A few more takeaways from the Ducks' 4-2 win over the Calgary Flames in Game 4 on Friday night, which gave the Ducks a 3-1 lead in the Western Conference semifinal series. Game 5 is Sunday night at Honda Center.
Best move of the trade deadline
In fact, it was a non-move for the Ducks. As it is often said, sometimes the best trade is the one you didn’t make and the Ducks held off despite interest from other teams in left wing Matt Beleskey. Beleskey has scored four goals in four games -- including the game-winner on Friday night -- in this series. Teammate Andrew Cogliano told Times columnist Helene Elliott, “Thank God we kept him.”
Beleskey is a good listener and the words from the coaching staff sank in, and it paid off in the third period on the power play.
“I’m just trying to shoot pucks and get in the positions that the coaches are telling me to get to,” he said. “(Assistant) Coach Brad Lauer has been harping on me to get between those hashmarks all season, really, for that exact goal and it pays off here in the playoffs.”
Big save elevates Frederik Andersen
Ducks Coach Bruce Boudreau was concerned about his goalie Frederik Andersen and thought he looked shaky in the first period. You had to wonder if Andersen was one more goal away from being pulled for backup John Gibson.
Instead, Andersen made a brilliant sliding stop on Flames rookie Johnny Gaudreau early in the second period to keep Calgary from extending its lead. From then on, he looked more like the Andersen of the earlier days.
“He’s definitely in the zone right now and he’s pulling his weight,” Cogliano said. “I think his save on Gaudreau, it could have been 3-1 there and it could have opened up the game, but he made the save at the right time and we were able to continue to push and get a goal at the end of the second and get a big power-play goal.”
Pushing the Flames' buttons
The Flames, by reputation, have been a disciplined team, as supported by this oft-cited statistic:
Only two teams played a man short fewer than 200 times in the regular season and the Flames were one of them.
But the Ducks, in particular, have lured them into taking foolish penalties and Anaheim has been able to capitalize. Case in point was Joe Colborne’s double minor for high sticking Ducks defenseman Francois Beauchemin at the end of the second. It carried over into the third period and Beleskey scored his fourth goal of the series.
“Our power play was good the whole game,” Beauchemin said. “We scored one in the first period and in the second, we had one with a lot of chances too. We just wanted to keep throwing pucks at the net and try to capitalize on some rebounds. That’s exactly what we did in the third period.”