The third time wasn’t the charm for the Winnipeg Jets. Meanwhile, the same can’t be said for the Anaheim Ducks.
For a third straight time in this physical first-round series, the Ducks went into the third period trailing and again they were able to come back for a win. Anaheim took Game 3 on Monday by a final score of 5-4 in overtime, pushing the Jets to the brink of elimination with a 3-0 series lead.
So much anticipation had been building for this event.
The first Stanley Cup playoff game in Winnipeg since 1996. The fans were loud. There was a whiteout in the MTS Centre. And the Jets, after three goals in a wild second period to gain the lead, were two minutes and 14 seconds away from a big win and getting back into the series.
Then Ryan Kesler, who was front and center throughout this game, scored the tying goal, eventually sending it to the extra period. That’s when Rickard Rakell, involved in a knee-on-knee collision in the first period, was given credit for the winner on a deflection in front of Ondrej Pavelec.
That stunned the crowd and the Jets.
From the opening faceoff, the series between the Anaheim Ducks and Winnipeg Jets has been physical and bruising.
The list of examples is already massive, and growing. But here’s one of the latest: Matt Beleskey absolutely running over Jets defenseman Adam Pardy in the second period of Game 3. Shortly after, the Ducks were able to score, with Pardy, caught on the ice, unable to defend on the play. That goal tied the game at 3-3, but the Jets responded just over two minutes later on a blast from Bryan Little.
How quickly things can change in playoff hockey.
The Minnesota Wild and St. Louis Blues were involved in a tight, scoreless hockey game late in the second period before the host team suddenly took control on the score board. The Wild would eventually earn a 3-0 victory over the Blues to take a 2-1 series lead.
First it was Jason Pominville who got the Wild on the board, tapping the puck into a wide open net on a terrific feed in front. Just over two minutes later, Zach Parise gave Minny a two-goal lead with his first goal of the series, as he found a loose puck amongst a multitude of skates and snapped his shot top corner on Jake Allen.
The trio of Pominville, Parise and Mikael Granlund combined for six points.
That’s all the scoring the Wild would need. Minnesota put on a smothering defensive clinic, allowing just 17 shots on goalie Devan Dubnyk all night.
Dubnyk, who was critical of himself after making a mistake on the Blues’ second goal in Game 2, didn’t allow anything, either. He stopped all 17 shots he faced to record his first career Stanley Cup playoff shutout.