WINNIPEG -- The Winnipeg Jets are on the verge of elimination after the Anaheim Ducks posted a 5-4 overtime win in Game 3 of Western Conference first-round Stanley Cup playoff series on Monday night at MTS Centre. The Ducks have a 3-0 series lead.
The Ducks’ Rickard Rakell provided the game-winning goal at 5:12 of overtime.
It was the first playoff game here in 19 years, since the original franchise relocated to Arizona. The NHL returned here in 2011, and Monday’s game was a long time coming for fans. It was an emotional and entertaining game that ended with a victory for the Ducks.
The Jets have a chance to stave off elimination Wednesday in Game 4.
Lighting the lamp: After being held scoreless in the first two games of this series, the Jets exploded offensively with four goals. Lee Stempniak, Tyler Myers, Blake Wheeler and Bryan Little all scored for Winnipeg. The Jets did a solid job of getting on track in front of Anaheim goaltender Frederik Andersen and not allowing him to see the puck cleanly. The Ducks also scored timely goals in beating Jets goaltender Ondrej Pavelec three times. Anaheim’s Cam Fowler, Corey Perry, Jakob Silfverberg, Ryan Kesler and Rakell provided the offense.
Save of the game: Both goalies made timely saves, but with the game tied 4-4 and 1:01 remaining in regulation, the Jets were on the power play when Andersen made a lightning-like glove save on Little to secure the tie and send the game to overtime.
Speed bump: Winnipeg coach Paul Maurice wanted his team to play with more physicality in Game 3. Well, the players listened to his advice. They also fed off the emotional crowd and delivered plenty of hits during a full, 60-minute effort. After two periods, Winnipeg had the advantage in that category, 40-28 in hits. The Jets needed to slow the speedy Ducks in order to have success, so the physical game was key for Winnipeg. It was great too because every time a Jets player applied a bone-crushing, teeth-shattering body check, the fans erupted more and more loudly. After three periods, the Jets held a 56-43 advantage in hits.
Suspension? The league likely will review Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien’s two-minute roughing penalty at 3:08 of the second period. The Ducks’ Corey Perry had just scored, and he had his arms up in celebration and his back turned when Byfulien punched Perry in the back of the head and knocked him to the ice. The incident occurred right in front of an official, who immediately signaled for a penalty.
Up next: The series continues with Game 4 at 8:30 p.m. ET Wednesday at MTS Centre.