Smith-Pelly has spent the past month providing big goals at big moments. That continued Monday in the Ducks' 4-3 victory over the
The Ducks could move on to the conference final for the fourth time in franchise history. But it will be just another game for Smith-Pelly on Wednesday at
"When you get out there, it has to be another game," Smith-Pelly said Monday morning. "It's bigger, but if you do what got you here, you'll be fine."
What Smith-Pelly seems to do best is torture the Kings. He had a goal in the Ducks' 2-0 victory Saturday. He followed up with two in the second period Monday — one off his skate — in the second period.
"I was just trying to get things to hit my stick," Smith-Pelly said. Stick, toe, whatever worked.
This has become habit-forming.
Smith-Pelly dabbled in the
A week later, Smith-Pelly had an impact moment — against the Kings. His goal helped the Ducks to a 4-3 shootout victory that clinched the top spot in the Western Conference for the
Turns out he was just getting warmed up.
Smith-Pelly had two goals in a 5-4 victory over Dallas that ended the Ducks' first-round series.
Things like spotlight goals and Stanley Cup victories were hardly on Smith-Pelly's mind back in Norfolk during the winter.
"You don't think about those things too much," Smith-Pelly said. "You're in the [
That seems to have happened.
He has reached the point where Coach Bruce Boudreau has come to expect these moments. Smith-Pelly, Boudreau said, has a "good hockey IQ … there's a trust factor. We know [he's] going to do a good job."
Boudreau has so much trust that Smith-Pelly skates on the top line with
Smith-Pelly, meanwhile, hums along to the tune of "I Gotta Be Me." He said he lets Perry be Perry and Getzlaf be Getzlaf. He sticks to what he does best.
"If I tried to play like them, I probably wouldn't do too well," Smith-Pelly said. "I just put my stick on the ice and wait."
His first one Monday was hardly a goal scorer's goal, but it counted. He was doing a little grind work in front of the net when a shot by
Smith-Pelly's second goal was prettier. He burst up ice and took a Getzlaf pass and dangled the puck before Quick. When Quick committed, Smith-Pelly tucked in a backhand shot for a 3-1 Ducks lead.
"The first one, I never saw," Smith-Pelly said. "It just hit me. The second one was just a great play by Getzie. When you're on the ice with him, good things happen."