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Recap: Ducks Complete the Sweep, Advance to Second Round with 3-1 Victory

by Kyle Shohara @kyleshohara /

CALGARY -- The Ducks had one goal in mind tonight, and they accomplished it in sweeping fashion.

Led by first-period goals from Patrick Eaves and Nate Thompson, the Ducks eliminated the Flames with a 3-1 victory in Game 4 at Scotiabank Saddledome. It marked the fifth postseason sweep for the Ducks and the third time they have done it in the first round.

Ryan Getzlaf tacked on an empty-net goal with seven seconds remaining in regulation, while John Gibson, pulled in Game 3, redeemed himself with a stellar 36-save performance in net. Going back to the regular season, the Ducks have not lost in regulation in 18 games (since March 10 at St. Louis), going 11-0-3 regular season and 4-0 in the playoffs. Anaheim is also 18-2-3 in its last 23 games going back to the regular season (14-2-3 regular season, 4-0 playoffs).

"Any time you can put a team behind you, you definitely want to take advantage of it," said Getzlaf, who finished the series with five points (3g/2a). "You never want to give them life. They're a resilient bunch. They battled right to the very end tonight. They made us earn it for sure."

Thompson adds, "It was a really hard series. That's a really good team over there, and they're going to be good for a long time. They made a really big push on us. It wasn't easy at all. You have to give them a lot of credit. They played a great series."

Sean Monahan scored the lone goal for Calgary - his team-leading fourth of the series - and Chad Johnson took over goaltending duties for starter Brian Elliott, who was relieved after giving up the Eaves goal at the 5:38 mark of the first period. It was a goal he would like to have back - a harmless wrist shot from the boards that somehow found its way in. The goal was Eaves' first of the postseason.

Video: ANA@CGY, Gm4: Eaves finds twine from the boards

Only 66 seconds elapsed before the Ducks struck again. Thompson - Anaheim's hottest player - buried a juicy rebound off a simple 3-on-2 rush with Corey Perry and Rickard Rakell. The play started when Perry entered the zone through center ice. From there, he sent a behind-the-back drop pass to Rakell on his off wing. A low wrist shot produced a rebound that Thompson pounced on, giving him four points (2g/2a) in his last two games.

Video: ANA@CGY, Gm4: Thompson punches home a rebound

Anaheim's penalty kill, put to the test five times in Game 3, went back to work at the 16:11 mark of the first period when Eaves was whistled for holding. The PK did its job, as did Gibson, who made a glorious point-blank stop in the final seconds of Eaves' infraction.

The Flames came out pushing in the second period and nearly got on the board when TJ Brodie's cross-crease pass slide past Curtis Lazar and Troy Brouwer before trickling wide. Lazar, making his series debut, actually fanned on the shot, but the puck still made its way to Brouwer who was unable to get a stick on it.

Calgary finally broke through with 3:53 remaining in the second period when Monahan converted his fourth goal of the series, all of which on the power play. It was Calgary's eighth consecutive man advantage since the series shifted to the 'dome, this time a Ryan Kesler hooking penalty on Sam Bennett.

The Ducks got their first power play since the 17:22 mark of the third period of Game 2 when Flames captain Mark Giordano was tagged for holding late in the middle frame. Not much was generated on the man advantage, but the Ducks went into the intermission on another power play, this time from an Alex Chiasson slashing call with 52 seconds remaining on the clock.  

As the third period began, the Flames began their push. Gibson, however, was equal to the task. He swallowed up a slap shot off the stick of defenseman Michael Stone with 7:53 remaining in regulation despite heavy traffic in front.

It was at this time when the sold out crowd rose to its feet - a true "C of Red" generating a thunderous and deafening roar in hopes of fueling their team, still down a goal.

Ducks head coach Randy Carlyle, sensing his team needed a breather after an icing call with 2:39 remaining in regulation, called his timeout with the Ducks still holding onto a one-goal lead.

Calgary used its lone timeout with 54.2 seconds remaining and sent Johnson to the bench for an extra attacker.

After clearing the zone with under 10 seconds remaining, Getzlaf sent a shot from center ice that hit the back of the net, sealing Anaheim's four-game sweep over the Flames.

Video: ANA@CGY, Gm4: Getzlaf seals sweep with empty-netter

In one of the best traditions in all of pro sports, the two teams met at center ice after the buzzer sounded for the time-honored postgame handshake. As the Flames left the ice, their fans gave them a well-deserved standing ovation.

"We expected it to go longer with this team," said Thompson. "They play extremely hard. It could've gone a lot of different ways. We got some fortunate bounces and our goalies made some big saves. We found a way. We'll take it."

The Ducks will return to Anaheim and await the winner of the Edmonton-San Jose series, which is currently tied, 2-2.

"We have guys that are a little banged up," said Andrew Cogliano. "We need guys to feel healthy going into the next series. This is big for us. You always want to win four straight, but it's tough to do. We're lucky in a lot of respects. We're fortunate. We'll re-group, see who wins, and be ready to go."

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