The more things change, the more they stayed the same for the
The team that endured some terrible second periods during the regular season but so often managed to rally and save the day in the third pulled off that feat again Thursday in its playoff opener against the
The Ducks, who set a regular-season record by registering 18 wins in games they had trailed at some point in the third period, scored three times in the third period Thursday. They had been outscored by eighth-seeded Winnipeg, 1-0, in the second period.
The carryover of the Ducks' ability to rally in the third period was a welcome event for center
"That's good," Getzlaf said, smiling. "I didn't think we played a bad period in the second. We didn't score a bunch of goals but we played well and we did the right things and we stuck with it and got rewarded."
They got three power plays -- which doesn't seem like a lot but is a veritable bounty for them -- and capitalized on two.
The Ducks had ranked 28th in the
"We came in with a game plan and we executed all night long," Getzlaf said. "At the end of the night, we got rewarded on a couple of power plays and guys doing their jobs in front of the net."
One of those guys was Perry, whose four-point performance set a single-game playoff high and tied a playoff franchise record set by
Perry was his usual pesky self around the net when he scored the power-play goal that brought the Ducks even, and he was there again when he scored the go-ahead goal, which had to be verified through video review when the on-ice officials didn't see that his second whack at a rebound had sent the puck completely over the goal line.
"I thought Pears did a great job tonight," Getzlaf said, using Perry's nickname. "He didn't go for goals when he shouldn't. He played a good, honest hockey game and took pucks to the net. He was a factor every time he was on the ice and that's great."
Perry said the fact that he and Getzlaf could lead the team in the playoff opener was crucial, and he's right. Perry, Getzlaf and defenseman
Perry, Getzlaf -- who won 14 of 23 faceoffs -- and left wing
"This is the time when we want to step up and we want to lead by example, whether it's on the score sheet or doing different things," Perry said. "And tonight was a good game for our whole line. I thought we played well.
"To get going in the right direction we needed this first one and we'll just keep looking forward."
It is only one game, and it was a rugged, teeth-jarring contest between two big teams. "It was everything I thought it was going to be," Perry said.
He was everything they needed to pull off another third-period comeback and put them in a happily familiar situation.