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Game 4 Player To Watch: Johnny Gaudreau

by Torie Peterson / Calgary Flames

CALGARY, AB -- Heading into Game 3, Johnny Gaudreau was aware of the scrutiny on he and his linemates.

The Calgary Flames top line -- comprised of Gaudreau, Sean Monahan, and Jiri Hudler -- had been limited to just two points in the opening two games of the Stanley Cup Playoffs quarter-final series vs. the Vancouver Canucks.

The Canucks were able to stifle the trio, holding them to the perimeter and disrupting plays before quality scoring chances could develop.

They didn't look like the line that combined 95 points over the final 33 games of the regular season.

But, in Game 3, the diminutive winger looked very much like the Gaudreau fans were used to seeing in the regular season.

He regularly tested the patience of Canucks defencemen by dangling and dancing through Vancouver's zone, was setting up his linemates on a regular basis, nearly beat Eddie Lack with a sneaky shot from a sharp angle that bounced off the iron, and ended up collecting his second point of the series with an assist on Monahan's third period power play.

In 18:31 of ice time, the 21-year-old was credited with three shots, one hit, one takeaway, and one blocked shot.

If Gaudreau can carry the momentum over from Game 3, the Flames could greatly benefit from his offensive prowess and nab a 3-1 series lead on Tuesday night.

"It's still the same game,” Gaudreau said earlier in the series. "We've got to play the same way we've been playing all season long. It's a new experience for us but at the same time we're playing the same game that we've been playing our whole lives.

"We just have to make sure we start to produce offence a little bit more."

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