ANAHEIM -- It was not breaking news that linemates Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry came up big for the Anaheim Ducks in a 4-2 Game 1 of the Western Conference First Round series against the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday.
The two have experience in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and now have Ryan Kesler as a teammate after years of having to play against him. Kessler won 16 of 21 faceoffs and drew a roughing that led to a power-play goal.
"He does so many of the little things that don't end up on the scoreboard that makes him valuable: plays hard against anybody, knows his position," Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau said Friday. "It's not all about goals and assists, but he's a really solid second-line center that can play against any team's top center."
Part of Winnipeg's game plan in Game 2 of the best-of-7 series on Saturday at Honda Center (10:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TVA Sports, SN, PRIME) is to get under Anaheim's skin, but Kesler is one of the NHL's best pests who knows when to back off, as was the case in goading in Mark Scheifele into an after-the-whistle jab.