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Corey Perry completes Ducks' improbable rally

Anaheim comes back against Flames after trailing by three goals

by Lisa Dillman @reallisa / NHL.com Staff Writer

CALGARY -- The look of disbelief on Anaheim Ducks forward Corey Perry's face was priceless.

Shortly after he scored at 1:30 of overtime to give the Ducks a 5-4 win against the Calgary Flames in Game 3 of the Western Conference First Round at Scotiabank Saddledome on Monday, the media crowded around Perry in the dressing room. Just before the first question, a Ducks official mentioned Perry was a franchise record plus-5 in the game.

"What?" Perry said.

Perry paused and added, "It doesn't matter to me. I don't care."

 

[RELATED: Complete Ducks vs. Flames series coverage]

 

Anaheim, which trailed 4-1 before rallying to win Game 3, holds a 3-0 lead in the best-of-7 series. Game 4 will be played at Scotiabank Saddledome on Wednesday (10 p.m. ET; USA, CBC, TVA Sports, PRIME).

Perry moved on about as quickly as he got off the shot to win it. His shot went in off the backside of Flames defenseman Michael Stone and past goaltender Brian Elliott.

There were plenty of other numbers to celebrate than an eye-popping plus/minus figure. This was the first time in Ducks history they rallied from three goals down to win a Stanley Cup Playoff game.

For nearly two periods, the Flames were dominating and led 4-1. Then late in the second period, it was as though the venue shifted and the Flames were playing like they were back at Honda Center in Anaheim; you know, the place where everything that can go wrong has gone wrong for the Flames.

But this happened in their own rink on Monday.

"We were completely dominating the game," Flames defenseman Mark Giordano said. "We've got to rebound better from them scoring goals. They get to within two, and I thought in the third period we didn't have enough push or drive.

"You do so many good things, but it's those key moments in the game … a 4-1 game you've to close it out. No excuses."

Elliott said, "I have to own that. Not an easy one. Especially personally. I didn't feel I played very well. I let the team down a little bit."

Video: ANA@CGY, Gm3: Perry beats Elliott for Gm3 OT win

During the regular season, the Flames were 33-0 in games in which they led after two periods. Ducks defenseman Shea Theodore, who scored twice, made it 4-2 at 19:11 of the second period. Nate Thompson pulled them within a goal at 11:14 of the third and Theodore tied it 4-4 at 15:39. They were the first two playoff goals for Theodore, who was given a larger role after defenseman Cam Fowler injured his knee in the final week of the regular season.

"He played well," Perry said. "He's the guy that stepped in in place of Cam and really took off. He's the guy, he's shooting the puck hard, playing well on defensive side, getting the puck up to the forwards. That's what you ask."

Theodore said, "I'm not really too sure how that first one went in … kind of a lucky bounce. Even on the second one, I got a nice D-to-D pass, and I just threw it on the net. I felt like we came into one of the intermissions and kind of regrouped ourselves, got ourselves back on track and we finished the game pretty strong. We know no matter how many we're down, we can fight our way back and get back on track."

Ducks coach Randy Carlyle made several important in-game adjustments. After the Flames' fourth goal, he pulled starting goaltender John Gibson and replaced him with Jonathan Bernier at 8:33 of the second period. Gibson faced 16 shots and allowed four goals.

"It's playoffs," Bernier said. "You've just got to keep working, keep doing the right thing and like I mentioned, we found a way. It's tough to explain. We know we have a good team. We came in between the third and OT, we just said it's up there, it's up for grabs and we found a way."

Additionally, Carlyle moved Thompson up from the fourth line to the third line, putting him with Perry and Rickard Rakell.

Thompson, who had one goal and one assist in 30 regular-season games, surpassed that total on Monday. He had three points (one goal, two assists), and had to wait for a long video review of his goal.

"I was a little nervous," Thompson said. "I was just praying a little bit the hockey gods would pull through there."

Video: ANA@CGY, Gm3: Thompson tips point shot past Elliott

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