Game 4 - Ducks 3, Ottawa 2
By Adam Brady
Selanne (right) fed Penner (middle) for the game-winner in the third.
OTTAWA - The Ducks proved once again in these playoffs that they shine in the face of adversity.
The absence of Chris Pronger and a lackluster first period did nothing to deny them in taking down
The Ducks lead the Stanley Cup Final 3-games-to-1 with Game 5 in
Andy McDonald scored twice in the second period and Dustin Penner put the Ducks on top 3-2 just 4:07 into the third. They held off the Senators the rest of the way with the help of several mammoth J.S. Giguere saves. The goalie had 21 on the night, and the Ducks defense held
"I don't think we want to get used to playing without Chris, but we realize when he's not there, we have to be at our best and do our jobs," said Ducks captain Scott Niedermayer. "We did that over the last two periods and did the things we have to do to have success."
Penner's game-winner was his first goal in 11 games and came off a fantastic feed from Teemu Selanne. After skating with it up the right wing, Selanne took advantage of two Senators defensemen and goalie Ray Emery over-committing to him. He slipped a perfect feed to Dustin Penner who had a wide-open net for his one-timer that dented the twine.
Pronger was suspended a game after his blow to the head of
"We needed other people to step to the forefront," said Ducks head coach Randy Carlyle, "and I thought as a whole our group did that."
The Ducks looked to miss those two as they were clearly outplayed in the first period. They were outshot by
"We were doing the same things we did in Game 3 in the first period, Niedermayer said. "We were taking penalties and making mistakes. We felt a bit lucky and managed to regroup. We had no other option at that point."
Said Carlyle about the first period, "I think we were trying to hard. We played over half the period on specialty teams. We seemed to be out of sync. Then they get that goal and it was kind of deflating. We got back in the room and had an opportunity to talk about it."
Something significant must have been said, because they came out for the second like a different team. This time they outshot
McDonald's first came 10:06 into the period when he took a Todd Marchant behind-the-net pass and skated in front of the net from right to left. He held it just long enough to wrist it past a sprawling Emery and two diving Sens defensemen.
At 11:06, McDonald made a fantastic drag move around Anton Volchenkov that sent the Senators defenseman falling to the ice, and McDonald finished it off with a shot through Emery's legs.
sellout crowd of 20,500 at
The Ducks head home for Game 5 knowing the odds are heavily in their favor with a 3-1 lead and needing just one win to win their first Stanley Cup.
"We haven't accomplished anything yet," Carlyle said. "We still have a lot of work to do."
20:00 - END OF GAME - Scott Niedermayer clears it out of the Ducks' zone with three seconds left and the clock ticks down to zero. The Ducks take it 3-2 and you could hear a puck drop in here. They lead the series 3-1 and head home for a chance to take the Cup in Game 5.
19:03 - Giguere goes to his knees to make a huge save on a one-timer with a screen in front.
18:28 - Ottawa comes back on with Emery pulled from the goal.
18:28 - The Ducks ice it with 1:32 left and Ottawa takes a timeout.
8:18 - Sens get called for a hand pass with 1:42 left. The Ducks checking line is on, probably for the duration.
17:08 - The Sens are offside on a rush with 2:52 left.
14:36 - Giguere makes a mammoth save on an Alfredsson one-timer try.
We're at the final TV timeout with 5:44 left. Not nerve-racking at all.
14:16 - Corey Perry ends up with it on the breakaway and his shot is saved by Emery, and the rebound try by Perry agonizingly hits the post. Perry says something to Emery on his way back by after the lucky break.
13:01 - With his back to the goal, Penner turns and fires one, but Emery is ready for it.
12:30 - Pahlsson fires a shot from the slot that Emery knocks away.
The fan sitting next to me just gave me his 50/50 raffle tickets AFTER the winning number was named and he didn't have it. Sweet guy.
4:07 - ANAHEIM GOAL - DUSTIN PENNER - Teemu Selanne takes the puck down the right wing and makes a perfect feed to Penner, who has the whole net open for his one-timer that dents the net, as Emery came way out towards Selanne. It's 3-2 Ducks. Give Andy McDonald the second assist and give him three points on the night.
1:02 - ANA PENALTY - Francois Beauchemin, 2 min. boarding. It's 4 on 3 for Ottawa.
0:44 - Scott Niedermayer takes a shot with an Andy McDonald screen, but Emery has no problem with it.
0:00 - And away they go in the third. Why does it feel like this might not be the final period in this game?
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - The Ducks are a different team in the period and get two goals from Andy McDonald. But the Sens again score a late one to even things up. The third period might get interesting.
20:00 - ANA and OTT PENALTIES - Samuel Pahlsson and Mike Fisher, 2 min. each roughing. Right at the horn, the Sens and Ducks tangle near the Anaheim bench after Alfredsson shoots the puck at Scott Niedermayer with two seconds left. Pahlsson checks Sweden national teammate Alfredsson in the back in retaliation. Just as things are calming down, Alfredsson and Scott Niedermayer nearly get into it.
18:00 - OTTAWA GOAL - DANY HEATLEY - Patrick Eaves makes a pass from the side of the net across the crease to Heatley waiting by the right post. Heatley one-times it past a recovering Giguere. It's 2-2. Jason Spezza gets the second assist.
16:54 - Teemu Selanne takes a slap shot from the right circle and Emery gloves it.
16:14 - Heck of a glove save by Emery on a Francois Beauchemin one-timer at the end of a Ducks rush.
15:50 - We go into the timeout with the Ducks outshooting the Sens 11-3.
15:30 - The Ducks have a rush, but Penner hits the side of the net with it.
13:34 - Giguere makes another fine kick save on a Heatley one-timer then stops the rebound try before diving on it.
11:06 - ANAHEIM GOAL - ANDY MCDONALD - Rob Niedermayer gives McDonald the puck as he crosses the blueline on the left wing. McDonald makes a jaw-dropping drag move that breaks the ankles of defenseman Anton Volchenkov and slips the puck under Emery. Tremendous goal and it's 2-1 Ducks.
10:50 - Giguere went down the tunnel during the timeout and we're not sure why.
10:06 - ANAHEIM GOAL - ANDY MCDONALD - Todd Marchant gives the puck to McDonald from behind the net and McDonald holds the puck as he skates from right to left in front of the net. He finally lets go of a wrist shot that goes past a sprawling Emery and two diving defenders. Perry gets the second assist. Huge goal for Anaheim and it's 1-1.
8:02 - OTT PENALTY - Chris Phillips, 2 min. hooking. Phillips gets Marchant near the net. Ducks power play again.
7:54 - The Ducks are a new team as we go into the TV timeout, outshooting Ottawa 8-1.
7:10 - Rob Niedermayer has a prime opportunity to put a rebound in but takes too long to do it and Emery stops it.
6:29 - The Sens kill it.
4:29 - OTT PENALTY - Chris Neil, 2 min. interference. Neil gets Moen in front of the net. Ducks are on the power play.
3:50 - Andy McDonald has a chance to poke on in near the crease but hits the post. That's two tonight for Anaheim.
0:00 - And we're underway. I would have liked to have heard the talk in the locker room during the break.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD. The way the Ducks were outplayed in the first period, a 0-0 score at the end of one would have been welcome. And it's almost that way if not for the Alfredsson last-milisecond goal. The Ducks were outshot a whopping 13-2 in the period. We'll be back.
19:59 - OTTAWA GOAL (POWER PLAY) - DANIEL ALFREDSSON - With just 0.3 seconds left in the period, Peter Schaefer feeds Alfredsson from behind the net and Alfredsson one-times it past Giguere's right arm. It's 1-0 Sens just before the horn.
18:16 - ANA PENALTY - Ryan Getzlaf, 2 min. goaltender interference. Getzlaf runs into Emery while Emery is out of the crease and Getzlaf is trying to tip the puck. Even the Ottawa fan standing next to our press box in a suite thinks it's a lousy call. The Sens are on a power play, or in French: jui de puissance. (Got that from the scoreboard.)
17:11 - ANA and OTT PENALTIES - Corey Perry, 2 min. roughing and Patrick Eaves, 2 min. holding. Perry and Eaves scrap in front of the Ottawa bench away from the puck and Perry gets pushed through the open door. It's 4 on 4.
16:10 - Kent Huskins fires the puck into the Anaheim bench and nearly kills someone.
12:48 - Perry takes a shot on a 2-on-1 rush with Getzlaf that heartbreakingly hits the post, after which he flips over Emery.
11:29 - Corey Perry gets off the Ducks' first two shots of the game, and Emery stops them both. He covers the second one and we're at the TV timeout. Ducks will look to regroup.
8:35 - Giguere makes another huge save on a Dany Heatley one-timer try from inside the crease. Without him it might be 3-0 Sens right now.
7:05 - Mike Fisher gets a shot off with Ottawa a man short, but Giguere gloves it.
6:13 - OTT PENALTY - Chris Neil, 2 min. goaltender inteference. A chance for the Ducks to change the tide.
The Sens continue to be right on the doorstep, but nothing through yet. Shots on goal are 8-0 Ottawa.
4:28 - The puck is cleared by Pahlsson over the glass on the penalty kill and the fans want a penalty, but none is coming.
3:54 - ANA PENALTY - Corey Perry, 2 min. cross checking. Perry hits Chris Neil with a stick to the head. If the Ducks are trying to stay out of the box, not a good start.
The Sens get several chances in front of the net, but can't convert thanks mainly to Giguere.
1:38 - Scott Niedermayer tries to bounce one of Ray Emery behind the net and he covers it. We've got a little scuffle around the cage. Might get physical tonight. You think?
0:58 - ANA PENALTY - Francois Beauchemin, 2 min. slashing. Might have been a bit of a dive.
0:00 - And we're underway. This will be a good one. Just in case you missed it, Chris Kunitz is a scratch, so Todd Marchant will play on that first line. Shawn Thornton is also a scratch and Joe Motzko takes his place. For Ottawa, Dean McAmmond is out after taking that hit from Pronger in Game 3.
Starting Goaltenders: ANA J.S. Giguere; OTT Ray Emery
Scratches: ANA Chris Kunitz, George Parros, Drew Miller, Chris Pronger, Shawn Thornton; OTT Lawrence Nycholat, Brian McGrattan, Dean McAmmond.
5 p.m. at Scotiabank Place
TV: NBC Radio: AM 830
The Ducks like to talk about the "10-minute rule" they incorporate after wins or losses, where they take that much time to reflect and move on. That was of course in effect after Saturday's 5-3 loss to Ottawa in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final, but this one took a little longer to forget.
The Ducks got a boost from their line of Ryan Getzlaf, Dustin Penner and Corey Perry in Game 3.
That victory came on the heels of a 5-0 defeat in Game 3, and the Ducks will look to make the same type of comeback tonight to build on their 2-games-to-1 lead in this series.
"We can't change what happened last night," said Ducks head coach Randy Caryle on Sunday. "We felt we didn't play anywhere near to our capabilities. We have to make some adjustments. We have to do some things, a lot of things a lot better than what we did last night. And that will be how we'll be judged."
Ottawa will look to keep it going tonight in front of what promises to be another boisterous home crowd. More than 20,000 loudly pushed the Sens to victory in Game 3, and they will be in full force again.
"It was a big lift," captain Daniel Alfredsson said. "It's the loudest I've seen this place. We've been sitting in the dressing room before warm-up. We could hear them and they were chanting, and they were definitely giving us a lot of energy.
"It's still one game at a time, but it gave us, I think, not just a win, but the way we played to generate a lot more offense than we have. I still think we can be better defensively. But it's nice to see we're going in the right direction and starting to play the game and the solid game we played throughout the playoffs."
While the Ducks are without Pronger, Ottawa may also not have the services of McAmmond. This morning he said, "I actually feel pretty good. As far as whether I will play tonight, I'll just have to continue on with my day and see how it goes."
Carlyle indicated this morning that Joe DiPenta will fill Pronger's slot, and he will be among the Ducks who have to raise their games in his absence. "When you take a player like Chris Pronger out of the lineup, the group has to take a responsibility," Carlyle said. "Somebody will have to step up in different situations. We've dealt with it historically. We lost him in the series against Detroit and we were able to recover from it."
The status for the Ducks' Chris Kunitz is also up in the air. Kunitz played for the first time in the series in Game 3, after sitting out with a hand injury. But he suffered an abdominal bruise in the second period and didn't return. Carlyle said he is "likely to play."
A key for the Sens to keep the momentum going will be to get production out of their top line of Dany Heatley, Daniel Alfredsson and Jason Spezza. The line has been mostly shut down by Anaheim in the series, though Alfredsson had a power play goal in the second period of Game 3.
"They had the puck more. Anaheim did a good job against them, but very definitely, they were better. Will they play better than this? We certainly hope so. But, as they step up a little bit and the other guys continue to play hard as they did, we have a good chance to get back into the series."