Anaheim 5 Calgary 4 (OT)
CALGARY — Corey Perry scored the overtime winner for the Anaheim Ducks in a 5-4 playoff win over the Calgary Flames on Monday.
Perry’s sharp-angled shot at 1:30 in the extra period deflected off bodies and by Flames goaltender Brian Elliott.
Trailing 2-1 and 4-2 at period breaks, the Ducks battled back to take a 3-0 stranglehold in their best-of-seven Western Conference quarter-final series.
Calgary must win Wednesday’s Game 4 at Scotiabank Saddledome to avoid a sweep.
The Flames started stronger, were more disciplined and sharper in the faceoff circle than they were in a pair of 3-2 losses to open the series in Anaheim.
But Calgary squandered that effort giving up three unanswered goals to the Ducks starting at 19:11 of the second period.
Shea Theodore scored twice for the Ducks with Nick Ritchie and Nate Thompson also scoring for the visitors. Defencemen Kevin Bieksa and Hampus Lindholm each had two assists.
John Gibson was replaced by Jonathan Bernier in the second period following Calgary’s fourth goal. Gibson stopped 12 of 16 shots with Bernier turning away all 16 he faced in relief for the win.
Sean Monahan had a goal and an assist for the Flames.
Kris Versteeg, Sam Bennett and Michael Stone also scored for Calgary with Mikael Backlund and defenceman T.J. Brodie each contributing a pair of assists for the hosts.
Elliott turned away 22 of 27 shots in the loss.
Calgary’s combined 31 penalty minutes was a factor in its two losses in Anaheim. It was the Ducks paying the price for undiscipline Monday.
The Flames scored three power-play goals on five chances in the first two periods. Anaheim pushed back, however.
Theodore scored his second goal of the game on a shot from the point to tie it 4-4 at 15:39 of the third.
Thompson deflected a Lindholm shot from inside the blue-line under Elliott at 11:14 of the third period to pull within a goal. The play was reviewed for a high stick, but the goal stood.
While Ducks forward Perry was digging into the Flames bench for his lost stock, Theodore’s wrist shot from the boards deflected off Elliott’s left pad and into the net with 49 seconds remaining in the second period.
Mark Giordano’s blast from the point deflected off Bennett’s foot for a 4-1 Calgary lead at 8:33, which prompted Anaheim’s goaltending swap.
Stone scored even-strength at 4:34 threading a shot through traffic and past Gibson stick side.
Calgary scored first and led after the opening period for the first time in the series on a pair of power-play goals.
But Anaheim’s Ritchie halved the deficit at 15:33 knocking in a rebound off an Antoine Vermette shot from the top of the faceoff circle.
Versteeg banged a rebound by a sprawling Gibson during a goal-mouth scrum at 9:18 for a 2-0 lead.
Monahan, on Gibson’s doorstep, converted Troy Brouwer’s feed from behind the net into his third power-play goal of the series at 2:10.
Giordano was soundly booed in Anaheim because of a regular-season collision with Cam Fowler that took Anaheim’s big-minute defenceman out of their lineup to start this series.
Calgary fans responded by adopting Bieksa as the Saddledome villain. Bennett steamrolling Bieksa in the first period was loudly cheered.
Ducks defenceman Sami Vatanen participated in the morning skate, but was scratched a second straight game. He sustained an upper-body injury when he was checked by Calgary’s Lance Bouma in Game 1.
Fowler skated after his teammates in the morning. Ducks head coach Randy Carlyle indicated the 25-year-old from Windsor, Ont., is recovering from his knee injury, but did not provide a timetable for Fowler’s return.
“We think that he’s on pace to be available to us some time here shortly,” Carlyle said.
Donna Spencer, The Canadian Press