|SJS||1||0||0||(0 - 0)||1|
|ANA||1||2||1||(null - null)||4|
ANAHEIM – Game, set and match.
It will be called an upset by most, but the Anaheim Ducks hardly looked the underdog in a 4-1 throttling of the San Jose Sharks in Game 6 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals in front of a raucous sellout crowd at Honda Center. The victory gave the Ducks a convincing 4-games-to-2 decision in the series, with Anaheim handing the Sharks possibly their biggest playoff disappointment in a line of many.
|A 4-1 trouncing of the Sharks in Game 6 advanced the Ducks to the second round and handed San Jose another postseason disappointment.
The eighth-seeded Ducks took down the No. 1 Sharks, owners of the best record in the NHL this regular season. Anaheim because just the fifth team since 1967-68 to defeat the league’s best team in the first round.
"I think you ask anyone, we’re not an eight seed," said defenseman Ryan Whitney. "Everyone in here knows that and I think now everyone hockey pretty much sees it too."
And they did it with a Game 6 victory that resulted from an overwhelming effort over the final two periods led by three different goal-scorers and another fantastic performance by goalie Jonas Hiller. The Swiss netminder bounced back from his overtime loss in Game 5 to stonewall the Sharks with 36 stops, many of them highlight-worthy.
The Ducks continued a trend of shining in games where they can clinch a series. They’re 11-4 in their franchise’s history, including a 9-0 mark at Honda Center. This time it earned them a second round matchup with the Detroit Red Wings, who swept the Columbus Blue Jackets in the first round.
"It doesn’t matter who we’re playing or what seed we are in the playoffs, we consider ourselves a contender," said Ryan Getzlaf, who had a standout game for Anaheim. "We felt that way right from the start. This is just the first round and we’ll move from here.
Anaheim broke the game open with two quick strikes well into the third period from Teemu Selanne and Francois Beauchemin. Torrey Mitchell went to the box for hooking 12:54 into the period and the Ducks converted just nine seconds later. Selanne gathered in a rebound and sent the puck on net from a sharp angle, and it kicked off defenseman Christian Ehrhoff into the net.
That made it 2-1 Ducks and Beauchemin gave his team a two-goal lead just 1:23 later, drilling a one-timer from the point that deflected off Sharks defenseman Dan Boyle on its way into the net. It was the first goal for Beauchemin since going down with an ACL injury back on Nov. 14.
Anaheim clinged to that two-goal lead for most of the third period, until Getzlaf effectively put the game away with 2:56 left. Drew Miller and Rob Niedermayer worked tirelessly to pin the puck in the corner of the San Jose end, before Niedermayer finally dug it out and sent it to Getzlaf in the slot. Getzlaf held the puck for a beat before firing a wrist shot past Sharks goalie Evgeni Nabokov.
|Getzlaf bounced back from an early fight with Thornton to pick up an assist on the goal that put the game away.
The Ducks’ first goal of the game came courtesy of Corey Perry on the power play with 7:27 left in the opening period. After faking a shot from the point, Getzlaf sent it on net from straightaway. It rebounded chest-high off Nabokov and Perry batted it in.
That wiped out an early 1-0 San Jose lead that was staked a couple of minutes earlier when Milan Michalek chipped in a rebound off a Rob Blake shot from the point.
Tonight was the first game in the series where the team that scored first did not win.
"It was 1-1 after the first and we came out and had a great second," said Whitney. "We beared down. I think this home crowd does a lot for us it seems. We struggled earlier before the playoffs at home. Right now, we’re rolling and feeding off this crowd. That was a big win."
An extremely hard-hitting game got started that way right off the bat as big forwards Ryan Getzlaf and Joe Thornton dropped the gloves as soon as the puck touched the ice for the opening faceoff. The rest of the contest was marked by several skirmishes, including a fight between Ryan Whitney and Joe Pavelski that sprang out of a melee at the end of the second period. Each team had 12 penalties that totaled 30 minutes.
Getzlaf seemed to gain motivation from the fight much more than Thornton did. Getzlaf had an assist and a goal, while Thornton was scoreless with just one shot on net.
"It was something that was provoked a little bit last game where he challenged me," Getzlaf said. "I didn’t really want to fight at that point when the series was 3-1. I didn’t want to give them any spark. I felt tonight that that was the opportunity to redeem myself and Joe wanted to go again to spark his team."
The Ducks will face the No. 2 seed and defending champion Red Wings in the posteason for the fourth time in franchise history and the second time in the last three seasons. Anaheim defeated Detroit in the 2007 Western Conference Finals on the way to a Stanley Cup title.
“I don’t know if it’s ever good facing Detroit,” Carlyle said. “But we’re not focusing on Detroit right now. We’ll focus on that tomorrow.”GAME NOTES
Anaheim advances to the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the fifth time in franchise history, the third time in the last four years and fourth in the last six NHL seasons.
Tonight’s victory improved the Ducks’ record in Game 6 contests to 6-1.
The Ducks also improved their lifetime postseason record at Honda Center to 29-15 (.659 win percentage).
Ryan Getzlaf has earned points in four consecutive games (1-5=6). He leads Anaheim and ranks tied for second in the NHL in postseason scoring (2-6=8). He also co-leads the NHL in postseason assists with six.
In the six-game series, Jonas Hiller stopped 211-of-221 shots for a .955 SV% and 1.64 GAA (10 GA/365 MIN).
Corey Perry has a three-game goal streak (3-1=4), which is tied for the NHL postseason lead (also Ryder, Malkin, Ryan, Parise and Ovechkin (active).
Teemu Selanne scored his 10th career game-winning goal in the postseason and first since Game 5 of the WCF on May 20, 2007 at Detroit.
Chris Pronger has recorded points in three of the last four games (1-3=4), including two assists tonight.
Scott Niedermayer has earned points in two consecutive games (0-3=3).
Ryan Carter has earned points in two of the games he’s appeared in (1-1=2).
The Ducks became the FIFTH team to upset the NHL’s best regular season team (by standings points) in the first round since the Expansion Era began (1967-68 season). The previous four teams to upset the NHL’s regular season points leader (officially referred to as Presidents’ Trophy winner starting in 1986-87):
2006: Edmonton defeated Detroit (56-18-8, 124 pts.), 4-2
2000: San Jose defeated St. Louis (51-19-11-1, 114 pts.), 4-3
1991: Minnesota North Stars defeated Chicago (49-23-8, 106 pts.), 4-2
1971: Montreal defeated Boston (57-14-7, 121 pts.), 4-3
The Ducks became the EIGHTH #8 Seed to upset a #1 seed in the first round since 1993-94 (first year of current playoff format). The previous seven:
2006: Edmonton (8) defeated Detroit (56-18-8, 124 pts.), 4-2
2002: Montreal (8) defeated Boston (43-24-6-9, 101 pts.), 4-2
2000: San Jose (8) defeated St. Louis (51-19-11-1, 114 pts.), 4-3
1999: Pittsburgh (8) defeated New Jersey (47-24-11, 105 pts.), 4-3
1998: Ottawa (8) defeated New Jersey (48-23-11, 107 pts.), 4-2
1995: NY Rangers (8) defeated Quebec (30-13-5, 65 pts), 4-2
1994: San Jose (8) defeated Detroit (46-30-8, 100 pts.), 4-3
The Ducks became the 11TH team in NHL history to beat a team who earned 110-or-more standings points during the regular season in the first round. They join the 1971 Montreal Canadiens and 2006 Edmonton Oilers as the THIRD team to beat an opponent who had earned 117-points-or-more.
2007: Nashville (110 pts.) lost to San Jose, 4-1
2006: Detroit (124 pts.) lost to Edmonton, 4-2
2006: Dallas (112 pts.) lost to Colorado, 4-1
2003: Detroit (110 pts.) lost to Anaheim, 4-0
2001: Detroit (111 pts.) lost to Los Angeles, 4-2
2000: St. Louis (114 pts.) lost to San Jose, 4-3
1986: Philadelphia (110 pts.) lost to NY Rangers, 3-2
1982: Edmonton (111 pts.) lost to Los Angeles, 3-2
1978: NY Islanders (111 pts.) lost to Toronto, 4-3
1971: Boston (121 pts.) lost to Montreal, 4-3
Tonight’s attendance was 17,174, a sellout.
|PPG - Milan Michalek (1) ASST: Rob Blake (3), Dan Boyle (2)|
1 - 0 SJS
|PPG - Corey Perry (3) ASST: Ryan Getzlaf (6), Chris Pronger (2)|
1 - 1 Tie
|PPG - Teemu Selanne (1) ASST: Chris Pronger (3), Scott Niedermayer (4)|
2 - 1 ANA
|Francois Beauchemin (1) ASST: Ryan Carter (1), Mike Brown (2)|
3 - 1 ANA
|Ryan Getzlaf (2) ASST: Rob Niedermayer (3), Drew Miller (1)|
4 - 1 ANA
|Joe Thornton Fighting (maj) against Ryan Getzlaf|
|Ryan Getzlaf Fighting (maj) against Joe Thornton|
|Rob Niedermayer Tripping against Jeremy Roenick|
|Corey Perry Elbowing against Jonathan Cheechoo|
|James Wisniewski Slashing against Marcel Goc|
|Douglas Murray Roughing against Sheldon Brookbank|
|Travis Moen Roughing against George Parros|
|Mike Brown Roughing against Dan Boyle|
|Dan Boyle Roughing against Mike Brown|
|George Parros Roughing against Travis Moen|
|Teemu Selanne Hooking against Rob Blake|
|Patrick Marleau Hooking against James Wisniewski|
|Francois Beauchemin Interference against Torrey Mitchell|
|Torrey Mitchell Hooking against Andrew Ebbett|
|Joe Pavelski Fighting (maj) against Ryan Whitney|
|Dan Boyle Roughing against Corey Perry|
|Dan Boyle Boarding against Corey Perry|
|Ryan Getzlaf Roughing against Dan Boyle|
|Ryan Whitney Fighting (maj) against Joe Pavelski|
|Rob Niedermayer Roughing against Milan Michalek|
|Milan Michalek Roughing against Rob Niedermayer|
|Ryane Clowe Roughing against James Wisniewski|
|James Wisniewski Roughing against Ryane Clowe|
|Christian Ehrhoff Tripping against Todd Marchant|
|SA: 32||TOI: 58:17|
|Saves: 28||EV: 22 - 24|
|PIM: 0||PP: 6 - 8|
|SV%: .875||SH: 0 - 0|
|SA: 37||TOI: 60:00|
|Saves: 36||EV: 28 - 28|
|PIM: 0||PP: 8 - 9|
|SV%: .973||SH: 0 - 0|
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