Last night, the Anaheim Ducks became the first team since the 2008 Pittsburgh Penguins to open the playoffs with six straight victories.
That Penguins team, per Elias Sports, won its first seven games, sweeping Ottawa in the first round, then taking out the Rangers in five. The Pens would go on to lose in the finals to Detroit.
In the Ducks’ case, last night’s 3-0 win over Calgary came on the heels of a dominant 6-1 victory in Game 1, which was preceded by a four-game sweep of Winnipeg.
Just don’t count out the Flames quite yet. Not with Games 3 and 4 at home, where they’re 3-0 this postseason. At the very least, the underdogs showed last night that they can play with the Ducks.
“Tonight was nip and tuck the whole game,” Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said. “We were good in the first period, but once you have that many shots (20) and you only have a 1-0 lead, I was a little afraid. In the second period, they came at us really hard. We held our own and didn’t get scored on. They were coming really hard in the third period until we got that goal. I don’t think by any stretch of the imagination this was a dominant effort by us.”
That said, history is very much against a Calgary comeback. According to the website WhoWins.com, the team that starts at home in the quarterfinals and takes a 2-0 lead has gone on to win the series 72 out of 82 times.
“We can talk all we want about how we can compete with these guys but we’ve got to show that we can,” said Flames d-man Kris Russell. “I thought we did there in the second and third. We’ve got to build from that. It doesn’t mean it’s going to be easier. It doesn’t mean we go home and we’re just going to find our game. We’ve got to earn everything against this team. We’ve got to make sure we’re prepared to do that [Tuesday].”