Game 4 - Ducks 3, Vancouver 2 (OT)
VANCOUVER, British Columbia - An unlikely goal-scorer gave the Ducks an unlikely overtime victory over Vancouver in Game 4 at GM Place. Travis Moen scored the game-winner 2:07 into the first overtime to give the Ducks a 3-2 victory and a 3-games-to-1 lead in this Western Conference Semifinal series.
Moen scored the game winner 2:07 into the overtime.
After being outplayed over the first two periods and trailing 2-0, the Ducks scored three unanswered goals in the third period and OT. Moen's extra-session goal came when Scott Niedermayer's wrist shot was blocked in front before it could get to Vancouver goalie Roberto Luongo. The rebound came off to Moen who sent it past Luongo's leg pad.
It was actually the third of the postseason for Moen, one of the anchors on the Ducks' checking line. He only had 11 goals during the regular season.
Chris Pronger played a major role in the Ducks' tying the game in the third period and sending it to overtime. The first instance came on his third goal of the playoffs 3:02 into the period. Pronger, the recipient of derisive chants all night from the Vancouver fans, sent a seemingly harmless wrister past a virtually frozen Luongo to make it 2-1 Vancouver. Luongo was screened on the shot by Corey Perry and his own defenseman, Mattias Ohlund.
Then with 5:32 left in regulation, Pronger's slap shot was nicely kick saved by Luongo, but right onto the stick of Teemu Selanne, who batted it in. It was sweet redemption for Selanne, who was among the targets of head coach Randy Carlyle's criticism after a lackluster Game 3.
Just like in Game 3, the Ducks were outplayed in the first period, but this time they trailed after it. Just over seven minutes into the game, Vancouver captain Markus Naslund was in the right place for a long rebound off J.S. Giguere. Mattias Ohlund's shot from the point bounced hard off Giguere, and Naslund punched it back in under Scott Niedermayer's stick.
While that one eluded Giguere, he made several fine stops that ensured things weren't worse for the Ducks than the 1-0 score at the end of the period.
Anaheim looked to have a prime chance to tie it up in the second when Teemu Selanne took yet another shot to the face, this time Josh Green's stick. The high-sticking cut Selanne, giving the Ducks a four-minute power play. But it was soon wiped out by a costly minor for too many men on the ice. Soon after that expired, the Ducks were again up a man, but Scott Niedermayer took a tripping penalty.
With just 2:29 left in the period, Brendan Morrison scored a pretty goal at the expense of Scott Niedermayer. Racing down on a 2 on 2, Morrison made a nifty move on Niedermayer in the slot and fired a wrister that slid through Giguere's legs. Giguere was likely screened by a falling Travis Moen on the play.
For the most part, Luongo proved he deserved his nomination earlier that morning for the Hart Trophy, given to the league's MVP. Each of Luongo's 27 stops on the night were greeted with familiar chants of "Luuuuuuuu" from the capacity crowd and the occasional "MVP" cadence.
It was the second overtime game of the series, as the Canucks won Game 2 in the second extra period in Anaheim on a Jeff Cowan goal. Vancouver played three overtime games against Dallas in the first round, including a four-OT affair in Game 1.
"We asked each individual if they could all be 10 percent better in the third period," said Carlyle. "And they were a pretty determined group."
Game 5 is Thursday at 6 p.m. at Honda Center.
2:07 - ANA GOAL - TRAVIS MOEN - Scott Niedermayer fires a wrister from the blue line that gets blocked in front before it can get to Luongo. The rebound comes off to Moen who bats it in. The Ducks win it in OT and go up 3 games to 1. Give the first assist to Samuel Pahlsson, as it's later determined that Pahlsson got a piece of the puck when Niedermayer's shot was blocked in front.
0:00 - Here we go!
20:00 - And we're going to overtime after a 15-minute intermission. Tremendous comeback by the Ducks.
16:34 - VAN PENALTY - Willie Mitchell, 2 min. hooking. The Ducks smell blood, looking for their first power play goal in eight chances.
14:28 - ANAHEIM GOAL - TEEMU SELANNE - Chris Pronger's slap shot again sets up a Ducks goal. His attempt is kick saved by Luongo, but right to the stick of Selanne who bats it in the back of the net. It's 2-2. Give the second assist to Kunitz. Selanne comes alive after Randy Carlyle criticizes his Game 3 performance.
13:12 - Corey Perry uncorks a slapper that stops at Luongo. Scott Niedermayer tries to poke it in, to no avail.
10:40 - Luongo makes an acrobatic save on a Ryan Getzlaf rebound try.
9:00 - VAN PENALTY - Kevin Bieksa, 2 min. tripping. Getzlaf is virtually unimpeded on his way to the net, and he's upended as he gets a shot off that Luongo stops. The Ducks are 0-6 on the power play tonight.
8:09 - Giguere continues to shine, holding off the Canucks on a loose puck in front.
6:23 - ANA PENALTY - Ryan Getzlaf, 2 min. holding.
During the timeout, Steve Nash appears on the video board in a taped segment to root the Canucks on.
3:58 - ANA GOAL - CHRIS PRONGER - Pronger's seemingly harmless wrister from the blue line slips through Luongo, who hardly moves. He was screened in front by a Perry screen. Samuel Pahlsson and Brad May get the assists. From behind the net, May fed Pahlsson who sent it to Pronger.
3:54 - Henrik Sedin tries a rarely seen spin move on Scott Niedermayer, but his shot is easily gobbled by Giguere.
Anti-Pronger chants fill the arena for the second time tonight.
0:00 - We're underway in the all-important third.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD. The Ducks are outplayed again, with Vancouver putting another one in the net. It's 2-0 home team.
19:56 - After a Ducks shot and rebound, Vancouver's Sami Salo almost sends the puck into the Canucks net. But Luongo even saves shots from his own team. The chant of "MVP, MVP" makes another appearance.
17:31 - VAN GOAL - BRENDAN MORRISON - Morrison races down the ice on a 2 on 2, makes a nifty move on Scott Niedermayer in the slot and fires a backhander that first gets through a falling Travis Moen and then slips between Giguere's legs. Giguere might have been screened by his own man. It's 2-0 Canucks.
15:27 - The Canucks kill yet another.
13:27 - VAN PENALTY - Brendan Morrison, 2 min. tripping. Morrison trips up Andy McDonald along the boards.
10:35 - Giguere makes another nice save on a Vancouver scoring chance.
10:07 - ANA PENALTY - Scott Niedermayer, 2 min. tripping. And that officially wipes out the Anaheim power play chance.
The ice cleaners at GM Place skate like Olympians.
7:53 - ANA PENALTY - Bench minor, 2 min. too many men on the ice. The Ducks waste the opportunity, but will get it back when these 2 minutes expire.
6:48 - VAN PENALTY - Josh Green, 4 min. (double minor) high sticking. Selanne takes yet another stick to an already battered face. And the blood on the ice tells everyone this is a double minor. Huge power play opportunity for Anaheim.
6:24 - The Canucks somehow get a 2 on 1 shorthanded. Brendan Morris takes a hard slapper that Giguere stops, juggles and then freezes.
5:20 - VAN PENALTY - Henrik Sedin, 2 min. hooking. Third power play of the night for the Ducks.
3:20 - Chris Pronger has about the 18th hard one-timer blocked before it can reach Luongo.
2:30 - Shawn Thornton throws a wrister at Luongo that he easily snags.
0:00 - And we're back. The Ducks will look to get better in the second.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD. For the second straight game, the Ducks are outplayed in the first. This time they're trailing 1-0.
18:28 - Vancouver's Josh Green is by himself on a shorthanded charge down the ice, and takes a pretty nice that Giguere gloves and holds.
17:34 - VAN PENALTY - Henrik Sedin, 2 min. interference. Henrik throw a shoulder at Teemu Selanne as Selanne chases brother Daniel.
15:34 - Giguere makes more great saves on Vancouver scoring chances, then Luongo makes one of his own at the other end. The crowd, as they always do on a Luongo save, responds with "Luuuuuuuuuuuuuuu"
13:20 - Newly nominated MVP candidate Roberto Luongo does a great job of laying out and covering a loose puck in front.
12:55 - VAN GOAL - MARKUS NASLUND - Mattias Ohlund's long shot from the point bounces hard off Giguere, and Naslund is right there to punch it in under the stick of Scott Niedermayer. It's 1-0 and this crowd is brought to life.
10:28 - VAN PENALTY - Sami Salo, 2 min. high sticking. As soon as the official raised his hand, the crowd booed. Now they're chanting something to the effect of "We disagree." First power play for the Ducks, who are 4 of 21 in this series.
9:33 - Giguere makes a great kick save on a shot redirected in front of the net and covers it.
5:26 - The Ducks kill again.
A constant chant of "Go, Canucks, Go" fills this arena.
3:26 - ANA PENALTY - Corey Perry, 2 min. cross checking. First power play for Vancouver, which is 1 for 20 in the series.
And we've broken the glass ceiling of current music, inexplicably with "Girlfriend" by Avril Lavigne.
0:00 - And the puck is dropped for Game 4.
A little snippet of the crowd participating in "O, Canada" before the game: CLICK HERE
Starting Goaltenders: ANA J.S. Giguere; VAN Roberto Luongo
Scratches: ANA Sebastien Caron, Ric Jackman, Mark Hartigan, George Parros, Drew Miller, Todd Marchant, Aaron Rome, Joe Motzko; VAN Rory Fitzpatrick, Jeff Cowan, Alexander Edler, Matt Cooke, Tommi Santala
As was the case in Game 3, the GM Place disc jockey apparently stopped collecting CDs after the Reagan administration. The Canucks came out for warmups to "Same Old Situation" by Motley Crue. Not exactly what I would choose if my team lost the last game here.
7:30 p.m. at GM Place
TV: Fox Sports Net Radio: AM 830
VANCOUVER - The Ducks would love to repeat of the result of their 3-2 victory, but they know to ensure that they have to be better tonight.
The Ducks were not at their best - especially in the first period - in Game 3, but they did enough to earn a pivotal victory. Corey Perry slipped a puck past just-named MVP nominee Robert Luongo in the third period for the game-winner. But Teemu Selanne was one Duck who said they had room for improvement.
Corey Perry (left) and J.S. Giguere were keys to the Ducks' Game 3 triumph.
Selanne and linemates Andy McDonald and Chris Kunitz combined for four goals and nine points in Game 1. But they have since cooled off with three points in Games 2 and 3.
If Selanne and his mates do run into the same kind of tight checking game tonight that's plagued them the last two games, the Ducks will turn to the PPG unit of Dustin Penner, Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf to repeat their heroics from Game 3. In that win, Penner and Perry each scored goals and provided the bulk of the offense, proving that while you may be able to contain one of Anaheim's four lines, it's pretty much impossible to keep them all in check."There's going to be nights where some lines are going to struggle, and it takes other lines to step up and do a better job," Selanne said. "I think that balance has been there the whole year."
The Canucks, meanwhile, also want to get better, notably on their power play. They were 1 for 8 on the power play in Game 3, and failed to convert on two lengthy 5-on-3s. They are 4 for 58 in the postseason, lowest among active playoff teams entering games Monday night. The Canucks are 1 for 20 in the series.
The Ducks gave them plenty of opportunities in Game 3, taking nine penalties. "I think we feel confident that when we get into penalty trouble that we're going to be able to kill them off," Chris Pronger said. "Obviously, we don't want to get into the situation of [Sunday] night where we had to kill off four in a row. It gives them momentum."
One of the biggest penalty killers for the Ducks has been goalie J.S. Giguere, who has a 1.30 goals against average in his four playoff starts (three in this series and Game 5 in the first round). "Our goalie has given us an opportunity to stave off some real grim situations by not giving up that juicy rebound or not giving up that extra second and third whack at it," Carlyle said.
Of course, Vancouver's goalie is pretty good too.
"Roberto Luongo is a significant presence in our league," Burke said. "Doesn't matter who's playing him. Doesn't matter who's in front of him. This guy has been a top goaltender in our league for a number of years. Now he's finally gotten a chance to step on the big stage."
Vancouver's Jeff Cowan, who scored goals in the first two games of the series (including the overtime game-winner in Game 2) is reportedly out with an injury. But the Canucks may have the services of defenseman Kevin Bieksa for the first time in the series.
- Associated Press contributed to this report