Rust, what rust?
If there was even a smidgen of rust after an eight-day break between games, it was not evident as the Ducks out-worked and out-muscled the Flames … straight out of the building in Game 1 of the second round. A few more takeaways from an impressive show of strength on Thursday night.
Ducks using their strength in front of the net
Anaheim immediately imposed its presence, a relentless pressure in front of the Flames net, something that Calgary didn’t face much in the first round against the Canucks.
“I thought especially around the net, they outworked us and kind of … both ends,” said Flames goalie Jonas Hiller, speaking of the Ducks in general. “They got the inside position a lot. We didn’t get a whole lot of second chances at their end.
“That’s kind of these days [how] games get decided. At least we know we can play better. I don’t think anybody was happy the way we played. Me included.”
Goalie referendum, indeed
Yes, Frederik Andersen is that good.
The Ducks goalie was not the one everyone was talking about before Game 1. Most of the talk centered on the former Ducks goalie Hiller, who was returning to face his old teammates.
Andersen had to be focused at the start and he was sharp early and stopped Flames rookie Josh Jooris on a breakaway before Perry, Getzlaf and Co. got to work.
His bid for his first playoff shutout ended when Flames rookie Sam Bennett scored midway throughout the third period. Andersen is 5-0 in the playoffs and has a 1.97 goals-against average and a .930 save percentage.
The best news of all? He looked faintly annoyed when he was talking about the Bennett goal. A good sign, going forward.
Shades of 2003 … and 2007
They won their first six games and lost Game 3 against Dallas in the second round.
In 2007, the Ducks had a five-game winning streak in the midst of their run to the Stanley Cup but that was not at the start of the playoffs. They won Games 4-6 against Detroit in the Western Conference Final and the first two against Ottawa in the Stanley Cup Final.
One other note, regarding Perry. Perry was the first player since 2004 to record multiple games of at least four points, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Keith Primeau of the Flyers accomplished it twice in Philadelphia’s playoff run that year.
Perry’s other four-point performance came in Game 1 of the first round against Winnipeg.
Mr. Game 1? Yes, that is a compliment.