Final Score: Ducks 2 - Jets 1
Chart courtesy www.war-on-ice.com
Similar to Game 1, the Ducks came out of the gate flying. It also started pretty nasty. About four minutes in the Ducks had the first real good opportunity of the game with RIckard Rakell finding Jakob Silfverberg behind the D. Silf tried to get a pass to the middle for Andrew Cogliano, but it was cut off. The Ducks kept the pressure on though, eventually the puck came to Cam Fowler pinching in for a shot. As Ondrej Pavelec covered Ricky and Silf poked at him and Adam Pardy (inserted after having been scratched in Game 1) crosschecked Silf right in the jaw. No call, cooler heads prevailed.
A minute or so later, Tim Jackman took a run at Pardy and as the Winnipeg defenseman hit the boards he swung his stick around and smacked Jackman in the head with it. This one was called. The Ducks didn't get anything going on the power play for the first minute, a couple shots were blocked, but with 23 seconds left Tyler Myers was sent off for another crosscheck to the head, this time to Ryan Kesler in front of the net. Sami Vatanen ripped a couple on the two man advantage but nothing got through. In the remaining power play, Corey Perry got loose in the slot, turned and shot, but coudln't get much on it. Still Pavelec had to peak behind him. The PP ended with Dustin Byfuglien just owning the puck deep in the Ducks' zone.
Just before the midway point of the period, the shots on goal were 14-2 in favor of the Ducks,
Winnipeg got their first power play of the game with eight and a half left, when Hampus Lindholm put a pick on Bryan Little to make some space for Ryan Getzlaf to carry the puck out from behind the Jets' net. Not only did he get a penalty, it didn't work because there was a pretty inarguable hook that Little put on Getzlaf anyway. The kill was just about perfect, no shots for Winnipeg and minimal zone time.
With four minutes left in the period, Winnipeg went back on the PP thanks to a head shot by Kesler on Tyler Myers. It was only a two minute penalty and though it was a head shot Myers was bending low (the only way Kesler could have reached his head) and reaching for a puck, so I wouldn't expect anything supplemental. The Jets had more zone time on this extra man opportunity, but nothing dangerous until Jacob Trouba hit the cross bar in the last seven seconds of the power play.
That was about it for the first. Good period from the Ducks, but not able to cash in.
The second was not good, but by Anaaheim standards it was probably only mediocre. For the first five minutes, there was more possession for the Ducks and more animosity after the whistles. By the time the period had ended, however, the Ducks' sizable shot attempt advantage was completely gone.
Two minutes in, Perry hit Patrick Maroon with a stretch pass for a partial breakaway. He had Andrew Ladd hot on his heels and could only shovel a backhander into Pavelec's logo though. Fowler followed up to take a whack at the rebound, but couldn't beat Pavelec either.
Winnipeg's first real pressure of the period resulted in a clear cut slashing penalty against Kyle Palmieri, 6:08 in. The Jets had one jam play to the side of Andersen, but the better opportunity came for the penalty killing Ducks. Cogs won a race to the puck in the corner to Pavelec's right. He swung the puck to the slot where he had a trailer supporting.... unfortunately it was Clayton Stoner. Instead of taking a point bank shot, Stoner tried to pass it off to Emerson Etem, but Myers cut it off easily. On the plus side, Cogs drew a slashing penalty against Ladd. The resulting 4-on-4 was pretty blah, except for Lindholm grazing the post from just above the faceoff dot. Not only was it the highlight of the 4-on-4, it came in a stretch where the Ducks didn't get a shot on goal for 11 minutes.
Stoner wasn't the only one to overpass in a prime scoring area. With five minutes left Sami Vatanen carried right into the slot, but pulled up and attempted a pass back to Maroon that was intercepted by Little. In fairness to Sami, Mark Stuart was in good defensive position in his shooting lane.
Less than a minute later, Pardy dangled around Palmieri at the faceoff dot, shot from a sharp angle, picked up his own rebound and wrapped it into the net to open the scoring. The most important part of the play, however was Lee Stempniak being pushed into the net by Kesler. As Stempniak attempted to get out of the goal, his feet got tangled with Andersen's as Freddy tried to make his push across the crease. After a long deliberation between the officials, the goal was called good, and even though Andersen was prevented from making a play on the puck there was really nothing Stempniak could have done to avoid the contact. 1-0 Jets.
On the next shift Kesler was sent off for elbowing Tobias Enstrom in the back of the head. More discipline needed there, but the Ducks killed it without much incident. And so, another negative goal differential second period was in the books.
Immediately to start the third the Ducks dodged a bullet. Pardy carried the puck in and let a slapper go from the top of the circle. The puck went in and out of Freddy's glove right to the tape of Stempniak, but Stoner disrupted the shot into an empty net with his stick. It was a moment of brilliance at exactly the right time for Stoner, but mostly just obscures the fact that he was his usual self for the rest of the game, finishing with the team worst -10 shot attempt differential and dragging Sami down with him.
Two minutes later Matt Beleskey was sprung for a partial breakaway by an INSANE pass from Getzlaf that originated from the hashmarks in his own zone and hit Beleskey in stride at the blueline. Trouba did just enough to disrupt Beleskey and knock him off balance without taking a penalty though. As such, Beleskey's backhanded attempt was nothing for Pavelec to worry about.
Just before the nine minute mark, Cogs nearly tied the game, jumping on a rebound to the left of Pavelelc. Cogs, shot it, just about perfectly above the hight of the pad, but the goaltender reached back with his glove to knock it down. Cogs got to the rebound off of that as well, but shoveled it off the side of the net on his backhand. A minute later Rakell hit the post from between the hashmarks. The Ducks were absolutely buzzing, and they got another power play courtesy of Andrew Ladd's high stick.
The Ducks took 30 seconds to get going on the PP, but when they did it really worked. Sami Vatanen zipped a shot/pass onto Perry's tape that redirected right on net, but Pavelec made a great kick save to get it to the corner. Getzlaf got to the rebound, hacked it toward a gaping net but Trouba blocked it. The Ducks held the zone, reset and Cam Fowler's shot deflected off of Blake Wheeler, then grazed Maroon at the top of the crease and beat Pavelec up high, stick side. 1-1 Tie.
With about seven minutes left there was a sequence of three massive hits in about ten seconds. First Cogliano wrecked Stuart on the forecheck behind Pavelec, but he took the hit to get it around to the blueline. At which time Beauch flattened Drew Stafford and got the puck forward to Silfverberg. As Silf advanced it into the zone Mark Scheifele dispatched him along the wall. Playoffs, man, playoffs.
Getzlaf and Perry did their twin thing, with Perry going to the front of the net, Getz essentially banked his shot off of Perry's tape. Unfortunately it went off of Pavelec's mask and out of play. Winnipeg got one last push in, but Freddy was up to the task. Then...
SILFVERBERG!!!!! 21 seconds remaining!! He had been knocked down to the left of Pavelec by Little, but recovered as Kesler carried the puck up the left wing wall. Kesler cycled it back down and as Silf picked up the puck, he cut back to the front of the net, losing Little in the process and sniped it. Pavelec wasn't in great position on the near post, but it was as quick and precise a shot as you'd expect from Silfverberg. 2-1 Ducks!!!!!!!!!!!!
The reaction shot from the Winnipeg and Anaheim management teams is everything:
ONE WALL. pic.twitter.com/2flQ5u0vMC— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) April 19, 2015
After the buzzer, Scheifele crosschecked Silfverberg down to the ice, but nobody gives a shit. Ducks lead the series 2-0 heading to Winnipeg.
Good: I'd say a game winning goal with 21 seconds left qualifies. Also another game of outpossessing Winnipeg and back to back games with a power play goal!? Plus, 100% (7/7) on the PK through two games isn't bad. Finally, Bruce may have learned something from Game 1 against the Kings last year, Clayton Stoner was not on the ice after the go ahead goal.
Bad: They just can't keep coming from behind every single game..... It's fun, because it keeps working for some reason, but one of these days it's going to come back to haunt us.
Ugly: Let's go with Adam Pardy crosschecking everyone in the head. Also, Chris Wagner leaving the game in the middle of the first after having played only 1:50 with an upper body injury. Luckily Norfolk's season ended tonight and reinforcements are coming.
3rd MVD: Frederik Andersen - was better in this game than in Game 1, specifically at not giving up insane rebounds that force him into making spectacular saves. There were still a couple of those, but for the most part he cleaned it up. Also the only goal he gave up was just about impossible for him to stop.
2nd MVD: Andrew Cogliano - Used his speed so well to get to pucks in the Jets' zone all night. Didn't end up on the scoresheet, but probably should have when Stoner passed up a golden opportunity. Also had the second most shots on the team with five (behind only Perry's six)
1st MVD: Jakob Silfverberg - Duh.
Game Three: Monday, April 20 5:30 pm PDT MTS Centre, Winnipeg