Getzlaf’s good bounce sends Ducks past Flames again, 3-2
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Ryan Getzlaf felt the Anaheim Ducks had earned the right to get a good break.
When his attempted pass through the high slot ricocheted off a defenseman’s skate and went in for the tiebreaking goal, Getzlaf knew only one word could describe it: “Lucky.”
“We worked hard for it,” Getzlaf immediately added. “Our guys worked hard for that faceoff, to get the puck back, and then sometimes luck is on your side.”
Getzlaf scored the tiebreaking power-play goal with 4:46 to play on a bizarre deflection off Lance Bouma’s skate, and the Ducks beat the Flames 3-2 Saturday night to take a 2-0 lead in their first-round playoff series.
Getzlaf was as surprised as everybody else at Honda Center when his possibly ill-advised pass through the teeth of Calgary’s penalty-killers somehow pinballed into the air and got past an unsuspecting Brian Elliott.
What wasn’t surprising was the overall result: The Ducks won their 29th consecutive matchup with the Flames in Anaheim since April 25, 2006, extending the longest such streak in NHL history.
“It wasn’t the best play,” Getzlaf said. “There was about three or four sticks in between. But sometimes those things just happen. I’ve been on the other side of it, so we’ll take it. A win is a win in the playoffs.”
Game 3 is Monday in Calgary.
Jakob Silfverberg and Rickard Rakell scored first-period goals and John Gibson made 35 saves for the Ducks, who survived a nightmare second period and finished with the poise they’ve learned from several fruitless postseason runs.
“I thought we deserved that bounce,” Rakell said.
Mikael Backlund scored a short-handed goal and Sean Monahan had a power-play goal for the wild-card Flames, and Elliott stopped 26 shots. Calgary rallied from an early two-goal deficit and repeatedly threatened to take the lead before that heartbreaking deflection.
They still haven’t won a regular-season game in Orange County since 2004, but the young Flames are headed back to Alberta with concrete knowledge they can play anywhere with the five-time Pacific Division champion Ducks.
Still, the Anaheim crowd serenaded the Flames with its now-familiar chant: “You can’t win here!”
“Oh, it’s tough. That’s a tough one to swallow,” Calgary captain Mark Giordano said. “Thought we did a ton of good things. We had a lot of good looks there in the third. We didn’t capitalize. They got a lucky bounce, let’s be honest.”
Playing without injured top defensemen Cam Fowler and Sami Vatanen, the Ducks survived a shaky second period with a strong third and more of their usual veteran poise. Anaheim hasn’t lost in regulation in 16 consecutive games since March 10.
Silfverberg and Rakell scored for the second straight game, following up their goals in Anaheim’s 3-2 win in Game 1 with goals in the opening seven minutes of the rematch.
And then Getzlaf got lucky on the winner for his NHL-leading fourth point of the postseason.
“That’s something we talk about defending is the seam, because obviously that’s a tough play,” Bouma said. “Just an unlucky bounce, I think. Yeah, it’s unfortunate. Not much else you can say about that.”
The Ducks started quickly again, with Silfverberg beating Elliott just 3:21 into Game 2 with his silky wrist shot. Silfverberg went goalless in Anaheim’s seven-game loss to Nashville in the first round last season.
Rakell then doubled the lead when Getzlaf’s pass took a funny bounce and allowed Rakell to wrap a shot underneath Elliott.
Anaheim had a chance to seize control late in the first when Flames rookie Matthew Tkachuk took a double minor for high-sticking, but Backlund capitalized on a turnover and scored on a short-handed breakaway.
The Flames evened it in the second when Monahan cashed in a pass from Johnny Gaudreau for his second goal of the series.
Calgary nearly went ahead moments later when the puck slipped underneath Gibson during a physical scrum in the crease, but video review confirmed the on-ice call of no goal. The decision from the league offices infuriated Flames coach Glen Gulutzan, who also didn’t like the penalty called against Dougie Hamilton leading to Getzlaf’s power-play goal.
“I thought the standard changed in the last six minutes,” Gulutzan said.
NOTES: Vatanen was a late scratch with an upper-body injury after participating in the pregame skate. Korbinian Holzer made his NHL playoff debut at late notice. The German veteran hadn’t played a postseason game since 2014 with the AHL’s Toronto Marlies, and he hadn’t played for Anaheim since April 4 after flying home late in the regular season for a personal matter. ... Anaheim D Brandon Montour got his first career playoff point with an assist on Silfverberg’s goal. ... Chad Johnson was Elliott’s backup. He hadn’t suited up since leaving the Flames’ game at Anaheim on April 4 after just a few minutes with a lower-body injury. ... Ducks F Nick Ritchie made his Stanley Cup playoff debut. The bruising power forward was suspended for the opener after punching Chicago’s Michal Rozsival in Anaheim’s penultimate regular-season game.