Ducks dominate the Flames from the start for 6-1 rout in Game 1
The Ducks’ regular-season, home-arena mastery against the Calgary Flames carried into the playoffs.
In fact, the Ducks played their most complete game of the postseason as they dominated the visiting Flames in nearly every aspect, winning, 6-1, in Game 1 of a Western Conference semifinal Thursday night at Honda Center.
Longtime linemates Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf combined for eight points, an echo of their standout performance in Game 1 in the first round against Winnipeg. Perry had a four-point night with two goals and two assists, equaling his output in Game 1 against the Jets. Getzlaf also had a four-point performance with a goal and three assists. Also scoring for the Ducks were forwards Matt Beleskey, Patrick Maroon and Emerson Etem.
“They put on a show,” Flames Coach Bob Hartley said of Getzlaf and Perry. “They came to play.”
The Flames have not won a regular-season game in Anaheim since January 2004, a run of 20 games, but did win a game here in the playoffs in 2006. For the Ducks, it was their fifth straight victory this postseason.
They are one win from matching their best playoff start. In 2003, the Ducks won their first six playoff games.
Ducks Coach Bruce Boudreau has noticed a difference in his players this time around. After shortcomings in the playoffs in recent years, they are a more serious group, according to Boudreau.
“They don’t let guys slide if they are sliding,” he said.
Then there are Perry and Getzlaf.
“When Getzlaf is moving his legs like that he makes a lot of things happen, and Perry’s a great finisher,” Boudreau said.
It started, in fact, with a big save by Ducks goalie Frederik Andersen, who stopped Flames forward Josh Jooris on a breakaway in the first period before the Ducks turned on the offensive switch.
“The save got us going,” Boudreau said. “If that puck goes in, it’s a whole different ballgame.”
Said Andersen: “It’s about making big saves at the right time. That was a good save at the right time. Everyone else kind of fed off that.”
Andersen’s bid for his first career playoff shutout ended about midway through the third period when Sam Bennett scored to cut the Ducks’ lead to 6-1 at 9:16.
By then, the Ducks’ path of devastation was nearly complete: They chased former teammate Jonas Hiller from the net before the game was 23 minutes old as Hiller allowed three goals on 14 shots and was replaced by Karri Ramo.
The Ducks led 2-0 by the 13:11 mark of the first period and 4-0 after two periods.
For the Flames, the news got worse as they lost forwards Jiri Hudler and Michael Ferland. It was a physically rough night for Ferland, limited to 5:24 of ice time. Hudler was injured early in the second period and did not return.
An extended loss of Hudler, the Flames’ leading scorer in the regular season, would be a huge blow. He had 31 goals and 76 points and was a dynamic presence on Calgary’s top line with Sean Monahan and Johnny Gaudreau.
Hartley said Ferland and Hudler were day to day. He added that he kept Gaudreau on the bench in the third period because the Ducks were taking “liberties.”
Said Hiller: “I think everybody knows in here, nobody was happy with their games, so everybody has to step it up. I think normally we are the team that outworks the opponent but I think we got outworked.”
Go beyond the scoreboard
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