The Anaheim Ducks swept the Calgary Flames from the NHL playoffs with a 3-1 win Wednesday.
The Ducks scored two goals on their first five shots of the game en route to a Game 4 victory in the best-of-seven Western Conference quarter-final.
Calgary was the first team eliminated from this year’s post-season.
Anaheim has the luxury of rest and recovery ahead of their conference semifinal as they await the series winner between the Edmonton Oilers and San Jose Sharks, which is tied 2-2.
Patrick Eaves and Nate Thompson scored for the visitors with captain Ryan Getzlaf adding an empty-net goal.
Head coach Randy Carlyle started John Gibson in net again after replacing him in the second period of Game 3 with Jonathan Bernier. The return on that vote of confidence was Gibson’s 36 saves for the win.
Sean Monahan scored his fourth power-play goal in as many games for Calgary.
Early switch in net for Flames
It was a short night for Flames starter Brian Elliott, who was pulled for Chad Johnson after giving up a soft goal at 5:38 of the first period.
Johnson allowed a goal on the second shot he faced, but stopped the remaining 20.
Calgary was revived on Monahan’s redirection of a Kris Versteeg feed at 16:07 to trail by a goal heading into the third.
Johnson was pulled for an extra attacker with almost two and a half minutes remaining in regulation, but the Flames couldn’t produce the equalizer.
A sharp-angled shot by Eaves slid under Elliott’s pads on Anaheim’s third shot of the game. The Ducks quickly scored on Johnson at 6:46 with Thompson banging in a rebound.
The Ducks opened the series with a pair of 3-2 wins at home before storming back from a three-goal deficit to win 5-4 in overtime at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Game 3.
Veteran core propels Ducks
The Ducks haven’t lost in regulation in 18 games dating back to March 10. Anaheim’s four-game sweep was the fifth in franchise history.
Led by Getzlaf and Corey Perry, the holdovers from Anaheim’s 2007 Stanley Cup win, the Ducks were a poised team that prevailed in the big moments of the series.
The Flames outplayed them the majority of Game 2, but a lucky deflection and a couple of undisciplined minors by Calgary late in the game allowed the Ducks to pull out the win at home.
Trailing 4-1 late in the second period in Game 3, Carlyle juggled his forward lines to generate an offensive spark.
The Ducks put the puck on net through traffic to score four unanswered goals en route to their biggest comeback in franchise history.
Their two quick and early goals Wednesday drained the Flames of confidence that was already dented from their Game 3 collapse.
As good as Elliott was getting Calgary to the playoffs with a strong second half in the regular season, he gave up soft goals in the second, third and fourth games of the series.
Ducks defenceman Sami Vatanen (upper body) participated in the morning skate and defender Cam Fowler (knee) skated by himself for the third time in as many days.
Carlyle said Fowler would be out two to six weeks when the defenceman collided with Flames captain Mark Giordano in a regular-season game April 4.
Ducks forward Ryan Kesler was nominated Wednesday for the Selke Trophy for a sixth time. He won the trophy that goes to the top defensive forward in 2011 when he was a Vancouver Canuck.
Source : cbc