RALLY THRILLERS

Perry’s de­layed goal caps Ducks’ come­back in open­ing victory

Los Angeles Times - - SPORTS - By Lisa Dill­man

Corey Perry seemed to know it was in be­fore any­one else in the build­ing.

Goal scor­ers of his skill set have that spe­cial sense.

Even­tu­ally, Perry’s feel­ing was con­firmed. But not be­fore more than a minute ticked off the clock and a lengthy video re­view of the play was con­ducted by the NHL’s sit­u­a­tion room.

Perry’s sec­ond goal of the game sparked the Ducks to a 4-2 victory over the Win­nipeg Jets in Game 1 of the West­ern Con­fer­ence first-round se­ries Thurs­day as Ana­heim ral­lied with a three-goal third-pe­riod. Game 2 is Satur­day at Honda Cen­ter. For Ana­heim, Perry was the man in the mid­dle, the pesky for­ward who fin­ished with four points — two goals and two as­sists — hav­ing a hand in all the Ducks’ goals. Ducks de­fense­man Sami Vata­nen had a three-point night and team cap­tain Ryan Get­zlaf had two as­sists and scored the in­sur­ance goal, on the power play, with 3:05 re­main­ing, to make it 4-2.

“Like most of the year we just kept play­ing our game and got re­warded,” Get­zlaf said.

The opener of the se­ries had it all: scor­ing, quirky bounces off skates, mo­ments of stel­lar goal­tend­ing from the Ducks’ Fred­erik An­der­sen and the Jets’ On­drej Pav­elec and a hard-hit­ting battle of at­tri­tion. The goalies set­tled down af­ter giv­ing up one goal each in the open­ing 2:46 of the game.

“We wanted to get off on the right foot here,” An­der­sen said. “We started re­ally good, and then they came back. In the first 10 min­utes of the sec­ond pe­riod we gave away too many pucks in their zone and that led to some odd-man rushes. But the last half of the game, we played the way we wanted to and got the puck deep and cy­cled it and forechecked.”

Then there was the long re­view by the sit­u­a­tion room.

Perry ac­tu­ally scored on his sec­ond at­tempt against Pav­elec. His first

shot was stopped by the right leg of the goalie, but he con­tin­ued work­ing and poked the puck over the line. He put his arms up in cel­e­bra­tion and play con­tin­ued on and on.

“I had a good feel­ing,” Perry said. “His pad was back over the line on the sec­ond shot for sure.”

Un­til then, the head­line of this one was the phys­i­cal na­ture of the game. For the old-school purists, it was quin­tes­sen­tial play­off hockey — hit­ting and more hit­ting.

“We played pretty steady through­out the game,” Get­zlaf said. “I thought we did a good job of re­spond­ing in dif­fer­ent sit­u­a­tions.”

It was 1-1 af­ter the first pe­riod, and the Ducks trailed 2-1 af­ter two pe­ri­ods on a goal by Drew Stafford five min­utes into the pe­riod.

Ana­heim’s come­back started with a quick-strike power-play goal, at 1:09 of the third pe­riod. Pa­trick Ma­roon’s re­di­rect­ion went off the skate of Jets de­fense­man Ja­cob Trouba to Perry in front. Vata­nen had the first as­sist, de­liv­er­ing the slap pass.

What led to the goal, in fact, hap­pened late in the sec­ond pe­riod, via a vet­eran move by Ducks cen­ter Ryan Kesler, who goaded Jets for­ward Mark Scheifele into a rough­ing penalty.

This was pre­cisely one of the rea­sons the Ducks ac­quired Kesler in the off-sea­son from Van­cou­ver. They hated play­ing against him all those years when he was with the Canucks, and, well, who didn’t?

“It was just a hockey play,” Scheifele said of the penalty. “He gave me a slash and I pushed him back. Ob­vi­ously, I wish I could take it back, but I can’t fo­cus on that too much. It’s done and over with, and all we can do is think about the next game.

“We played good through 40 and they kind of took it to us in the third. We played a pretty solid game. A few mishaps, but all we can do is re­group.”

The in­ten­sity level was raised a few notches with the phys­i­cal play through the first 40 min­utes. Win­nipeg had 32 hits, as did the Ducks.

Gen­tle­men, grab your ice bags.

Jets de­fense­man Mark Stu­art was in beast mode with seven hits through two pe­ri­ods and three blocked shots. Ducks rookie for­ward Chris Wag­ner had four hits through two pe­ri­ods.

What could have been a se­ries-chang­ing col­li­sion won’t be on the of­fi­cial score­sheet be­cause it hap­pened be­fore­hand, a mishap be­tween Jets cap­tain An­drew Ladd and goalie Pav­elec.

Ladd stepped on a puck near the cen­ter ice dur­ing pregame warmups and slid into his goalie and sent Pav­elec tum­bling on top of the Ducks’ logo on the ice. Luck­ily, Pav­elec was fine.

“I thought it was a good, clean hockey game,” Get­zlaf said. “I was im­pressed both ways.”

Robert Gau­thier Los An­ge­les Times

THE DUCKS’ RYAN KESLER takes a shove in the face from Win­nipeg’s Mark Scheifele, who was called for rough­ing late in the sec­ond pe­riod at Honda Cen­ter. That penalty led to a ty­ing power-play goal by the Ducks’ Corey Perry in the third pe­riod.

Robert Gau­thier Los An­ge­les Times

COREY PERRY MAKES a move to get the puck past Win­nipeg’s On­drej Pav­elec for the go-ahead goal.

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