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Lovejoy Becomes Unlikely Hero with Huge Insurance Goal in Game 3

Friday, 05.09.2014 / 5:30 PM / News
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Lovejoy Becomes Unlikely Hero with Huge Insurance Goal in Game 3
Light-scoring defenseman Ben Lovejoy reflected on scoring the vital goal late in the Ducks\' crucial Game 3 victory on Thursday night at Staples Center
“I passed it to Cogliano, and was able to catch it on a 2-on-1 break. I was looking to pass it back to him, but the defenseman was able to take that pass away. So I shot it as hard as I could, and it went in.”
By Adam Brady

One of the countless enjoyable aspects of the Stanley Cup Playoffs is that, while it’s traditionally the stage when the stars shine their brightest, it’s also a time when unlikely heroes are thrust into the limelight.

For the Anaheim Ducks, a prime example came in last night’s Game 3 against the Kings in the form of Ben Lovejoy, the (usually) stay-at-home defenseman who had just five goals during the regular season. But there was Lovejoy last night, slinging a wicked wrist shot top corner late in the game to give the Ducks a two-goal lead that would ultimately prove invaluable down the final stretch.

On a 2-on-1 rush, Lovejoy took in a pass from Andrew Cogliano, then gave a little fake with the puck before whipping a picture-perfect shot over goalie Jonathan Quick’s glove. Better yet, here’s how the always-engaging Lovejoy described it this morning during a team media session at their team hotel in downtown LA.

“I was able to get the puck before the red line. If I had gotten it after the red line, I absolutely would have dumped it in, up [a goal] at that point in the game,” Lovejoy said. “I passed it to Cogliano, and was able to catch it on a 2-on-1 break. I was looking to pass it back to him, but the defenseman was able to take that pass away. So I shot it as hard as I could, and it went in.”

With Lovejoy’s help at the other end of the ice, Anaheim was ultimately able to hang on for a 3-2 victory, after which Lovejoy called the goal “Easily No. 1” in his NHL career. "I don't score many goals,” he said, “so they're all very, very, very special. I don’t score enough to be picky though. They’re all fun. “

While Lovejoy only had a handful of goals in his 78 regular season games, this is his second big one of the playoffs. He had a one-timer off a Teemu Selanne feed in Game 6 of the first round in Dallas, pulling the Ducks within a goal in a game they would ultimately snatch away in overtime.

Lovejoy said he has not watched last night’s the goal again, but he was asked this morning to grade his post-goal celebration, in which he went to one knee and managed a modest fist-pump before being mobbed by teammates.

“It was my first pump ever, so I was hoping I didn’t mess it up,” he said with a smile. “I wanted it to look natural, like I’ve been there before.” He then paused and added, “Which I have not.”

The win was vital for a Ducks team that had gone into Staples Center last night down 2-0 in the series, despite controlling play for the majority of Games 1 and 2 at Honda Center.

“Our backs were against the wall,” Lovejoy said. “We played some good hockey the first two games, but it wasn’t perfect. We weren’t able to play a full 60 minutes, and they were. We knew that we could be successful against that team, and last night we came out and played a very smart hockey game. We need to do that to be successful against a team like that.”

Lovejoy knows the Ducks will need more of the same to even this series, and they will get that chance in tomorrow’s all-important Game 4 at Staples Center.

“We know going down 2-nothing isn’t the smartest way to win a series,” Lovejoy said. “But last night, we just wanted to win one. We want them to know that we’re putting up a fight, that we’re going to ready, that ‘Maybe this Ducks team can beat us.’ That was the goal for last night, and tomorrow will absolutely be a pivotal game for us.”

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 ANA 36 23 8 5 104 98 51
2 CHI 35 23 10 2 107 72 48
3 NSH 33 22 9 2 95 70 46
4 STL 34 21 10 3 100 86 45
5 SJS 35 19 11 5 99 90 43
6 WPG 35 18 10 7 88 81 43
7 VAN 33 20 11 2 99 91 42
8 LAK 35 17 11 7 97 88 41
9 CGY 36 18 15 3 104 98 39
10 MIN 32 16 13 3 93 89 35
11 COL 34 13 13 8 90 101 34
12 DAL 33 14 14 5 95 113 33
13 ARI 34 12 18 4 80 112 28
14 EDM 35 7 21 7 75 121 21

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
R. Getzlaf 35 12 27 9 39
R. Kesler 36 12 15 -1 27
S. Vatanen 36 9 15 1 24
C. Perry 23 14 8 11 22
M. Beleskey 36 15 4 12 19
C. Fowler 35 4 14 2 18
J. Silfverberg 36 4 12 2 16
H. Lindholm 35 4 11 11 15
P. Maroon 28 2 13 -4 15
D. Smith-Pelly 32 4 9 4 13
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Gibson 2 2 0 .927 2.28
F. Andersen 19 5 4 .914 2.39

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