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ANAHEIM, Calif. – Anaheim Ducks forward Ryan Getzlaf described his third period game-winning goal in Game 2 of his first-round series against the Calgary Flames as “lucky.”
While Getzlaf was at the point on the power play off a holding the stick penalty by Calgary defenseman Dougie Hamilton, the Ducks’ captain tried to thread a cross-ice pass through the Flames. The puck then bounced off the leg of Calgary forward Lance Bouma and past goaltender Brian Elliott at the 15:14 mark. This gave the Ducks a 3-2 lead they wouldn’t relinquish. With the victory Anaheim now holds a 2-0 series advantage over Calgary.
“We worked hard for (the goal). Our guys worked hard for that faceoff to get the puck back and then sometimes luck’s on your side,” Getzlaf said.
The Flames also saw the goal as lucky and were upset with how the play turned out. Calgary has not won a game at Honda Center since April 25, 2006.
“It’s absolutely not (Bouma’s) fault. He was doing his job,” Calgary coach Glen Gulutzan said. “It was part of the structure of the penalty kill. They’re trying to seam us, he gets in the seam, it ricochets off his foot and goes in the net. There’s nothing you can say. He’s doing his job. It’s just hockey. They got a bounce.”
The Ducks were in that position to take a lead in the third period because they somehow survived the Flames’ big second period push.
After building a 2-0 advantage in the first period, Anaheim allowed a shorthanded goal by Calgary forward Mikael Backlund near the end of the frame, which gave the Flames some momentum heading into the second. Once that period started, the Ducks went into a free-fall, allowing 15 shots on goal and firing just six on the Calgary net. The Flames tied the game at 2-2 at the 7:01 mark on a Sean Monahan power play goal and then hounded Anaheim the rest of the period. There was even a point where it appeared the Flames may have scored a goal off a scrum in front of Ducks goaltender John Gibson, but a review showed Calgary interfered with him.
“That was kind of an ugly period for us,” Getzlaf said. “Obviously they came out with an attitude in that second period that they were going to try to push us and play. They did a great job. They Got us off our game a little bit.”
Said Gibson, “They just had a push. We knew they were going to have it once we got up 2-0.”
When the horn went off at the end of the period and the Ducks retreated to their locker room, the team focused on calming down. The Ducks also emphasized getting back to their grinding gameplan, and when the third period started they looked like their normal selves.
“The second period ended, we were able to come in here and compose, rest, take a few deep breaths and get back at it,” Getzlaf said.
In the third period they equaled the Flames’ 11 shots on goal and won the overall puck possession battle. They also didn’t take any penalties while Calgary took two in the 20 minutes.
“What we talked about was that we were 2-2 and we had just experienced one of our worst periods probably in a long time from a standpoint of we just sat around and watched what they did,” Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said. “We couldn’t complete two passes. We gave up 15 shots. I think we had three penalties in the period so it was time to reset – reset our group. Just forget about it because basically what we needed to do was we needed to establish our game again right at the start of the third period and I thought we did that.”
Though the Ducks were happy with the way they responded after Calgary’s second period, they understood they can’t allow the Flames to so dominantly control the pace in any game. They grasped that a better 60-minute effort should prevent this from happening again.
“We’ll take it. A win is a win in the playoffs and our guys did a good job,” Getzlaf said. “Our goaltender did good staying in there, keeping us in that hockey game and made some big stops and we were able to regroup in the third period.”
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