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Anaheim Ducks

Anaheim Ducks Sweep Calgary Flames

USATSI_10020896_154158418_lowresThe Anaheim Ducks have swept the Calgary Flames out of the first round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The Ducks put the Flames away with a 3-1 victory on Wednesday night. They burst out to a 2-0 lead that seemed to catch Calgary flat-footed, with goalie Brian Elliott chased from the net after the first goal by Patrick Eaves just a few minutes in. Chad Johnson replaced him and was promptly scored on, with Nate Thompson’s second goal of the playoffs giving the Ducks the advantage.

But the Flames climbed back in with a Sean Monahan goal late in the second period and the home team looked to be gaining some momentum.

It was not to be, as Ryan Getzlaf popped home an empty net goal to close it out.

The Ducks were simply the better team and the Flames struggled to sneak the puck past goalie John Gibson, who wound up winning the goaltending duel despite Elliott owning the experience edge.

That said, the Flames and Ducks kept it close.

Each game of the series was a one-goal contest apart from the final contest, with Game Three requiring overtime to give Anaheim a 5-4 victory. The Ducks kicked off the series with back-to-back 3-2 wins at home, an unsurprising feat given Calgary’s inability to win at the Honda Center.

Defenceman Shea Theodore emerged as a formidable force for Anaheim, as he put together five points in the series – including two goals and three assists.

Rickard Rakell, Kevin Bieksa, Getzlaf, and Jakob Silfverberg also put up quality offensive numbers for the Ducks. Getzlaf was probably Anaheim’s best player in the first round. He skated for over 24 and a half minutes in Game Four and was everywhere on the ice.

For the Flames, T.J. Brodie posted four assists against the Ducks and averaged almost 22 minutes of ice time a game. Monahan had the lead in goals with four, while Kris Versteeg and Mikael Backlund also showed an offensive flair. Johnny Gaudreau was held without a goal in the series.

In the end, the experience and determination of the Ducks took home the series. The Flames proved a resilient opponent, but they couldn’t overcome their own shortcomings long enough to put their opponents away.

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