AnaheimDucks.com is counting down the top 25 moments from the past season. Here is the final installment: 1-5.
5. APRIL 20, 2015
DUCKS FACE WHITEOUT CONDITIONS INSIDE MTS CENTRE
In one of the most anticipated games of the postseason, the Ducks and Winnipeg Jets resumed their First Round series in front of a raucous MTS Centre crowd decked out in white. A deafening roar, which began well before pre-game warmups, reached ear-piercing levels when Lee Stempniak broke a scoreless game midway through the opening 20 minutes.
Cam Fowler’s goal with seven seconds remaining in the period gave the Ducks life heading into the second stanza. Five goals were scored between the two clubs in a defense-less second period, yet the Ducks found themselves trailing by a goal late in the third. So it was Ryan Kesler, one of the two most-hated Ducks in the eyes of Jets fans, who came through in the clutch with a game-tying goal at 17:46 of the third. Then it was the rookie Rickard Rakell who tipped a Francois Beauchemin point shot five minutes into overtime that stunned – and silenced – the Jets faithful. A hush fell over the beleaguered fanbase as the Ducks mobbed Rakell at center ice.
NOTABLE: During a stoppage of play, Jets fans began chanting “Katy Perry” as an attempt to mock Ducks winger Corey Perry, who, along with Kesler, was heavily booed throughout the game.
4. APRIL 22, 2015
DUCKS COMPLETE FIRST ROUND SWEEP
Ryan Kesler took it upon himself to make sure the series didn’t return to Anaheim for a fifth game. The veteran forward potted two clutch goals that propelled the Ducks to a 5-2 victory and a series sweep over the Winnipeg Jets at MTS Centre. It was a swift and convincing series victory for the Ducks, silencing critics who tabbed the trendy Jets as potential upsets in the First Round.
“It’s amazing, especially when they’re heckling and booing you,” said Kesler. “I wanted to silence the crowd tonight, and that’s what we did.”
The Ducks became the first team to win four straight postseason games via comeback (trailing at any point in game) since 2012, when New Jersey did so vs. Philadelphia in the CSF (May 1-8, 2012).
The victory gave the Ducks seven full days of rest before they hosted the Calgary Flames in Game 1 of the Second Round at Honda Center.
3. MAY 25, 2015
BELESKEY TAKES FLIGHT IN OVERTIME THRILLER VS. BLACKHAWKS
Evoking memories of Bobby Orr’s iconic goal celebration, Matt Beleskey soared through the air after scoring the overtime-winner in Game 5 of the Western Conference Final at Honda Center. The goal capped off a thrilling game that saw the Blackhawks erase a two-goal deficit in the final minutes of regulation. Instead of sulking, the Ducks came out angry in the extra frame. After corralling a turnover in the neutral zone, Jakob Silfverberg sprung Ryan Kesler on a 2-on-1 with Beleskey. Although Corey Crawford made the initial save on Kesler, he kicked it right to Beleskey, who buried it past the sprawling netminder before going up and over. Beleskey, who was mobbed by his teammates, had to army crawl his way out of the pile.
“That’s the biggest goal I’ve ever scored,” said Beleskey. “It’s a great feeling any time you do that, especially at home. It was a huge goal and it felt unbelievable.”
2. MAY 10, 2015
DUCKS ERASE THIRD PERIOD DEFICIT, ELIMINATE FLAMES IN OT TO ADVANCE TO THE WESTERN CONFERENCE FINAL
Matt Beleskey’s Game 5 OT winner vs. Chicago wasn’t the only dramatic overtime victory for the Ducks in the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs. In a pivotal Game 5 vs. Calgary in the Second Round, the Ducks needed another third-period comeback to keep the game tied. A loss would’ve sent the series back to Calgary for Game 6 in front of a raucous ‘C’ of Red.
After suffering what appeared to be a devastating leg injury in the second period, Corey Perry proved why hockey players are the toughest athletes in professional sports. Perry admitted it “didn’t feel great” when he made knee-on-knee contact with Matt Stajan, but his status was never in question.
“You do anything to come back and help the team win at any part of the season, especially in the playoffs,” Perry said.
Sure enough, it was Perry who slammed home the overtime series-winner 2:26 into the extra frame, a victory that eliminated the Flames and advanced the Ducks to the Western Conference Final for the first time since the club won the Cup in 2007.
1. JANUARY 11, 2015
DUCKS SALUTE THE FINNISH FLASH, CAP OFF NIGHT WITH DRAMATIC VICTORY
On a night which captured the hearts of hockey fans around the world, the Ducks honored the storied career of Teemu Selanne, who became the first player in franchise history to have his jersey retired. And in typical Selanne fashion, the Finnish Flash made sure his route to center ice included a walk down an aisle past his adoring fans.
“This whole journey has been unbelievable,” Selanne said during his speech to the overflow crowd at Honda Center. “I'm so lucky and thankful to have experienced all this.”
As another way to pay homage to Selanne, the players donned every Ducks jersey he wore during his time in Anaheim. The Winnipeg Jets also wore vintage Jets jerseys with Selanne’s name and number on the back, as a tribute to his time with the club.
Banner Raising Ceremony
The Ducks capped off the memorable night with a thrilling comeback victory led by Rickard Rakell’s two-goal, four-point effort. The then-21-year-old tied the game with his second goal of the night with 2:03 remaining in regulation, and it was Selanne’s fellow countryman, Sami Vatanen, who clinched it with a game-deciding shootout goal. His shootout attempt was the first of his career.
“It was really special to see Teemu’s number raised,” said Frederik Andersen, who wore a Teemu-themed goalie mask. “We managed to come back and get him a win. I was really happy about that.”
Selanne's Tribute Video
Giguere honors Selanne
Kurri honors Selanne
McNab honors Selanne
Bettman honors Selanne
Samuelis honor Selanne