Final Score: Ducks 3, Flames 4 (OT)
First Period Recap:
Clayton Stoner started things off with an icing six seconds into the game. Pointing this out seems unfair because if Hampus Lindholm had done the same thing, I might not have brought it up. Such is life. Less than a minute later, Ryan Getzlaf took a shot from the right wing that bounced off Karri Ramo's pad and right onto the stick of Patrick Maroon, who's shot was blocked by Dennis Wideman. Ramo hadn't been in position, so Wideman probably saved a goal. Half a minute after that, Andrew Cogliano gained the zone and made a good pass to Rickard Rakell, who took a wrist shot from the high slot that was stopped by Ramo.
Less than a minute later, Stoner and Sami Vatanen both tried to step up in the neutral zone but the puck got by both of them to Mason Raymond, who found himself 2-on-1 with Brandon Bollig against Tim Jackman, who wasn't able to make up for his two defensemen's mistakes. Raymond connected on the pass and Bollig shot high stick side and beat Frederik Andersen. 1-0 Flames.
For the next few minutes after the goal, the Flames had more zone time, but didn't end up generating any really dangerous chances. Which is too bad for them, because about seven minutes into the game, Vatanen held a puck in at the right point and passed it to Getzlaf in the right circle. The captain then made a great pass to Maroon, who stood unguarded by either Wideman or Kris Russell just outside the crease and easily scored. 1-1 tie.
A little more than a minute later, Stoner took an interference penalty, but the Ducks, particularly Emerson Etem, looked good on the penalty kill, until David Schlemko found himself wide open in front of the net, but he flat out missed his shot when the puck came to him. Then Ryan Kesler took a hooking penalty and gave the Flames a brief 5-on-3. After Stoner came out of the box, Cogliano started a nice shorthanded rush up ice that eventually brought him all the way behind Ramo with the puck, and in the process he drew a slashing penalty from Johnny Gaudreau. The Flames controlled the puck for most of the ensuing 4 on 4 but did not force Andersen to make a great save, and the Ducks didn't do anything special on their brief power play that followed.
A minute and a half or so after the power play expired, TJ Brodie tried to skate the puck out of his own zone, but Getzlaf simply knocked him over and took the puck in the way that only Getzlaf can do. Then he misfired on his shot, but Simon Despres was there to collect the puck and skate behind the net before sending the puck in front, where it deflected off the skate of Corey Perry and into the net. The Situation Room reviewed the play briefly, determining that there was no distinct kicking motion. 2-1 Ducks.
Just over two minutes later, Getzlaf held a puck in at the blue line and threw it to the other side of the zone, where Francois Beauchemin picked it up and took a slapshot that hit the post. A couple minutes after that, Matt Stajan got the last good chance of the period for either team when he sent a backhander on net that deflected off Andersen's right pad and through his legs, but not into the net.
Second Period Recap:
Less than a minute into the second period, Getzlaf tripped Brodie and earned two minutes. Vatanen made a decent shorthanded rush attempt early on, but after that the Flames set up their power play and got two good chances: a snapshot from Brodie (saved by Andersen) and a one-timer from Mikael Backlund after a good pass from Brodie (hit the post). Shortly after Getzlaf's penalty expired, Stajan tripped Lindholm in the Ducks' zone and gave the Ducks a power play that he wouldn't regret. During the man advantage, Lindholm tripped while trying to accept a pass at the blue line, and Calgary penalty killer Joe Colborne pounced on the puck and skated in on a clean breakaway. When he got to Andersen, he moved the puck to his backhand, held it there for what seemed like too long to do anything other than shoot it from there, then pulled it back to his forehand and squeezed it between Andersen's right toe and the post. Beautiful move for the shorthanded goal. 2-2 tie.
The Ducks did not mount any significant attack in what remained of their power play, and neither team threatened for the next couple minutes until Getzlaf, Perry, and Maroon took a dominant cycling shift down low, which was followed up by an even better shift by the second line. Kesler walked into the high slot and took a wrist shot that Ramo saved but did not cover. Kesler, Matt Beleskey, and Jakob Silfverberg continued to hound the puck, and eventually Kesler made a no-look backhand pass from behind the net to Beleskey (or maybe Silfverberg, but it got to Bels). Beleskey took a wrist shot that hit the top right corner of the net, above Ramo's glove. 3-2 Ducks.
The next few minutes were relatively uneventful, with neither team mounting much of an attack. Then the Flames got themselves two great chances a minute apart. With six minutes left, Gaudreau passed from behind the net to Sean Monahan, who was standing in the blue paint. Monahan fought off Kesler's stick to redirect the puck on net, but Andersen's pad was there to make the save. With five minutes left, Stajan dumped it into the zone, retrieved his own dump, and sent it in front to Sam Bennett. Andersen partially disrupted Bennett's play with a poke check, but still had to make a pretty good save.
Perry tried to create something with under two minutes in the period when he skated in on the left wing and, instead of shooting, threw the puck into the middle of the ice, apparently hoping for a favorable bounce off a Calgary player, but this did not happen and the play went the other way.
With under a minute on the clock, Brodie and Monahan each took shots at the net while the Flames had pretty good traffic in front, but neither made it past Andersen. Cogliano took the last shot of the period, a wrister with less than ten seconds remaining that Ramo stopped.
Third Period Recap:
Perry went off for hi-sticking a minute and a half in, and Gaudreau (wrist shot saved), Wideman (slapshot saved), and Raymond (slick move, wrist shot missed) each had good chances, but none of them converted.
About eight minutes into the period, Nate Thompson held Stajan and gave the Flames another power play. Getzlaf and Cogliano made the best play of the next two minutes, nearly resulting in the game's second shortie. Getzlaf sent it out of the zone and Cogliano tracked it down, skated in on Ramo, was disrupted by Wideman, skated away from Ramo, and passed to Getzlaf, who delayed and shot a backhander that rang off the post. In doing so, they helped kill of the Flames' fifth power play of the game.
A couple minutes later, David Schlemko hit Maroon hard and clean, getting a rise out of the crowd. Shortly thereafter, Perry passed from behind the net to Cogliano in front, but Cogs missed.
With just under six and a half minutes remaining, the real drama began. David Jones did some good forechecking, taking the puck from Despres and then passing to Bennett in front, who immediately shot the puck. Initially, it appeared that Andersen made a brilliant right pad save, but at the next stoppage, that came into question. The puck had caught Andersen's pad and rolled down to the toe, but the pad was right on the goal line, so it was very very very very close to being a goal. Toronto took their time, and rightly so, and eventually decided that the camera angles were inconclusive, so the no-goal call remained. The Calgary bench and fans were incensed, and while I agree the camera angles weren't conclusive, I have to admit it looked pretty darn close to a goal. It was certainly one of the toughest calls I've ever seen in all my years of watching this game.
A minute later, Perry took Brodie down and didn't get called, angering the fans even more, and Maroon skated the other way and put a nice move on Deryk Engelland, who redeemed himself a fraction of a second later by deflecting Pat's shot attempt with his stick.
With 2:14 remaining, the game got even more interesting. Jones took a shot that Andersen stopped, but Stajan bumped into the Ducks goalie at the same time, provoking Despres to pull him down. Each of them sat for two minutes, Stajan for goaltender interference and Despres for roughing. Bob Hartley pulled Ramo immediately after the Flames won the next face-off, creating a 5 on 4 power play with an empty net. On the next shift, Vatanen batted the puck out of midair and into the stands from the defensive zone, earning himself a poorly-timed delay of game penalty and giving the Flames a 5 on 3 with the pulled goalie. In the next minute, Russell took a dangerous shot but nothing came of it.
And then it happened. Lindholm iced the puck from his own zone, missing the empty net by a couple feet, and then the Flames came back up the ice. Russell passed to Gaudreau, who moved in on the right wing, and as Lindholm backed up, he continued toward the net, slowed down and, with 19 seconds to go in regulation, unleashed a perfect wrist shot that found the tiny space available between Andersen's left shoulder and the top of the net. 3-3 tie.
After the goal, some fans threw small objects, unidentified as of this writing, onto the ice, and the ice crew had to come on and scrape it off. The last 19 seconds were uneventful in terms of actual hockey, but the crowd sure was into it.
Ramo made two great saves on the Ducks' top line to start out the overtime. First, Getzlaf took a wrist shot from in close that he stopped, and then, after the play had gone the other way and then come back, Maroon skated in on the right wing and passed to Beachemin in the middle. Beauch did not get a handle on the puck and it went to Perry on the left wing, who took a quick shot. Ramo was there to make the save.
Just past the four-minute mark of overtime, Wideman took a shot on Andersen and somebody (either Stoner or Lindholm, I think) knocked down a Flames player and earned a penalty. The Ducks never touched the puck again, so the Flames pulled Ramo and kept playing with it. For about thirty seconds, the six-man unit of Wideman, Brodie, Gaudreau, Monahan, Hudler, and Backlund patiently moved the puck around the offensive zone, waiting for an opening, and they found one. Backlund, whom Hartley had tapped to replace Ramo when the penalty was called, fired a wrist shot from above the slot that beat Andersen stick side and sent the Saddledome into a frenzy. 4-3 Flames.
The Good: The top line of Getzlaf, Perry, and Maroon was dominant all night long, scoring two goals and controlling the puck down low more often than not. They also created two spectacular chances in overtime, but could not find a way to beat Ramo again.
The Bad: For the first time in this series, the Ducks were not the better team. They weren't necessarily the worse team — I thought the game was played pretty darn evenly — but since the Flames are a measurably inferior opponent, the Ducks should be able to outplay them, even when 15 and 10 are on the bench.
The Ugly: Too many penalties. Thank goodness the penalty killing was decent, but seven power plays is too many to give up (six actual PPs plus the delayed penalty in overtime). I understand Despres wanted to send Stajan a message about hitting Andersen, but that's what the ref is for.
3rd Icehole: Johnny Gaudreau — That shot was absolutely perfect. A few more of those and I will be taking back all my thank yous for what you did to the Kings during the regular season.
2nd Icehole: Sami Vatanen and Clayton Stoner — These guys looked like Oilers defensemen on the game's opening goal, and to follow it up, Vatanen took a huge penalty at the end of regulation and Stoner was on the ice for the game-losing goal in overtime and might have taken the penalty that caused it.
1st Icehole: Karri Ramo — Once again, Jonas Hiller finds himself on the bench in the second round of the playoffs. Unlike last year, this time he's actually being outplayed.
Next Game: Game 4, Friday May 8th, 6:30 PM @ Scotiabank Saddledome