By Adam Brady
ANAHEIM – Two losses at Honda Center to lead off this Western Conference Quarterfinals series with Dallas put the Anaheim Ducks in a serious hole. But they made sure they wouldn’t be buried in the same place in Game 5.
|Five goals from five different scorers, combined with 40 Giguere saves, enabled the Ducks to live for another day.
Playing with a noticeable lift from the home crowd, the Ducks erupted for five goals from five different scorers and got 40 saves from goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere on their way to a 5-2 victory and new life in this series. The Ducks are back on a plane tomorrow morning for a Game 6 at American Airlines Center in Dallas, where they will look to bring it back to Honda Center one more time.
"I felt really good tonight," said an upbeat Giguere. "My job is just to try to give the team a chance to win. If I do that, I feel like we have the guys up front that can score some goals and we did that tonight. Dallas is a good team. It wasn’t always pretty, but we did the job and found a way to win.
"It was do or die and I wanted to leave it all on the table."
It was the fifth straight victory in a Game 5 for Anaheim, dating back to their Stanley Cup title run last year when they won all four of them.
Giguere, who rarely played back-to-back games all season long, was sharper than he has been all series, and helped the Ducks kill all seven Dallas power plays. That gave Anaheim, which had struggled for the first three games of the series with Dallas on the man advantage, a run of 13 straight penalty kills over the last two games.
Meanwhile, the Ducks found the net on two of their three power play opportunities, first from Ryan Getzlaf in the second period and later from Teemu Selanne early in the third for the eventual game-winner.
In a series in which the team to score the first goal had won each of the first four games, Anaheim got it from Corey Perry 8:25 after the opening faceoff. Perry, who just came back after a six-week absence with a thigh laceration two nights ago, sent a wrist shot from the right wing between Marty Turco’s pads and through. The play was set up by a nice save by Giguere as he closed the door on a shot by Mike Ribeiro at the end of a Dallas power play. Sean O’Donnell picked up the saved puck and got it to Perry, who finished it off.
The Ducks defied the prevailing wisdom that they would be fatigued after last night’s Game 4 loss in Dallas by showing an abundance of energy from the outset. Though that energy may have cost the Ducks on a play in which Perry slashed the stick out of Turco’s hands as they both went for the puck behind the net with about 3 1/2 left in the first. It prompted Turco to wrap his arms around Perry and let go just in time for Trevor Daley to go after the Ducks forward. That spilled into a melee between the two teams in which Perry took a slashing minor and he and Todd Bertuzzi took roughing minors, while Francois Beauchemin was tagged with a 10-minute misconduct. Daley and Mark Fistric also were sent to the box for roughing, while Brenden Morrow took a 10-minute misconduct as well.
A little over two minutes later, the Stars would get the equalizing goal just after the resulting power play expired, as Mattias Norstrom found the net with 1:33 left. Norstrom took the puck from Brad Richards at the bottom of the left circle and sent a shot through a small opening between Giguere and the near post.
That slightly spoiled an opening period that belonged in great part to Anaheim, spurred by a high-energy sellout crowd of 17,199 that had no interest in seeing the Ducks’ season end on home ice.
"I thought that was a pretty entertaining game, much better than the first two games we played here," Giguere said. "We probably owed one to our fans. Hopefully, they got their money’s worth tonight."
That throng erupted when the Ducks retook the lead on a power play goal by Ryan Getzlaf with 8:57 left in the middle session. Getzlaf took the puck from Chris Pronger at the left faceoff dot and held it for several seconds before snapping off a wrist shot that went through the legs of defenseman Matt Niskanen, past a screening Scott Niedermayer and over Turco’s shoulder.
Turco took his share of boos from the Honda Center faithful every time he touched the puck, a reaction from the spat with Perry in the first.
The 2-1 Ducks lead would remain as the horn sounded for the second, but a Niskanen tripping penalty on Niedermayer with five seconds left would prove monumental. That gave Anaheim a power play on fresh ice to start the third and the Ducks wasted little time taking advantage. A Chris Pronger one-timer rocket from close range missed wide, but bounced off the glass to a waiting Selanne, who deposited it into the open left half of the net. It was sweet vindication for Selanne, who had at least a half dozen viable scoring chances come up empty last night and in the early going of this game.
Dallas cut into the 3-1 lead and temporarily quieted the crowd when Ducks-killer Ribeiro made a nifty move for a Dallas goal at 4:41 into the third. Ribeiro emerged from behind the net and instead of taking the shot from the slot, spun back toward the post and roofed the puck over a face-down Giguere.
But that was all Giguere would allow the rest of the contest as he repeatedly kept pucks in front of him on dangerous Dallas scoring chances. It was the largest number of shots he had faced since Game 2 of the conference semifinals against Vancouver last year.
|In just his second game after a six-week absence, Perry made plenty of noise, scoring the first Ducks goal and sparking a confrontation with Turco.
"I thought Giguere was the best player on the ice tonight," said Ducks coach Randy Carlyle.
He was able to rest a little easier with some timely insurance, first from light-scoring defenseman Sean O’Donnell with 7:55 left in the game. O’Donnell headed toward the net to take a nice feed from behind the net by Chris Kunitz and punched it past a charging Turco inside the far post.
"It certainly felt good," said O'Donnell, whose turnover in Game 4 led to a big Dallas goal. "Whether it’s good or bad, you don’t want to dwell on it for too long. You don’t want to get too high or too low. We’ll call it even these two games. I cost one, I got one, so we’ll go back for Game 6."
Turco had left the net for an extra attacker when Todd Marchant blocked a Stephane Robidas shot and raced the other way. He made a nice move toward the left wing to get some space before sending a shot netward from just inside the blue line.
That put the capper on an imperative Ducks victory that came on the heels of a disappointing loss the night before.
"We got here a little early today, and right from the start it was business as usual," Getzlaf said. "I think we knew what was in front of us. We had our backs against the wall tonight and faced elimination. The turnaround is tough on the legs, but it’s a lot easier on the heart. You learn to forget about those other ones really quick because we have a second chance right now."
That chance comes quickly, two nights from now for Game 6 in Dallas.
"The biggest game of the year," Carlyle said, "is Sunday night.”
Anaheim holds a 46-31 lifetime record in postseason competition and earned their 27th playoff victory in club history at Honda Center (27-12 overall). The club is 11-4 at Honda Center since the start of the 2007 Stanley Cup Playoffs (10-2 in 2007 and 1-2 in 2008).
Chris Pronger is tied for the team lead in postseason scoring, collecting 2-3=5 points in the last three games, including two assists tonight. He is now tied for second in scoring among NHL defensemen in the postseason.
Sean O’Donnell established a new career-high for points in a postseason contest with 1-1=2 points tonight. He registered his first playoff point since Game 4 of the SCF on June 4, 2007 @ Ottawa. He last scored a postseason goal on May 23, 2006 @ Edmonton in Game 3 of the WCF.
Ryan Getzlaf matched his career-best for points in a playoff game, earning 1-1=2 points tonight (Seven times, last: June 2, 2007 @ OTT, SCF Game 3). He is tied for the team lead in postseason scoring (2-3=5).
With a goal and an assist tonight, Teemu Selanne has earned 2-2=4 points in the last four games.
Anaheim continues its franchise-record sellout streak at Honda Center, recording their 77th straight sellout (17,199, including standing room only) this evening.
20:00 - END OF GAME - The Ducks get goals from five different players and 40 saves by Giguere to take Game 5 by a score of 5-2. The Ducks are heading back to Dallas down 3-2 in the series.
19:55 - The clock ticks down as close to 17,000 towels spin in the air.
19:08 - ANA Penalty - Doug Weight, 2 min. slashing. Just one more penalty for good measure.
18:36 - ANAHEIM GOAL - TODD MARCHANT - Marchant gets in the path of a shot by Robidas from the point and is off to the races with the Dallas net empty. The only guy he has to beat is little Robidas, and he makes a hard move toward the left wing to get some room before letting go of a shot inside the blue line that dents the twine. It's 5-2 Ducks, this bad boy is over and the crowd knows it.
18:20 - Turco races to the bench to give Dallas the extra attacker.
17:10 - 42 shots on goal for Dallas to 31 for Anaheim.
15:55 - Huge kill for the Ducks as Selanne sends it the length of the ice with Getzlaf leaving the box.
13:55 - ANA Penalty - Ryan Getzlaf
, 2 min. tripping. The Ducks need to kill here.
12:35 - Selanne and Turco have a race to the puck along the wall and Selanne is able to tap it away from him. But when he measures and shoots, a heads-up Mark Fistric dives in front of the net to stop it. Huge escape by Dallas.
12:05 - ANAHEIM GOAL - SEAN O'DONNELL - After making a nice pass to Selanne seconds before, Kunitz does it again. He gathers the puck behind the net and feeds a pinching O'Donnell, who one-times it inside the far post past a charging Turco. Huge goal for Anaheim as it takes a 4-2 lead. First playoff goal for O'Donnell since Game 3 of the conference final against Edmonton on May 23, 2006.
12:00 - Kunitz feeds a charging Selanne in the slot and his redirect goes wide.
10:15 - Ott tries the same move Ribeiro was successful on, coming out from behind the net, then stopping and spinning back for the shot. But this time Giguere reads it.
8:12 - Lundqvist redirects the puck from the red line toward Giguere and it takes a funny hop, causing him to quickly drop down to stop and freeze it.
7:30 - Turco gets more boos as he plays the puck.
7:01 - Selanne rips a slap shot from the wing that Turco just barely kicks away.
4:41 - DALLAS GOAL - MIKE RIBEIRO - Ribeiro completely fools Giguere, sweeping from behind the net, but stopping and spinning back toward the post before roofing a shot that a prone Giguere has no chance at saving. It's now a 3-2 Anaheim lead. That quiets the crowd for the time being.
You can hear the fireworks from Angel Stadium. Must be Friday night.
2:32 - Just after the penalty runs out, Weight hits hard on a slap shot from the circle that Turco bobbles, but holds just before Bertuzzi tries to poke at it.
0:48 - ANAHEIM GOAL (POWER PLAY) - TEEMU SELANNE - Pronger moves up to the ladies tees to unleash a one-timer rocket that sizzles wide of the net. But it hits in a perfect spot in the glass, bouncing right to Selanne waiting by the left post. He quickly punches it in, eluding the kicked-out skate of Turco. It's 3-1 Ducks and Anaheim will still be on the power play when they drop the puck after this one.
0:28 - DAL Penalty - Trevor Daley, 2 min. holding. Big chance for Anaheim, which has a 5 on 3 for 1:28.
0:00 - Here we go in the third, the Ducks on the power play.
20:00 - The Ducks take the lead on a Getzlaf goal on the power play and will have 1:55 more power play time with a clean sheet of ice when we start the third.
19:55 - DAL Penalty - Matt Niskanen, 2 min. tripping. Scott Niedermayer gets the puck up ahead and tries to squeeze between two Dallas defenders, as Niskanen sends him to the ice hard and the crowd objects just as hard.
19:45 - Richards absolutely rips a shot after a Ducks giveaway that bounces hard off Giguere.
19:00 - Kunitz gets the puck way low with room and can't decide whether to shoot or pass. He holds it a bit too long before trying a quick shot that Turco denies.
16:25 - Giguere makes a great stop on a quick Miettinen shot from the slot, then dives to stop Hagman as he follows up from behind the net.
16:04 - Dallas makes a move into the Anaheim zone and Niskanen fires a snap shot that Giguere surrounds.
14:30 - Carter, for the second time in the last 30 seconds, is inches away from one-timing one on net from a good angle.
13:30 - Bertuzzi emerges from behind the net and tries to jam in the wraparound, but Tirco won't budge. Getzlaf tries to follow up and he's wrapped up by Dallas players.
12:00 - The rhythmic chants of "Tuuuurrrco...Tuuuurrrco" rain down.
11:03 - ANAHEIM GOAL (POWER PLAY) - RYAN GETZLAF - Getzlaf receives the puck from Pronger at the left faceoff dot and holds and holds and holds before unleashing a wrist shot through the legs of Niskanen, past a screening Niedermayer and over the shoulder of Turco who did not move a muscle on the shot. It's 2-1 Ducks and again this crowd is blowing the roof off the place.
9:55 - Getzlaf has an open net as Turco goes down to dive after a rebound, but can't get it high enough.
9:43 - DAL Penalty - Mark Fistric, 2 min. interference. O'Donnell gets the puck with plenty of ice and rips a shot that bounces off Turco into the slot. Kunitz tries to follow it up and gets tripped to the ice by Fistric.
9:16 - There has been a lot of time spent in the Anaheim zone in this period.
8:39 - Turco gets back into the net on a Ducks rush and it's knocked off a peg. Some of the crowd think Turco did it intentionally.
7:53 - Daley looks like he almost intentionally sends the puck into the Anaheim bench and a few Ducks, Brad May among them, aren't too happy about it.
6:02 - Richards gives a great feed to Eriksson, whose one-timer goes under Giguere and hits the post before coming back and resting under him. He doesn't realize it, as Kunitz slides behind him in case it pops back out. Scary moment as Giguere freezes it.
5:10 - Getzlaf gives a nice pass to Schneider in the slot, and his shot is just stopped by Turco.
4:30 - The puck nearly nicks a Dallas player getting off the ice, and the crowd thinks it got him for a too many men minor. They start the "Ref, you [stink]" chant, but I'm not sure it's deserved. This time.
3:35 - Niskanen hits one from straightaway, and Giguere eyes it all the way before covering.
3:01 - Robidas launches a shot from above the circle that Giguere stops with the pads. Robidas, by the way, is fine after taking a puck to the face.
2:04 - ANA Penalty - Chris Pronger, 2 min. roughing. Lehtinen rifles a shot that Giguere stops and then covers the rebound, just before Pronger nails Lehtinen in the back and sends him sprawling over Giguere. Pronger can't believe the call. I can.
0:30 - Moen intercepts and goes in on the breakaway, but the backhand is denied.
0:00 - Here we go in the second.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - An action-packed period comes to a close and the crowd boos, seemingly aiming at the officials. The Ducks get a goal from Perry, but his rough play sets up Dallas' equalizer. We're tied 1-1 after one period of Game 5.
19:58 - On the shorthnanded rush, O'Donnell skids to a stop and tries to send a pass to the front of the net to Pronger, but it's knocked away.
19:45 - ANA Penalty - Bench minor, 2 min. too many men on the ice. The Stars get yet another power play at the end of the period and will continue it in the next one.
18:27 - DALLAS GOAL - MATTIAS NORSTROM - As Dallas moves the puck around with the power play running out, Norstrom receives it at the bottom of the left circle from Brad Richards and sends a wrister through a very small opening between Giguere and the top near corner of the post. It's a second after the PP expires, so technically even-strength, but the after-effects of the man advantage definitely led to it. We're tied 1-1.
17:20 - Turco is booed hard as he plays the puck. That will continue throughout, most likely.
16:30 - Dallas is on the power play because Perry got two penalties to give the Ducks one more than Dallas.
16:26 - ANA - Corey Perry
, 2 min. slashing and 2 min. roughing, Todd Bertuzzi, 2 min. roughing and Francois Beauchemin, 10 min. misconduct and DAL Penalty - Trevor Daley, 2 min. roughing, Mark Fistric, 2 min. roughing and Brenden Morrow, 10 min. misconduct. Perry slashes the stick out of Turco's hands as Turco playts the puck behind the net, so Turco grabs him and holds on, letting go just in time for Trevor Daley to come up and do battle with Perry. Beauchemin, Getzlaf and Bertuzzi jump in and that turns into a 10-skater melee between the Ducks and Stars in which a few punches are thrown. It's an absolute mess as there are six penalties announced on the play.
16:00 - The energy level of these Ducks right now is as high as it's ever been in this series. Surprising, considering the fatigue factor.
13:54 - Schneider slings it at the net from above the right circle and Turco knocks it away.
13:34 - ANA Penalty - Chris Kunitz, 2 min. roughing and DAL Penalty - Mattias Norstrom, 2 min. roughing. The fallout from the bout between the two teams around the net results in penalties for both players.
13:34 - Selanne flies around the back of the net and clearly looks to tuck the wraparound inside the post, but somehow, some way, it is knocked away by Turco's stick right on the stripe and he covers it. The Ducks and Stars throw several punches as Anaheim players converge on the Stars goalie. The officials review it to see if the entire puck crossed the stripe, and though it appears it might have, they wave it off. Huge save, in retrospect, and Selanne can't seem to buy one the last two games.
13:16 - The Ducks get on another rush, and Marchant drops a pass to Selanne, whose hard snap shot is swallowed by Turco.
11:45 - It's Giguere again, as Modano gives it to Barnes on the 2 on 1 and Giguere slides over to thwart it. Crowd goes nuts.
11:10 - Perry takes the puck away in the corner and gets it to Getzlaf in front, but his backhander is deflected by Turco out of play.
No need to worry about this crowd tonight. They are rocking this place right now.
9:59 - Giguere makes another top-notch save as Richards tries a one-timer from the slot.
8:25 - ANAHEIM GOAL - COREY PERRY - After the big Giguere save, O'Donnell sends the puck up the wall to Perry. He heads down the right wing and finally lets go of a wrist shot that slides between Turco's pads. This crowd erupts and it's 1-0 Ducks . Welcome back, Corey Perry.
8:10 - Right as the penalty is expiring, Ribeiro gets it with a wide-open net, but can't control the puck right away and Giguere dives over to make a last-minute save.
7:35 - Giguere cuts off the angle on a shot from the circle and holds it before Ott can stab at it.
6:49 - Marchant tries to slap the puck out of the Ducks zone and it drills Robidas hard in the face. He's in pain and heads to the dressing room. Robidas had a face mask in the last few games of the regular season, but isn't wearing one now.
6:16 - The crowd voices their displeasure as the penalty is announced.
6:07 - ANA Penalty - Corey Perry
, 2 min. goaltender interference. Perry runs into Turco a bit and Turco goes down like he took a rifle shot to the chest. Nice dive, Marty.
5:50 - Pahlsson's pass to May on the wing is deflected, but right to May, and he skates in on Turco, who denies his move to the backhand.
5:22 - May smushes Miettinen against the glass behind the Anaheim net.
4:45 - The crowd gets excited as the Ducks hold it in deep in the Dallas zone with the penalty running out.
4:22 - Lehtinen gets deep and tries a backhand off Giguere.
2:57 - ANA Penalty - Ryan Carter
, 2 min. roughing. Carter does some work on Ribeiro.
1:05 - Kunitz makes a beauty of a move on Robidas and unleashes a slap shot that Turco elbows away.
0:30 - A chant of "Let's Go Ducks!"
0:10 - Selanne gets deep very early, but his shot hits Turco and goes over the net.
0:00 - We're underway at Honda Center in Game 5.
7:39 - The yell of "Stars" by the visiting Dallas fans during the two parts of Dawn Wright's anthem was more noticeable than in Games 1 and 2 because of the lower singing volume of the Ducks fans. They better get into this thing, and fast.
7:34 p.m. - The lights-out opening starts with the familiar Honda Center riff, "Butterflies and Hurricanes" by Muse, followed by the slogan (in the same type of the "Let's Go Ducks" sticker) that says: NOTHING IS OVER. And in comes "Ladies and Gentlemen" by Saliva. They're doing everything they can to get this crowd pumped up, and I like it.
Starting Goaltenders - ANA Jean-Sebastien Giguere; DAL Marty Turco
Starting Skaters - ANA Teemu Selanne
, Chris Kunitz, Samuel Pahlsson, Sean O'Donnell, Chris Pronger; DAL Loui Eriksson, Joel Lundqvist, Brad Richards, Stephane Robidas, Trevor Daley
Scratches - ANA Marc-Andre Bergeron, George Parros
, Joe DiPenta, Rob Niedermayer; DAL Tobias Stephan, Kryz Barch, Brad Winchester, Nolan Baumgartner, Philippe Boucher, B.J. Crombeen, Sergei Zubov
Another wrinkle in the starting forward line, as Pahlsson is with Selanne and Kunitz. Meanwhile, Pronger is back with O'Donnell for the time being.