Final Score: Ducks 5, Jets 2
First Period Recap:
Jakob Silfverberg got the first good chance of the night, a quick shot from a nice Ryan Kesler pass that Ondrej Pavelec stopped. Less than a minute later, Mathieu Perreault took a turnaround shot that took the Ducks' defense by surprise, but Frederik Andersen made the save.
In the fourth minute of the game, two big hits got the crowd going: first Brad Stuart on Ryan Getzlaf (which Getzlaf responded to with a hit of his own on Stuart) and then Dustin Byfuglien on Corey Perry. About three minutes later, Perry took the puck away just over the Jets' blue line and passed to Getzlaf who wired a slapshot that Pavelec saved, but booted the rebound near Patrick Maroon, who couldn't quite get there. On the next shift, Stuart sent a wrist shot through traffic that Andersen saved.
About halfway through the period, Kesler and Silfverberg had another good shift, each with a shot attempt. The shift ended with Matt Beleskey getting into a minor scuffle with Stuart, not enough to earn penalty minutes. On the next shift, Bryan Little hit Drew Stafford with a cross-ice pass to set him up for a dangerous chance, but Stafford fanned on the shot. The shift after that, Perreault skated in on the right side and fired a shot that Andersen booted out near Blake Wheeler, who was unable to get a handle on the rebound.
Two minutes later, Getzlaf stickhandled into the zone and took a wrist shot that Pavelec stopped. Later on, Perry took a slapshot that Pavelec couldn't get a handle on, but the rebound eluded everyone's sticks until it found its way to Simon Despres, who accidentally cleared the puck back out of the zone in an attempt to pass back to Cam Fowler.
A couple of minutes after that, Fowler sent a stretch pass to Silfverberg, whose slapshot was gobbled up by Pavelec. A shift later, Andrew Cogliano took an offensive zone penalty when he tripped Jacob Trouba, and before the Ducks could touch up Ben Chiarot walked in and sent a dangerous backhander toward Andersen, who made the save.
Kesler won the face-off to start the penalty kill and Francois Beauchemin iced the puck, but the Jets made them pay on the ensuing rush. Byfuglien passed to Perreault who skated down the left side and passed to Little, who had found an open spot in the middle of the Ducks' zone. Little placed his wrist shot perfectly, high glove for the power play goal. 1-0 Jets.
A minute and a half after that, Emerson Etem scored the prettiest goal of the playoffs. After receiving a short pass from Sami Vatanen in his own zone, Etem raced up the left wing and, once he gained the offensive zone, went outside-inside on Trouba. Chiarot dove to try and block his path toward Pavelec, but before he could get there Etem let fly an absolute beauty of a backhander that found the same part of the net that Little had a few shift previously: top right corner. 1-1 tie.
The Jets spent most of the last two minutes with the puck, with Toby Enstrom getting the best chance on a tip play. Little and Tyler Myers closed out the period with a pretty good shift that ultimately did not produce a dangerous chance. After 20 minutes, the Ducks held a slight edge in shot attempts.
Second Period Recap:
The Jets controlled the puck for most of the first three minutes, including a good chance that Myers created when he skated behind the Ducks' net and sent a pass out in front for Mark Scheifele, who immediately got the shot off and forced Andersen to make a good glove save. The Ducks' first good chance came off the stick of Vatanen, who took a wrist shot that Etem deflected into Pavelec's glove side post.
A minute later, Winnipeg had a great shift that required Fowler to make two huge defensive plays to keep the game tied. First, Little made a great play to get the puck to a wide open Myers, whose wrist shot from a dangerous area was blocked by Fowler. Then, Andrew Ladd tried to make a move on Andersen but Fowler disrupted the play with his stick.
A minute after that, Rickard Rakell turned the puck over to Perreault in the neutral zone, and the former Duck took a wrist shot that Andersen booted to the corner. The Jets recovered the puck and sent it to the point, where Trouba fired a slapshot that Andersen stopped.
Silfverberg held up Myers and earned himself a couple of minutes, but this time the Ducks' penalty killers were up to the challenge, particularly Getzlaf, who made two great plays to control the puck in his own zone and either clear it himself or allow a teammate to clear. After the penalty expired, Getzlaf made another great play, this time in the Jets' zone, to move around the defenders and get the puck to Matt Beleskey who was only stopped by a great effort by Pavelec.
After Beleskey changed for Cogliano, a beautiful thing happened, and that thing was a goal. Hampus Lindholm started it off with a great skating rush up ice. Once he gained the zone, he dropped it to Perry, who proceeded to undress Byfuglien with a slick move to the backhand. (How's that for revenge for Buff's attack in Game 3?) Then Perry passed to a wide open Cogliano, who immediately fired the puck into the top of the net. Perfectly executed play, no chance for Pavelec. 2-1 Ducks.
Right after the next face-off, Stuart took a holding penalty and put the Ducks on the power play. Kesler had two great chances and Palmieri had another one-timer, but Pavelec stood tall. Jim Slater made things interesting when he blocked a Beauchemin point shot and skated past the D-man to get a partial break, but Lindholm shut him down with a perfectly placed poke check that was only possible because he skated pretty darn fast to catch him.
After the penalty expired, the Ducks had too many men on the ice and so they swapped power plays. The Jets had good pressure and possession during their man advantage, and Little impressed with some plays, but they never really created a Grade A scoring chance, aside from perhaps a wrist shot by Perreault that Andersen saved. Oh, and Byfuglien bumped into a ref, who didn't feel like giving him anything.
With a minute left in the period, Byfuglien brought the crowd to their feet by knocking Tomas Fleischmann into the Jets' bench, but the Ducks walked into the locker room after the second with a lead for the first time in this series.
Third Period Recap:
The Ducks iced the puck twice in the first minute of the period, but after that Perry sprang into the Jets' zone on the right side and firing a slapshot that Pavelec stopped and then moved for his defensemen. The next time the Twins got on the ice, Getzlaf forced a turnover and created a two-on-one with Perry, but Bfyuglien blocked his pass across. A minute later, Chiarot skated deep into the Ducks' zone and made a good pass to Perreault, who took a quick shot that was disrupted before it could get to Andersen.
Just past six and a half minutes in, Despres picked the puck off the boards in his own zone and gave it to Fleischmann, who raced up the ice with it. Myers laid down to try to take away his passing option, but Fleischmann put on the breaks, waited for Myers to slide by, and sent the puck back to Despres, who tapped it right into Pavelec's pads. It was a good save by the netminder, but the puck sat in the blue paint afterwards and Kesler was there to slide it on the ice past Pav's glove. 3-1 Ducks.
Cogliano followed up Kesler's goal by fanning on a one-timer from right on top of the crease. Wheeler then almost stuffed a wraparound. A few minutes later, it was Wheeler again creating a chance by throwing the puck into the blue paint, where it deflected off Fowler and Andersen blocked the redirection, but was unable to cover up. Enstrom then collected the puck and sent a shot toward the net, but it didn't make it there.
Little won an offensive zone face-off just past the halfway point of the period, and Ladd took the puck and sent it to Stuart at the point. Stuart released a one-timer that might have deflected off Fowler, but either way it beat Andersen and the Winnipeg Whiteout roared in approval. 3-2 Ducks.
Two minutes later, Getzlaf burst into the zone and faked a shot before taking one, which was stopped by Pavelec.
With just over five minutes left, the Jets nearly tied it when Michael Frolik took a shot from above the crease that Andersen booted out into a scrum in front. Chaos reigned for a few seconds as Myers took a swing at it and Andersen made a second save, but the puck went to the corner where Maroon chipped it up to Silfverberg. Silf and Kesler skated up the ice two-on-one against Enstrom with Myers caught up ice, and Silf delivered a strike onto the stick of Kesler. Kesler stopped the puck and then shot it about as quickly as you can without one-timing it, and the placement was perfect. 4-2 Ducks.
The teams exchanged mildly dangerous chances after the goal, but neither goalie had to make a great save. Paul Maurice pulled Pavelec with 2:34 remaining, and in the following minute Silfverberg made a great defensive play and Kesler went offside before he could shoot at the empty net.
With thirty seconds remaining, Wheeler tried to make a cross-ice pass from the left circle, but Silfverberg knocked it down and Vatanen slapped at the puck, which traveled the length of the ice and into the empty net. 5-2 Ducks.
The home crowd cheered their Jets to the final buzzer, everybody shook hands, Perry and Byfuglien had a conversation that actually looked pretty amicable, and the Ducks became the first team of these playoffs to punch their ticket to the second round.
The Good: Scoring on the rush. All four of the Ducks' non-empty net goals came mere seconds after gaining the blue line. Whether it was a brilliant individual effort (Etem), a slick passing play (Cogliano and 2nd Kesler) or a three-man drive to the net (1st Kesler), the Ducks' talent capitalized on their opportunities, and for the most part it was people other than the Twins doing it.
The Bad: Sami Vatanen and Clayton Stoner had a -11 on-ice shot attempt differential (corsi) at even strength. All the good that is happening (and make no mistake, there is far more good than bad) might be covering up some issues. Okay, one issue.
The Ugly: As of this writing, Silfverberg has not been credited with an assist on Vatanen's empty net goal. Seems to me that he deserves one. Judge for yourself.
Next Game: Date and opponent TBD.