How Sweep It Is: Kesler, Perry Help Ducks Eliminate Jets
Wednesday, 04.22.2015 / 11:08 PM
The Anaheim Ducks completed a sweep of the Winnipeg Jets with a 5-2 win in Game 4 of the Western Conference First Round series of the Stanley Cup Playoffs at MTS Centre on Wednesday. Two third-period goals from Ducks center Ryan Kesler fended off a late push from the Jets. Anaheim will play the winner of the best-of-7 series between the Calgary Flames and Vancouver Canucks; Calgary leads the series 3-1.
"We thought this might’ve been a little bit longer of a series," said Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf. "I was happy with the way our group responded. It was a hard-fought series. There were a lot of bodies thrown around. We have to bruises to prove it. It’s nice to have a little rest now."
Kesler scored 6:41 into the third period before Jets defenseman Mark Stuart narrowed the Anaheim lead to 3-2 with 9:33 left in the game, scoring his first NHL playoff goal. Kesler’s third goal of the series, a one-timer on a pass from Jakob Silfverberg, with 4:49 remaining put the Ducks ahead 4-2. Sami Vatanen scored an empty-net goal with 27 seconds left.
"It’s a building I know from back in the day," said Kesler. "It was nice to come back and be successful. We just never give up. We keep going. You saw in the third period, we didn’t stop pushing."
The Ducks came from behind in all four of the games, including in the third period in each of the first three games. Winnipeg has never won a playoff game in its history, including getting swept in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals by the New York Rangers in 2007 when they were the Atlanta Thrashers Bryan Little's power-play goal with 3:34 left in the first period gave the Jets a 1-0 lead, but Emerson Etem tied the game 1:26 later.
Etem made a beautiful move on Jets defenseman Jacob Trouba, and managed to backhand a shot over a sliding Ben Chiarot and into the top corner of the net.
"That was a huge goal to get us back into the hockey game," said Corey Perry. "They had a little bit of momentum and they were pushing forward, and [Etem] found a way to get one. That’s an all-world play to make that goal happen. It was a great response by everybody."
Ducks forward Andrew Cogliano gave Anaheim a 2-1 lead at 12:55 of the second period. Perry had two assists for the Ducks and seven points in the series. Ducks goaltender Frederik Andersen had 25 saves. Ondrej Pavelec made 30 saves for the Jets. With Cogliano in the penalty box for tripping late in the first period, Winnipeg needed 19 seconds before scoring.
A pass from Mathieu Perreault allowed Little extra space to move into the slot, where he snapped a shot over Andersen’s left shoulder. Little also scored in Game 3, his first goal since Feb. 24. He missed 11 games in March because of an upper-body injury.
Midway through the second period, Ducks defenseman Hampus Lindholm carried the puck from his own defensive zone into the Winnipeg zone before Perry took the puck and sent a pass to the edge of the net that Cogliano one-timed past Pavelec.
Winnipeg pressed to tie the game early in the third period, but Ducks center Tomas Fleischmann and Simon Despres combined for a 2-on-1 rush that left a rebound which Kesler got past Pavelec for a 3-1 lead. Kesler had three goals and two assists in the series.
The Ducks now await the winner of the Vancouver-Calgary series. The Flames currently hold a 3-1 series lead on the Canucks.
The Ducks advanced to the Second Round with last night's win at Winnipeg. Anaheim's series sweep was the fourth in club history (also COL in 2006 CSF, MIN in 2003 WCF and DET in 2003 CQF). The win also marks the Ducks' first four-game playoff winning streak since a five-game streak from May 17-30, 2007 (Games 4-6 WCF vs. DET & Games 1-2 of SCF vs. OTT). Anaheim is now 13-9 in series play (cumulative 69-53 record). The Ducks have advanced to the second round for the sixth time in the last 12 NHL seasons (also 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2014).
* The Ducks are the first team to win four straight postseason games via comeback (trailing at any point in game) since 2012, when NJ did so vs. PHI in the CSF (May 1-8, 2012).
* Anaheim had already become the first team in NHL history to win three straight playoff games (at any point in the postseason) when trailing at any point in the third period (Games 1-3).
* The Ducks were also the first team in NHL history to hold a 2-0 series advantage when trailing to start the third period in each of the first two games of a series.
(Elias Sports Bureau)