Ducks look to stay loose by taking refuge away from Calgary

Ducks look to stay loose by taking refuge away from Calgary
Ducks forward Corey Perry and center Ryan Getzlaf celebrate during a Ducks' playoff victory against the Flames. (Jae C. Hong / Associated Press)

And now, some potential tree therapy during a two-day break in this Western Conference semifinal series.

Toss in some fresh mountain air, a few snow flurries and wildlife sightings Wednesday … and the Ducks were recharging and regrouping after a 4-3 overtime loss to the Calgary Flames in Game 3. The Ducks lead the best-of-seven series, two games to one.


"We're a loose bunch, which is key. You can't just sulk," Ducks center Ryan Kesler said.

Veteran defenseman Francois Beauchemin was certainly sounding re-energized when he described his pre-practice morning activities.

"I woke up this morning, went down for a little walk by the waterfalls, by the river and saw five deer crossing my path," Beauchemin said. "It was a good time and on the way here [to practice], a grizzly bear crossed the road. I love this kind of wildlife."

The Ducks held an optional practice and are scheduled to have a full session Thursday.

The idea to spend a couple of days decompressing in Banff apparently was player generated and General Manager Bob Murray and Coach Bruce Boudreau signed on to the plan. This was Boudreau's first trip to Banff and he looked outside at the snow flurries and loudly noted it was May 6.

There was another reason for the getaway, explained Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf.

"The city of Calgary is a tough city to be in when you're in a playoff run," he said. "That city really gets behind their team. There's a lot going on, whether it'd be at the hotel or around the hotel. Those kind of things. Sometimes it's nice to just step away and not have to deal with people yelling in your face, those kind of things when you're trying to walk down the street."

Naturally, his days of being remembered as a one-time star player for the junior team, the Calgary Hitmen, are put on the shelf during the playoffs.

"I don't think I'm always the enemy. I have a feeling right now I am," he said.

Kesler, meanwhile, wasn't doing much looking in the rearview mirror at Game 3. Shortly before the Flames won it in overtime — scoring on a delayed penalty — Kesler thought he had touched the puck, meaning the whistle should have been blown to stop play.

"I thought I did. I thought it was going to be blown down," Kesler said. "But, obviously, they saw it differently. I don't even know who they were calling a penalty on or when they put their hand up. It is what it is."

The Ducks lost the chance to take a 3-0 series lead and were fewer than 20 seconds away from doing just that. Flames rookie Johnny Gaudreau scored with 19.5 seconds remaining in regulation to tie it, 3-3.

Although Kesler and Getzlaf indicated they had moved on from the loss, it was a bit more difficult for the coaching staff.

"I think coaches tend to keep it a little longer than most people, but it was a game we let get away," Boudreau said.


They had been playing a classic road game, limiting the Flames to nine shots on goal through two periods. Getzlaf added two more points, and Corey Perry scored his sixth goal of the postseason. With that point, Perry moved past Teemu Selanne for second place in career playoff scoring for the Ducks. It was Perry's 70th playoff point.

In review

There was a lengthy review of the third-period play involving Flames rookie Sam Bennett. Many thought Bennett had tied the score, 3-3, but the NHL's situation room ruled that there was inconclusive evidence the puck had completely crossed the goal line.

The league has cameras in the goal posts in all eight arenas in this playoff round, and the feed streams directly into the video room in Toronto.

The league said Wednesday that when hockey operations looked at the goal-post views, one view had the puck blocked by the pad of goalie Frederik Andersen. His body blocked the view of the puck on the other.

Twitter: @reallisa