Anaheim Ducks forward Ryan Kesler was penalized for an illegal check to the head of Winnipeg Jets defenseman Tyler Myers late in the first period of Game 2.
Myers, who stands 6’8″ tall compared to Kesler at 6’2″ tall, was bending over to play the puck when Kesler caught him with the hit, which resulted in a minor penalty. Myers remained in the game for Winnipeg.
In January, Kesler escaped without a disciplinary hearing while drawing the ire of Vancouver fans and his former Canucks teammates for a questionable hit on Derek Dorsett.
A quick look at what games will be on what channels in tonight’s Stanley Cup playoff action…
Red Wings at Lightning 3 p.m. ET on NBC/NBCSN
The Lightning will look to even their best of seven series with the Red Wings tonight and snap a six-game playoff losing streak in the process. Tampa out-shot Detroit 46-14 in Game 1, but could not solve Petr Mrazek falling 3-2 on Thursday night. John Forslund and Andy Brickley have the call of Game 2.
Wild at Blues 3 p.m. ET on NBC/NBCSN
The St. Louis Blues have won just one of 19 playoff series when losing both Games 1 and 2, and have been swept 10 times. They’ll look to even the best of seven with the Minnesota Wild this afternoon following a 4-2 loss in Game 1 on Thursday. An area of concern for the Blues is their power play. St. Louis is 4-for-67 with the man advantage in its last 18 playoff games. Dave Strader and Brian Engblom will be on the call.
Penguins at Rangers 8 p.m. ET on NBC
The New York Rangers are 22-6 in series when winning Game 1 on home ice and will look to take a 2-0 stranglehold on their series with the Pittsburgh Penguins tonight following a 2-1 victory on Thursday. The Rangers are looking for a fifth straight playoff victory against the Penguins. New York fell behind 3-1 in last spring’s second round series, but won three straight to advance to the Eastern Conference final. Doc Emrick, Eddie Olczyk and Pierre McGuire have the call tonight.
Jets at Ducks 10:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN
The Winnipeg Jets will look to contain Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf as they try to even their best of seven series with the Anaheim Ducks. Perry and Getzlaf combined for three goals and four assists in the Ducks 4-2 come from behind win in Game 1. The Jets enter tonight’s action still looking for their first playoff win since moving to Winnipeg from Atlanta. Dave Randorf, Garry Galley and Cassie Campbell-Pascall will be on the call.
The Anaheim Ducks got their opportunities and made the most of them in the third period, with Corey Perry completing a four-point night in a Game 1 win against the Winnipeg Jets.
Penalties and discipline had been an issue for the Jets throughout the season, having finished with the second highest amount of penalty minutes behind only Pittsburgh. They were also short-handed a league high 308 times during the regular season.
On Thursday, with both teams combining for 83 hits, the Jets were penalized four times going back to the final minute of the second period — one call did come at the end of the game — and surrendered two power play goals to the Ducks, with Perry and Ryan Getzlaf scoring to help the Ducks to a 4-2 win.
“It was a tough, hard-fought battle. I think definitely had a chance being up. I think we got in a little bit of penalty trouble and it’s just something that for the next game, we need to make sure we continue to bring that physical battle but make sure it’s between the whistles,” said Drew Stafford, as per video on the Jets’ website.
“We don’t want to give their skilled guys any extra chance like we did.”
In addition to Perry’s four-point night, Getzlaf had a goal and two assists, and Sami Vatanen also had a three-point night.
“If your big guys don’t show up, you’re not going to win. Our big guys showed up tonight,” said Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau, as per the club’s Twitter account.
Corey Perry knew it right away.
The Anaheim Ducks’ star winger gave his team the lead with less than seven minutes remaining in the third period on a beautiful second effort that was initially waved off, allowing play to continue. But Perry was sure the puck had crossed the goal line, despite it hitting the outstretched right pad of Ondrej Pavelec, and the video review confirmed it.
The Ducks then held on for the 4-2 victory over the Winnipeg Jets to take a 1-0 series lead.
Perry, who recorded a four-point night, found the back of the net twice in the final period.
With Anaheim trailing after 40 minutes, Perry’s first goal tied the game, and his second off a power move to the net put the Ducks in front. He cut to the net off his wing and had his first backhand shot denied by the right pad of Pavelec. Perry jammed at the puck once again and was able to nudge it inches over the goal line.
Thursday marked the first time in 19 years an NHL team from Winnipeg competed in a Stanley Cup playoff game. The Jets didn’t get off to the best start, allowing a goal from Sami Vatanen less than two minutes in. But 49 seconds later, Adam Lowry responded, getting the Jets on the board.
The Jets will need a similar response in Game 2.
Trade-deadline acquisition James Wisniewski will be a healthy scratch for the Anaheim Ducks when they open their first-round series tonight at home versus Winnipeg.
Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau explained his decision to park the veteran defenseman in the press box and go with a pairing of Clayton Stoner and Sami Vatanen instead.
“They have been teamed up all year,” said Boudreau. “Sami seems to play his best with Clayton, and now Clayton’s fully healthy, so I don’t see why he would lose his position. … I think those two have made a great pair together all year.”
The Ducks’ other defensive pairings are expected to be Hampus Lindholm with Francois Beauchemin and Cam Fowler with Simon Despres.
Related: For the Anaheim Ducks, it’s ‘time to step up’