In the waning moments of regulation during Game 5, it looked like Frederik Andersen might be fitted with goat horns. His Anaheim Ducks teammates ended his tension pretty quickly, however, as Matt Beleskey scored the game-winner just 45 seconds into overtime.
That’s the funny thing about the playoffs. Sometimes a big gaffe can linger in the greater consciousness, yet sometimes a player gets absolved – more or less – by victory.
Andersen’s had many moments when he came through for his teammates, yet in a 5-4 OT win against the Chicago Blackhawks, it was clear that the shoe was on the other foot last night.
The young goalie noted that captain Ryan Getzlaf was quick to lift his spirits.
“[Getzlaf] came down right away and tried to pick me up; he’s a great leader,” Andersen said, according to NHL.com. “Told me whatever matters now is the next shot; that’s all I can worry about it. That was my mindset.”
Interestingly enough, the 25-year-old didn’t even need to make a save in overtime, as the Ducks fired all four shots on goal in that very quick bit of extra hockey.
With that, some wonder if the young goalie might get in his own head, but Ducks head coach Bruce Boudreau doesn’t seem worried.
“Well, you know what, he’s played so many good games in a row, and he’s bailed us out so often,” Boudreau said. “You know, he had an unfortunate couple of goals against him today. Freddie will be the first one to tell you he should have had them. But it was time that we bailed him out. He’ll be back to his normal, regular, great self in two days.”
“It was good to see if he had a bad game, we were able to help him out a little bit.”
He really has been great, too.
While you could chalk some of his regular season success up to his team (35-12-5 record despite a fairly standard .914 save percentage), he’s really elevated his play in the postseason with an impressive .925 save percentage. It’s easy to see why his teammates rallied around him on a tough night, then.
The NHL on NBC crew discusses Andersen’s rocky night and wonders if there will be any lingering effects: