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Ducks complete sweep of Flames

Anaheim wins Game 4, advances to Western Conference Second Round

by Aaron Vickers / NHL.com Correspondent

CALGARY -- The Anaheim Ducks became the first team to advance in the Stanley Cup Playoffs when they swept their Western Conference First Round series against the Calgary Flames with a 3-1 win at Scotiabank Saddledome on Wednesday.

 

[WATCH: All Ducks vs. Flames highlights | RELATED: Complete Anaheim vs. Calgary series coverage]

 

"It's big. I think any time you can put a team behind you, you definitely want to take advantage of it," Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf said. "You never want to give life. They're a resilient bunch. They battled right to the end tonight and made us earn it, that's for sure."

Getzlaf, Patrick Eaves and Nate Thompson scored, and John Gibson made 36 saves for the Ducks, who swept a best-of-7 series for the fifth time in their history. They will play the winner of the first-round series between the Edmonton Oilers and San Jose Sharks, which is tied 2-2.

"We obviously got some guys injured now," Gibson said. "I think any time you can get rest and get people healthy, it definitely doesn't hurt."

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

Sean Monahan scored and Chad Johnson made 20 saves for the Flames, who were eliminated by the Ducks in their previous appearance in the Stanley Cup Playoffs in five games (Western Conference Second Round, 2015).

"It [stinks]," Monahan said. "Getting into the playoffs, it's the most fun to play hockey in the playoffs, and you go out in four [games]. It's not a good feeling. We've got a good team here and we've got to get ready to go for next year.

"Right now and throughout the summer, getting swept in four is going to sting. But coming back next year, this is an exciting team to be on."

Eaves scored on Flames starting goalie Brian Elliott from a sharp angle along the boards just below the hashmarks on the Ducks' third shot of the game to take a 1-0 lead 5:38 into the first period. The goal prompted Flames coach Glen Gulutzan to pull Elliott for Johnson.

Elliott, who finished with two saves, allowed five goals on 27 shots in Game 3 and entered Game 4 with a 3.67 goals-against average and .887 save percentage in three playoff starts.

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

"As a goalie, you take pride on giving yourself and your team a chance to win every night," Elliott said. "That [goal] off the bat, I still can't explain how it goes under my pad there. I feel bad. I didn't give our guys a chance right off the bat."

Thompson scored on a rebound to make it 2-0 at 6:46. It was the second shot Johnson faced.

Monahan made it 2-1 at 16:07 of the second period, and Johnson stopped Corey Perry's initial shot from the slot and rebound attempt by Chris Wagner two minutes into the third.

Gulutzan pulled Johnson for an extra attacker with 2:39 remaining, but Gibson stopped two shots before Getzlaf scored to make it 3-1 with 6.7 seconds left.

"You learn from things," Getzlaf said. "We have a lot of guys in this room that have been through a lot of things. We have a lot of young guys too that are learning along the way, but it's our job to settle things down and play the way we did throughout the end of this one."

Video: ANA@CGY, Gm4: Ducks surround Gibson following win

 

Goal of the game

During a crease scramble on the power play, Monahan knocked Kris Versteeg's feed out of mid-air and past Gibson. Monahan finished with four power-play goals in the series.

Video: ANA@CGY, Gm4: Monahan bats in PPG out of midair

 

Save of the game

Gibson stopped Dougie Hamilton's point shot at 18:10 and Micheal Ferland's rebound attempt from the slot at 18:11 of the first period with Eaves' holding penalty expiring to preserve the Ducks' 2-0 lead.

 

Highlight of the game

Gibson got his glove on Versteeg's one-timer with 2:15 remaining and Calgary's net empty. "We expect nothing else from [Gibson]," Getzlaf said. "He's a really good goalie. He's been there all year for us."

Video: ANA@CGY, Gm4: Gibson preserves lead with late save

 

Unsung performance of the game

Kevin Bieksa was plus-2 and had two hits while leading the Ducks defense, which is without Sami Vatanen (upper body) and Cam Fowler (lower body), with 21:35 of ice time.

 

They said it

"I think we just kept getting better and better each game. I think the team that usually gets better, stronger as the playoffs and series goes on, they usually have more success." -- Ducks goaltender John Gibson

 

"You have to tip your hat to the other team sometimes, but we have nothing to be ashamed of. We battled right to the bitter end. As a group, I thought we left everything out there and just came up short." -- Flames captain Mark Giordano

 

"We were able to capitalize on the opportunities that were presented. We had some puck luck, and I thought that in the situations we were presented we took advantage of them." -- Ducks coach Randy Carlyle

 

Video: ANA@CGY, Gm4: Ducks, Flames shake hands at center ice

 

Need to know

The Ducks have won eight straight games dating back to the regular season. … The Flames lost each of the first three games of the series by one goal before losing by two (including an empty-net goal) in Game 4. … Vatanen missed his third straight game.

 

What's next

Ducks: Western Conference Second Round, TBD

Flames: Season over

 

Video: Gibson's 36-save game powers Ducks to series sweep

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