeg undressing the defenseman and dropping it to Keith.
His second assist was the result of the entire line working hard. The puck was behind the net and Toews boxed out Chris Pronger beautifully (I can’t say enough about that play, it was just a thing of beauty). Somehow the puck got flipped in front of the net where Byfuglien swatted at it and the puck laid at the side of the net. Enter the heroic mongoose, Kris Versteeg. Rather than try and stuff the puck past a sprawled out Hiller, Versteeg put a touch pass across the crease to Toews who boxed out Pronger again and buried it into the empty net. Versteeg showed a veteran’s calm on that play. Not to go Edzo on everybody, but not too many young players would’ve made a play like that. Most of them would’ve seen the game on their stick and tried to play the hero.
The Hawks jumped out in front in the first with a power play goal from Patrick Sharp who never met a shot he couldn’t take. Kane gave a pass to Sharp that was in his feet. Sharp was still able to let loose a one timer over Hiller’s shoulder to give the ‘Hawks the ever important first goal. It didn’t stop there for Sharp. There were about 4 other occasions during the game when any other player couldn’t have got a shot off but Sharp did. He is incredibly good at shooting.
After getting outshot 17-9 in the first period, Anaheim stepped up their physical play and dictated the tempo. They scored their first goal when the ‘Hawks penalty kill rolled out the red carpet for Teemu Selanne. Seabrook and Fraser did a poor job of closing down the passing lane and Scott Niedermayer spotted Selanne breaking right down the middle of the slot. Anaheim took the lead a minute into the third when Pronger fired a 75-footer past Huet. Rob Niedermayer provided the screen in front. From there, the Ducks showed everyone why giving them a one goal lead is a bad idea. They stacked up their blue line and forced the ‘Hawks to dump it deep. That was, until the heroic mongoose came to save the day, and the two points.