By: Matthew Garcia
Last night the Ducks were in Calgary to face-off against the Flames in game 4 of round 1, three nights ago the Ducks rallied back from a 4-1 deficit to win overtime and give themselves a 3-0 stranglehold in the series. Anaheim has the chance to close out the series with a win. Sami Vatanen would sit out for the third consecutive game with an upper-body injury, while Cam Fowler is still on the road to recovery from the collision with Mark Giordano back on April fourth. Ducks goaltender John Gibson who was pulled Monday night after giving up four goals will have a chance at redemption as he would be your starter, while Brian Elliott gets the nod again for the Flames.
The Ducks would have some pep to their step right out of the gate and would get a good look to get on the board early but Jakob Silfverberg would be unable to chip the puck over Elliott. The Ducks would not give up that easily as Patrick Eaves would find a puck deep in the Calgary zone along the boards on the goal line and would fire it towards the net and would find its way behind Elliott to give Anaheim a 1-0 lead just 5:38 into the first period. Glen Gulutzan would make a bold move as he would pull Elliott after just giving up one goal and replace him with Chad Johnson. Johnson has not made an appearance since the last outing against Anaheim back on April fourth where he left the game injured after just five minutes of game time. Nate Thompson and co. would take full advantage of the situation as the Ducks would just throw a shot on net and Thompson would bury a rebound directly in front of Johnson to give Anaheim a 2-0 lead just 6:46 into the game. Anaheim would find themselves in a little bit of penalty trouble late in the period as Eaves would be called for holding. The Flames power play has been red-hot recently as in-game three they converted on three-of-five attempts Monday night. The Ducks would be up for the challenge as they would kill off the penalty while only allowing 2 shots on goal. The first period horn would sound and the Ducks would take a 2-0 lead into the intermission.
The Flames would get a second opportunity on the power play midway through the middle frame as Chris Wagner would be whistled for goaltender interference at the 10:21 mark of the period. Calgary would get som every good look, but Gibson would be sharp and turn aside all the power play attempts including a dangerous one from Johnny Gaudreau to help maintain the two-goal lead. The Ducks would get a good chance after the penalty expired as Ryan Getzlaf would get a two-on-one opportunity with Ryan Kesler but Mark Stone would break the play up. The Flames would be going on their third man advantage of the night as Kesler would sit two minutes for hooking, to this point the Flames are 0/2 on the power play tonight but would get on the board as Sean Monahan would find the back of the night for his fourth power play goal of the postseason, and first goal of the night for the Flames to make it a 2-1 game. The Ducks would get their first power play since game two of the series, as the past eight penalties have been levied against them. The Ducks would not be able to convert on their first power play of the night but would draw another penalty at the end of their first man advantage. The second period horn would sound and the Ducks would take a 2-1 lead into the second intermission.
Anaheim would begin the period with 1:09 left of power play time due to the slashing penalty levied against Alex Chiasson. The Ducks would not be able to convert on their second man advantage of the evening, but would still be holding on to a 2-1 lead with 18 minutes to go in the game. Gibson would have to be brilliant throughout the third period of playmaking key saves to keep Anaheim ahead with a one goal lead. The Flames would pull their goaltender with 2:39 remaining in the game in a last-ditch effort to tie the game up and force overtime, and potentially extend the series. The Ducks would be instrumental in winning key face-offs in the defensive zone, and icing the puck chipping away at the clock. With a 6.7 seconds remaining Getzlaf would seal the deal with an empty-net goal to give the Ducks a 3-1 lead and secure the victory.
Final Score: Ducks-3 Flames-1
The Anaheim Ducks are moving on to round 2 with their 3-1 victory tonight over the Flames completing the four game sweep. Patrick Eaves opened up the scoring with his first goal of the post-season early in the first, and Nate Thompson would pot his second goal of the post-season. The Ducks would get into penalty trouble late in the second period and it would see the Flames climb back to within one with an entire period left to play. The Ducks would show resilience, and start playing their defensive style game and shut down the Flames for most of the third period, and when they would slip up Gibson would shine bright in the crease keeping Anaheim in the lead. Getzlaf would seal the deal extremely late in the third by potting an empty-net goal for his third goal of the playoffs.
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The Ducks will be awaiting the winner of the Edmonton/San Jose series, which is all tied up at 2-2. Round 2, game 1 TBD
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April 20th, 2017