Toews leads Blackhawks to Cup Final

Back in the finals again.

The Chicago Blackhawks defeated the Anaheim Ducks 5-3 to advance to the Stanley Cup finals for the third time in six years.

The Blackhawks will attempt to win their third Stanley Cup in that stretch. The team won three Stanley Cups between 1926 and 2009.

Jonathan Toews led the charge for Chicago by scoring twice in the first period and building a lead the Blackhawks would not surrender.

Oh captain, my captain

Toews scored twice in the first 11:55 of Game 7, and the Blackhawks never looked back. He scored four goals in a span of 14 minutes, 30 seconds during Games 5 and 7 in Anaheim (twice in the third period of Game 5 and twice in the first period of Game 7).

Toews won 13 of 23 faceoffs (57 percent) and scored on both the shots he put on goal.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Toews is the first player in NHL history with multi-goal games in Games 5 and 7 on the road in the same series.

Hawks strike on the power play

The Blackhawks scored twice, with a man advantage in Game 7. During the series, they outscored the Ducks 5-2 on the power play.

Both teams finished in the bottom half of the NHL in power-play percentage in the regular season, but Chicago was able to break through in the Western Conference Finals.

Ducks attack, but from too far away

The Ducks had a shooting advantage against the Blackhawks in Game 7, with 38 shots on goal to Chicago’s 26, and they had 17 more shot attempts overall (68-51, including blocked shots and shots that missed the net).

However, most of the Ducks’ shots on goal came from areas of the ice that weren’t threatening. Of Corey Crawford’s 35 saves, 21 (60 percent) came from what War-On-Ice.com terms low-danger areas on the ice (bad scoring angles and beyond the circles).

When the Ducks were able to get close, Crawford slammed the door. Of the 14 scoring chances Anaheim had from the slot or low slot, they converted on two (14 percent). The Blackhawks converted 20 percent of their scoring chances from those areas.

The Ducks were barely in the game. They trailed by at least two goals for 48 minutes, 5 seconds.

Anaheim’s strategy of trying to physically punish the Blackhawks wasn't enough to win. The Ducks finished with a 37-15 edge in hits.

Ducks fall short at home

The Ducks have lost the past three Game 7s played on their home ice by a combined score of 14-7.

Per Elias, the only other team in NHL Stanley Cup playoff history to lose a Game 7 at home in three consecutive postseasons is the Washington Capitals (2008 vs. Flyers, 2009 vs. Penguins and 2010 vs. Canadiens)

All six of those occurrences (three for Washington, three for Anaheim) came with Bruce Boudreau as head coach.