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.
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.
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.
After an incredibly unlucky run of injuries, Stefan Noesen could soon make his NHL debut.
Noesen, taken 21st overall at the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, has been recalled to Anaheim from AHL Norfolk, the club announced on Friday. The 22-year-old came to the Ducks from Ottawa in the Bobby Ryan trade of ’13… and has suffered through two major injuries and rehabs since.
Just a few games into the 2013-14 campaign, Noesen ripped up his knee — tearing both his ACL and MCL — which shelved him for all of the regular season and part of Norfolk’s playoff run. While he did return to get some postseason action, Noesen was again sidelined at the start of this season when he suffered a severed Achilles following a skate cut in mid-October.
Noesen only returned to the Norfolk lineup in mid-February, but made an immediate impact. He’s scored 10 points in 19 games since coming back and could provide a boost for the Ducks heading into the playoffs; Noesen has good size (6-foot-2, 205 pounds) and his playing style has earned comparisons to his new teammate, Corey Perry — from a fairly legit source in Ottawa GM Bryan Murray, who drafted Perry to the Ducks and Noesen to the Sens.
The Anaheim Ducks will go into the Stanley Cup playoffs as the Pacific Division champs for a third consecutive year. The Ducks secured the title with a dominant 5-1 victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday.
Next on their list of accomplishments would be the Presidents’ Trophy as the league’s top team during the regular season. With 107 points, they lead that race with three games remaining on their schedule.
The Ducks are the first team to wrap up a division race and the first to win 50 games this season.
The Ducks jumped out to a 4-0 lead, and secured the win with a penalty shot goal from Andrew Cogliano early in the third period. Corey Perry scored his 33rd goal of the season in the win, recording his 600th career point.
With his goal in #EDMvsANA, Corey Perry became the 4th player in @AnaheimDucks history to record 600 points (Selanne, Getzlaf, Kariya).
The move was expected because Kesler is healing from what is believed to be an arm injury. He participated in the morning skate but Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau wouldn’t say if Kesler would play against the Oilers at Honda Center.
The Anaheim Ducks are unique in the NHL in that they only have four games left in their regular season schedule. They also have essentially won their division and might even capture the Presidents’ Trophy. So it’s safe to call the regular season a success, but one thing it hasn’t produced is a clear Game 1 starter for the playoffs.
Going into the campaign both Frederik Andersen and John Gibson looked like equally viable candidates for that role given their potential and relative lack of NHL experience. For much of the season it looked like Andersen would run away with the starting gig, although that was partially due to Gibson suffering a groin injury early in the campaign.
“He never stops,” Ducks forward Ryan Kesler told the Orange County Register. “I think three or four times, they had a wide-open net. He throws something. Stick, leg, arm. Somehow, he keeps it out of the net. He’s a special talent.”
At the same time, Gibson did surrender four goals in each of his previous two games. At the end of the day, neither goaltender has significantly beaten out the other this month and with so little action left in Anaheim’s schedule, it seems unlikely that this matter will be cleanly settled before the playoffs.
Going into the postseason without an obvious number one is typically not desirable, but the Ducks don’t see this as a negative.
“It’s a great battle to have,” Corey Perry said. “They’re playing at the top of their game. They’re battling. And that’s all we can ask for. You’d rather have 1A and 1B rather than one and four. It’s a good thing.”