Leave it to a red-hot Ducks winger to pour cold water over the resurgent Calgary Flames and lift his team to a pivotal victory in the Western Conference semifinals.
Matt Beleskey’s power-play goal 71 seconds into the third period snapped a tie and the Ducks went on to a 4-2 victory over the Flames in Game 4 on Friday night, moving within a victory of reaching the conference final.
The Ducks came through with some critical work on the penalty kill in the third period and Patrick Maroon added an empty-net goal with 36.7 seconds left to take a 3-1 series lead into Game 5 on Sunday night at Honda Center.
“We’re all in a good mood right now, I can tell you that,” Ducks defenseman Francois Beauchemin said. “We feel good going back home, because 2-2 we wouldn’t be satisfied. That’s not what we wanted to do.
“Our goal was to come here and go home with 3-1 and having a chance to finish that series on Sunday.”
Chicago awaits the series winner. The Ducks took a large step closer thanks to Beleskey, who put a rebound of a Jakob Silfverberg shot past Flames goalie Karri Ramo after Calgary’s Joe Colborne was whistled for a high-sticking double minor at the end of the second period.
“Our power play has been working hard all year,” said Beleskey, who has a goal in each game in the series. “We were creating momentum all game. ‘Silver’ made that nice shot off the pads. I was trying to get open in the slot and I just fired it home.
“We’ve got to take care of business when they take a penalty like that at the end of a period, try to take a liberty on Beauch. You’ve got to make them pay, and we did.”
Minutes later, Kyle Palmieri and Andrew Cogliano were sitting in the penalty box with infractions 64 seconds apart. The Ducks stayed cool under immense pressure and erased both, including a five-on-three disadvantage for the first 56 seconds.
Beauchemin thought back to how Calgary’s Johnny Gaudreau tied the game in the final minute of Game 3 on a two-man advantage, which paved the way for the Flames to win in overtime and climb back in the series.
The HockeyFanLand Insight:
The Calgary Flames carried the lead in this contest for most of the game. Then, Anaheim showed the whole world, why they should be considered a threat to take home the hardware this season. With this road win, the Ducks are in the driver seat the rest of the way. The Calgary Flames have had little to no success in Orange County for years…