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Ducks overpower Flames in series opener

by Curtis Zupke /

ANAHEIM -- There was no third-period drama between the Calgary Flames and Anaheim Ducks.

Anaheim showed what a week's worth of rest and preparation will do for the top-seeded team from the Western Conference in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Corey Perry had two goals and two assists and Ryan Getzlaf had a goal and three assists to help Anaheim overpower Calgary 6-1 in Game 1 of the Western Conference Second Round on Thursday at Honda Center.

Game 2 of the best-of-7 series is Sunday at Honda Center (10 p.m. ET; CNBC, SN, TVA Sports).

The Ducks played for the first time in eight days after sweeping the Winnipeg Jets in the first round and got right back into playoff mode.

"I felt like our preparation paid off," Getzlaf said. "We came out playing, skated well. And we definitely executed our game plan for the most part."

Perry gave Anaheim leads of 3-0 and 5-0, the latter on a power-play goal 44 seconds into the third period when he took Getzlaf's pass, skated down the left side and beat Flames goalie Karri Ramo. Perry's four points tied his own franchise Stanley Cup Playoffs single-game record set in Game 1 of the first round.

"I thought we had a few great days of practices," Perry said. "We worked hard. We did all the right things. We got prepared. I thought the guys came out and played well in that first period. It could have [gone] either way. But we got that goal to get us going and it definitely paid off."

Getzlaf matched Perry by scoring a power-play goal at 2:32 of the third period for a 6-0 lead. He set a career single-game playoff career high in points and assists as Calgary was exploited by Anaheim's top line.

"Tonight they put on a show," Calgary coach Bob Hartley said. "They came to play, and they're dominant players. They're world-class athletes and they're franchise players, and tonight they really showed it."

The Ducks and Flames were among the NHL leaders in third-period comebacks, but Calgary's lone goal came from rookie Sam Bennett, who scored at 9:16 of the third period when the puck ticked off the skate of Ducks defenseman Francois Beauchemin and onto his stick for a slap shot that ended Ducks goalie Frederik Andersen's bid for his first playoff shutout.

Things couldn't have gone much worse for Calgary, which pulled goalie Jonas Hiller early in the second period after he allowed three goals on 14 shots in his first playoff game against his former team. The Flames also lost left wing Micheal Ferland and right wing Jiri Hudler to undisclosed injuries, and left wing Johnny Gaudreau was rested in the third.

Hartley said Ferland and Hiller were day-to-day and will be evaluated Friday.

Including the playoffs, Calgary has lost 20 straight games at Honda Center since winning Game 3 of their first-round series in 2006.

"Obviously we have to come together as a team and figure out why it happened," Calgary center Sean Monahan said. "I think we figured out why early and they played well. We're looking at it right now as they're up in the series 1-0 and we're going to do everything to make it 1-1 going back to Calgary."

Hiller, who spent seven seasons with Anaheim before signing with Calgary as a free agent last summer, said the Flames have to chalk this one up as a lesson learned.

"You kind of have to check it off and look forward and kind of learn from it," he said. "I think everybody in here knows [that]. Nobody was happy with their game, so everybody has to step it up. Normally, we're the team that outworks the opponent. But I think we got outworked, and that way, it's tough to win."

The second period has been Anaheim's weakness all season, but Perry and Emerson Etem scored to give the Ducks a 4-0 lead after 40 minutes.

Perry was left unguarded to skate from behind the net to the left side and scored easily 2:13 into the second period, prompting Hiller's removal. At 10:11, Etem put in a loose puck off Beauchemin's shot, with Tim Jackman creating traffic in front, for his second goal in as many games.

Matt Beleskey and Maroon gave Anaheim a 2-0 lead after one period.

Beleskey tapped in a deft pass by Kyle Palmieri from behind the goal line at 10:17 after the Ducks penned the Flames in their zone. Maroon chipped Getzlaf's backhand pass from the corner past Hiller at 13:11 after the top line cycled down low and Maroon outmuscled Matt Stajan in front of the net.

Anaheim killed nearly three minutes of Calgary power-play time in the opening 10 minutes because of cross-checking and high-sticking penalties by Perry, and Andersen stopped Josh Jooris on a breakaway early in the game.

"The save was a big thing for us that got us going," Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau said. "We came out with a lot of energy, but if that puck goes in, I think it's a whole different ballgame. It changes the complexion of everything."

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