For additional insight into the First Round series between the Anaheim Ducks and Winnipeg Jets, NHL.com has enlisted the help of Frederic Chabot to break down the action. Chabot will be checking in throughout the series.
Chabot was the goaltending coach for the Edmonton Oilers from 2009 to 2014. He played in the NHL for five seasons, spending time with the Montreal Canadiens, the Philadelphia Flyers, and the Los Angeles Kings.
The Winnipeg Jets took the lead into the third period against the Anaheim Ducks in Game 1 of their best-of-7 Western Conference First Round series Thursday, but the Ducks were able to regain their composure and score three times in the third period to win 4-2.
Chabot said each team came out playing fast and physical, as expected, and the Ducks did a better job of getting back to their game plan when it mattered.
"They looked out of sync the last 15 minutes of the first and the first five minutes of the second, but slowly they went back to their game," Chabot said. "They made better decisions with the puck, got it deep and made sure they had traffic on net. They supported each other better."
Anaheim scored first on Thursday, taking a 1-0 lead at the 1:57 mark, and Winnipeg tied the game 49 seconds later.
"It was a quick 1-1 game," Chabot said. "From that point, Winnipeg took over, creating turnovers with their forecheck and their physical game."
The Jets found success in getting pucks deep and using their size to create turnovers. When the game was played at 5-on-5, it was very much even. But the Ducks got two third-period goals from forward Corey Perry, and one from Ryan Getzlaf, who Winnipeg had a hard time stopping.
"Both teams have very big forwards that can score that have skills. Getzlaf and Perry have been doing it for years, and they were very efficient last night," Chabot said. "The best way for Winnipeg to counteract Perry and Getzlaf is to make sure they don't turn the puck over and they get pucks deep and they spend more time in Anaheim's zone.
"If you give too much zone time to Perry and Getzlaf, they'll get something sooner or later."
With that kind of size up front, and with the style each team plays, there was plenty of traffic in front of Ducks goaltender Frederik Andersen and Jets goaltender Ondrej Pavelec. Three of Anaheim's four goals were scored near the blue paint, and so was one of Winnipeg's. On the other two goals, each goalie had to deal with a screening forward.
"The workload for the goalie is heavy. Last night they didn't get tons of shots but there was a lot of traffic, so rebound chances were there and there were a lot of screen shots," Chabot said. "The goalies had to work really hard to do their jobs."
Pavelec, playing in his first Stanley Cup Playoff game, made 29 saves on 33 shots. But Chabot said the box score won't tell the whole story.
"Maybe statistically it didn't show how well he played; I thought he was pretty good," Chabot said. "He wasn't called upon a lot early in the game, but in the second half he made some big saves and kept the game close."
With Winnipeg protecting a one-goal lead in the third, the Jets committed two penalties. Anaheim tied the game on a Perry power-play goal before taking the lead with 6:39 remaining.
"[The Jets] have to get some positives out of the first half of the game when they played really well," said Chabot. "They must find a way to keep their momentum and be more disciplined, not just with penalties, but with their system. Five-on-five it was pretty even, but [Anaheim's] special teams, the PK early and the PP late, were the difference."