The Ducks needed some help Thursday from the NHL’s video review process, but they helped themselves with a forceful third-period effort to defeat the Winnipeg Jets, 4-2, at Honda Center in the opener of the teams’ first-round Stanley Cup playoff series.
Game 2 will be played on Saturday at Honda Center before the series shifts to Winnipeg for Games 3 and 4.
Corey Perry’s close-in shot against Ondrej Pavelec propelled the puck completely over the goal line at 13:21 of the third period but the nearest referee signaled no goal, and play was allowed to continue even though Perry had raised his arms in celebration.
At the next stoppage, the play was reviewed and the NHL’s situation room in Toronto was consulted. The verdict was that the goal was good, and the clock was moved back to 13:21 as Perry was credited with his second goal of the game
Ryan Getzlaf gave the top-seeded Ducks an insurance goal by scoring with a man advantage at 16:05.
The Jets, who qualified for the playoffs as the second of two wild-card teams, had carried a 2-1 lead into the third period but could not hold it.
Throughout the regular season the Ducks struggled in the second period and thrived in the third, a pattern that carried over into their playoff opener.
The Ducks took the lead on a play that had to be reviewed after play had been allowed to continue and the referee had signaled no goal.
Corey Perry had two whacks at the puck and the replay showed that the puck was completely over the goal line when Ondrej Pavelec stopped it with his right pad.
After a review in the NHL’s situation room in Toronto, the referee announced that the goal was good.
The clock was run back to 13:21 into the period.
The Ducks evened the score, 2-2, just 1:09 into the third period during the remainder of the advantage they had gained on Mark Schiefele’s second-period penalty.
Sami Vatanen shot the puck toward the net from the right circle, and Patrick Maroon took a whack at it before Corey Perry slipped it into the net.
The Ducks got another power play, at 3:06, when Ben Chiarot was sent to the box for high-sticking.
Jets 2, Ducks 1 (end of second period)
The Ducks got their first power play of the game at 19:27 of the second period, after center Ryan Kesler goaded Jets center Mark Schiefele into a roughing penalty.
There wasn’t enough time for the Ducks to do anything with the advantage, though, and Winnipeg held onto its 2-1 lead as the teams went to their respective locker rooms for the second intermission.
Winnipeg continued to dominate the second period but couldn’t finish any scoring chances.
The Ducks’ best scoring chance was an accidental opportunity: Emerson Etem’s weak shot toward Ondrej Pavelec caromed off the foot of Winnipeg defenseman Mark Stuart and forced the Jets’ goalie to move quickly to stop it, which he did.
The Jets took a 2-1 lead five minutes into the second period. Drew Stafford, skating up the left side on a three-on-two break, scored it after the Ducks gave the puck away in their own end.
That continued a trend that plagued the Ducks during the regular season. They were terrible in the second period this season, when they were outscored, 97-74.
Not a trend the Ducks wanted or needed to continue.
The goal came shortly after Teemu Selanne, the former Duck and Winnipeg Jet, was shown standing in a suite at the Honda Center watching the game. Standing beside him was former Ducks and Kings enforcer George Parros. Even in retirement, Selanne must like having some muscle near him.
Fans roared when the two were shown on the center-ice video board. Selanne, who caddied at the Masters last week, looked tanned and rested.
Ducks 1, Jets 1 (end of first period)
Through 20 minutes, the score stands at 1-1, and each team has been credited with nine shots on goal. The Ducks killed the only penalty of the period without allowing a shot.
Some pertinent stats: Winnipeg was credited with 20 hits compared to 19 by the Ducks. The Jets also had an edge on faceoffs, winning 11 of 18, and in blocked shots, 5-0.
And the first penalty of the game goes to Ducks center Ryan Kesler, at 11:41 of the first period. He was sent off for hooking.
The shots are 7-7 and the pace has stayed pretty lively, with some bone-crunching hits thrown in.
The tempo was brisk in the early minutes, as both teams had predicted, and each scored a goal before the game was three minutes old.
The Ducks struck first, when Sami Vatanen took a long shot that deflected off the left foot of Winnipeg defenseman Ben Chiarot and past goaltender Ondrej Pavelec at 1:57. The assists went to Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf.
But the Jets responded at 2:46, taking control of the puck in the neutral zone and setting up a play that was finished by Adam Lowry, with assists to Jacob Trouba and Mark Stuart.
Greetings from Honda Center, site of Game 1 of the Ducks’ first-round playoff series against the Winnipeg Jets. A good number of fans wearing Jets jerseys populated the stands before the game and traded cheers with Ducks fans in a good-natured way, and at least one fan behind the Jets’ bench waved a Jets flag. We’ll see if both factions are still cordial after what promises to be a rugged, hard-hitting game.
Retired Ducks winger Teemu Selanne, who broke into the NHL with the original Winnipeg Jets and remains enormously popular in that city, was scheduled to attend Thursday’s game. However, a Ducks spokesman said Selanne would decline interview requests because he wants to keep the focus on the active players. A classy move, as always.
Ducks Coach Bruce Boudreau offered one surprise after Thursday’s morning skate when he said he would play defenseman Clayton Stoner instead of defenseman James Wisniewski. That was unexpected because Wisniewski was one of their key acquisitions before the trade deadline and Stoner has been turnover-prone.
Boudreau explained the decision by saying Stoner, who had been injured late in the season, is a good complement to youngster Sami Vatanen. “Those two made a great pair together,” Boudreau said.
Wisniewski acknowledged he was surprised and vowed to stay prepared in case he’s restored to the lineup in future games. That certainly could be the case. “You’ve got to be ready to play when you’re called up on,” he said, “and be professional and help any way possible with work ethic and practices and try to be a leader and help out anybody else however you can.”
For the Jets, center Mathieu Perreault did not participate in the warmups after having been described as a game-time decision. Perreault, a former Duck, has an undisclosed lower-body injury.
And here are your starters and scratches: