It is really hard to wear out Duncan Keith. He just keeps going and going and going.
Keith had three assists and saved a goal in the third period, and the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Anaheim Ducks 5-2 Wednesday night to force a Game 7 in the Western Conference finals.
The Blackhawks' biggest stars stepped up during a key stretch in the second, led by another terrific all-around performance for Keith. Shaking off the Ducks' plan to wear down Chicago's top four defensemen, Keith had his fourth multipoint game of the playoffs.
"He's kind of a freak as far as his metabolism and conditioning level," coach Joel Quenneville said. "I think the more he plays, the more efficient, the more he gets going."
Andrew Shaw had two goals late in the third, sending the Ducks to their first regulation loss of the playoffs. Brandon Saad, Marian Hossa and Patrick Kane also scored for Chicago, and Corey Crawford made 30 saves.
Next up for the playoffs is a double dip of Game 7s to determine which teams will play for the Stanley Cup. The Rangers host Tampa Bay in the East finals tomorrow and the Blackhawks and Ducks meet in Anaheim on Saturday night.
It is only the second time in the expansion era since the 1967-68 playoffs that each of the conference finals required a Game 7. The other time was in 2000, when the Devils went on to beat Dallas for the Cup.
"I think the finality of it is what stands out," Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau said. "I mean, one group is going to go home and one group's going to go play for the Stanley Cup. There's really not a lot you can leave on the table."
The Sharks will hire former Devils and Panthers coach Peter DeBoer to replace the departed Todd McLellan. A person familiar with the search said yesterday that DeBoer will be formally introduced at a news conference Thursday . . . Former Penguins coach Dan Bylsma interviewed for the Sabres' vacancy yesterday. -- AP