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 z - ANA 82 54 20 8 266 209 116
2 y - COL 82 52 22 8 250 220 112
3 x - STL 82 52 23 7 248 191 111
4 x - SJS 82 51 22 9 249 200 111
5 x - CHI 82 46 21 15 267 220 107
6 x - LAK 82 46 28 8 206 174 100
7 x - MIN 82 43 27 12 207 206 98
8 x - DAL 82 40 31 11 235 228 91
9 PHX 82 37 30 15 216 231 89
10 NSH 82 38 32 12 216 242 88
11 WPG 82 37 35 10 227 237 84
12 VAN 82 36 35 11 196 223 83
13 CGY 82 35 40 7 209 241 77
14 EDM 82 29 44 9 203 270 67

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
R. Getzlaf 77 31 56 28 87
C. Perry 81 43 39 32 82
N. Bonino 77 22 27 14 49
M. Perreault 69 18 25 13 43
A. Cogliano 82 21 21 13 42
C. Fowler 70 6 30 15 36
K. Palmieri 71 14 17 9 31
D. Winnik 76 6 24 6 30
H. Lindholm 78 6 24 29 30
S. Koivu 65 11 18 3 29
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
F. Andersen 20 5 0 .923 2.29
J. Hiller 29 13 7 .911 2.48

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