Anaheim Ducks

Ducks power play strikes to push Flames to brink of elimination

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In what was a physical, chippy game on Friday, an undisciplined penalty proved costly for the Calgary Flames, who are now facing elimination.

At the end of the second period, Flames forward Joe Colborne got his stick up on Francois Beauchemin while trying to finish his check, resulting in a four-minute power play for the Ducks. And the Anaheim power play made Colborne and the Flames pay.

Just 1:11 into the third period, Matt Beleskey scored on that power play to give the Ducks the lead. That goal stood as the winner. Anaheim went on to win by a final score of 4-2, taking a 3-1 series lead.

“Frustrating,” Colborne told Sportsnet.ca. “Just trying to (walk) that line of being physical. I’m not going to comment on whether I liked (the call) or not, but that’s on me. I definitely let the boys down there.”

The Flames, who were also unsuccessful on a five-on-three power play in the third period when they were trailing by a goal, entered this series as the underdog. They’ll now need a massive comeback — they made a habit of doing that in third periods during the regular season — if they are to have any chance of getting back into this.

After falling behind a goal less than four minutes into the game, the Flames wasted no time battling back. The first six minutes featured three goals, with Sean Monahan and Micheal Ferland scoring 1:07 apart to give Calgary the lead.

The second period featured numerous turning points.

Frederik Andersen made a sprawling glove save on Johnny Gaudreau to keep it a one-goal game. It was a huge stop. Later in the period, Gaudreau was guilty of a turnover right in front of his own net, directly leading to Andrew Cogliano’s tying goal.

Game 5 goes Sunday in Anaheim.

 

Video: Andersen denies Gaudreau with sprawling glove save

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Johnny Gaudreau had a brilliant chance to give the Calgary Flames a two-goal lead early in the second period, but it was taken away on a brilliant save from Frederik Andersen.

After making the initial save on the point shot, Andersen sprawled to his left to make a spectacular glove save on Gaudreau, with the Flames leading 2-1.

How important was that save?

Ducks forward Andrew Cogliano forced a Gaudreau turnover in the slot and scored to tie the game late in the second period.

Fleischmann in, Etem out for Ducks in ‘game we have to win’

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After losing its first game of the playoffs, the Anaheim Ducks are making a lineup switch.

Tomas Fleischmann, yet to appear in the Calgary series, will draw in for tonight’s Game 4 at the expense of forward Emerson Etem, who appears to be a healthy scratch.

Fleischmann last played for Anaheim in the first round against Winnipeg and fared decently, registering one point in two games. Etem, who scored a highlight-reel tally against the Jets in Game 4, scored again in Game 1 against the Flames but has been a bit of a non-factor since.

Clearly, the Ducks feel some apprehension about losing further momentum after Calgary’s dramatic 4-3 comeback win on Tuesday night. Aside from the lineup change, captain Ryan Getzlaf all but coined tonight’s tilt as a must-win:

Finally, worth noting that John Gibson will dress as Frederik Andersen’s backup tonight. Gibson has been unavailable for most of the postseason due to a hand injury, then illness.

With Getzlaf and Perry ‘dominating,’ Flames look for answers

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In light of all the talk about low scoring and lack of offense in these Stanley Cup playoffs, it’s worth pointing out that Anaheim’s dynamic duo of Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf is on a pretty healthy tear this round — the two have combined to score 15 points in three games versus Calgary, an average of 1.6 per period.

Not per game. Per period.

Needless to say, much of the Flames’ talk prior to tomorrow’s Game 4 was about slowing those two down.

“You see guys like Getzlaf and Perry dominating the game at times,” Joe Colborne explained, per the Toronto Star. “When they’re using their big bodies and putting pressure on some of our smaller guys, we have to pick up our game and answer.”

Colborne’s words speak volumes. The Calgary defense, which was a huge factor against Vancouver in Round 1, has seen its lack of size get exposed against the Ducks; Kris Russell (5-foot-10, 173 pounds), Dennis Wideman (6-foot, 200 pounds) and TJ Brodie (6-foot-1, 182 pounds) are all giving up significant height and weight to Perry and Getzlaf, who skate on a line with another big body in 6-foot-2, 231-pound Patrick Maroon (who, it should be mentioned, has two goals in three games against Calgary.)

And make no mistake — Anaheim knows it has a definitive size advantage on the Flames.

“We’ve got to use it,” Ryan Kesler said, per the L.A. Times. “We know what made us successful this year. It’s playing that down-below-the-circle hockey, and cycling the puck and wearing them down, and if we do that we’ll be fine.”

While the Flames don’t have a ton of solutions for the size problem — it’s not like they’re going to get any bigger — head coach Bob Hartley did see some positives in the Game 3 win. Specifically? Unlike in the opening two games in Anaheim, his was no longer in awe of the Ducks’ size, speed and skill.

“It seems that the admiration for the Ducks is kind of winding down,” he said, per the Calgary Herald. “That’s good news for us.”

PHT Morning Skate: ‘Business as usual’ tonight for Bishop

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PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Ben Bishop will make starts on consecutive nights for the first time this season tonight as the Tampa Bay Lightning look to complete the sweep of their second round series with the Montreal Canadiens. Jeremy Roenick and Anson Carter discuss the issues Bishop will face playing on back-to-back nights in the Florida heat.

With Patrick Kane scoring five goals through the first three games of the Blackhawks series against the Wild, a Wikipedia editor got a little creative with Minnesota’s Wikipedia page. (SI.com)

Ducks Patrick Maroon draws inspiration from young Kings’ fan battling cancer. (Bar Down)

“I wanted to prove I don’t belong in the stands” – Caps’ forward Andre Burakovsky on his two-goal performance in Game 4. (ESPN.com)

Mike Milbury and Keith Jones discuss what the Rangers need to do to address their scoring woes heading into Game 5.