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Ducks stun Jets on Silfverberg's last-minute goal

by Curtis Zupke / NHL.com

ANAHEIM -- Jakob Silfverberg had not put a shot on goal in more than 59 minutes. His first one found the back of the net.

That's how it's gone all season for the Anaheim Ducks, who continued their third-period magic Saturday when Silfverberg scored with 21 seconds left in the third for a 2-1 win against the Winnipeg Jets in Game 2 of the Western Conference First Round at Honda Center.

The Ducks lead the best-of-7 series 2-0, with Game 3 scheduled for Monday (9 p.m. ET; NHLN-US, NBCSN, TVA, SN, PRIME) at MTS Centre.

It was the second straight game that Anaheim came back to win after entering the third period down a goal. The Ducks won 4-2 in Game 1 after they trailed 2-1 in the third.

"We've been like this all year and for us to be like that, I mean, it's unbelievable," forward Patrick Maroon said. "The way we come in here so calm in the second, going into the third. We just know we have it in us, and I thought we did it again tonight. I thought we put [forth] a great effort, first, second and third [period]."

Silfverberg grabbed the puck behind the goal line with Bryan Little defending, skated into the lower left circle and beat Jets goalie Ondrej Pavelec to the short side with a wrist shot. Ryan Kesler cycled the puck back for Silfverberg to retrieve.

It was a familiar scenario for Anaheim, which set an NHL single-season record with 18 wins when trailing at any point in the third period and was an NHL-best 12-23-0 when trailing after two periods during the regular season.

"We've managed to do it a lot of times this year, but we've said it before, it's not something you can get used to," Silfverberg said. "You can't always be down in third. It's going to bite us back at some point, but for now it's been working for us."

Maroon tied it 1-1 when Cam Fowler's power-play shot deflected off him and into the net at 10:43 of the third. Jets captain Andrew Ladd was serving a high-sticking penalty for striking Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf in the neutral zone.

"He's the heart and soul of our team and there's been games where he's willed us to wins and put the team on his back," Winnipeg forward Adam Lowry said of Ladd. "Obviously we know he's disappointed that he took that penalty. That's tough for him to have to sit there and watch. It's unfortunate that we weren't able to pick him up in that instance."

The Jets will go home for the franchise's first playoff game since 2007, when it was known as the Atlanta Thrashers, and the first in Winnipeg since 1996, when the original Jets moved to Arizona after losing a first-round series to the Detroit Red Wings. They expect a raucous atmosphere at a sold-out MTS Centre, but they knew they had a golden chance for a split.

"Steep hill," Ladd said. "They've got to win two more, we've got to win four more. So a little steeper than theirs, but there's a long way to go."

Pavelec made 37 saves and kept Anaheim scoreless through 49 minutes. He stopped Maroon and Matt Beleskey on partial breakaways and made a left-pad save on Andrew Cogliano in the third period.

Pavelec also took a positive outlook but shot from the hip when he said, "We have to win the next one if we want to have a chance to do something. It's going to be tough. That's a real road-game team. But we are all excited to go back to Winnipeg and play at MTS Centre. It's going to be wild over there, and we'll see what happens."

Defenseman Adam Pardy gave the Jets a 1-0 lead with his first career goal in the Stanley Cup Playoffs and first NHL goal since Jan. 26, 2011.

Pardy, inserted in place of Ben Chiarot, skated around Ducks right wing Kyle Palmieri down the left side and banked in a wraparound shot off teammate Lee Stempniak's skate at 15:43 of the second period. Kesler pushed Stempniak into the net with Ducks goalie Frederik Andersen seated on the goal line.

The goal was reviewed and upheld on Rule 69.1, which states that, "If an attacking player has been pushed, shoved, or fouled by a defending player so as to cause him to come into contact with the goalkeeper, such contact will not be deemed contact initiated by the attacking player for purposes of this rule, provided the attacking player has made a reasonable effort to avoid such contact."

Pardy fell to the ice in a heap with his teammates in celebration, but it didn't matter after 60 minutes.

"It's good, but not that good," Pardy said. "I'd rather have the win."

Jets players and coach Paul Maurice had no explanation for the third-period letdowns. Pardy credited Anaheim for its ability to prevail in the clutch, and even Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau again pointed to having the belief that they can come from behind.

His players agreed.

"It's something, for whatever reason, we've had a lot of experience with this season," Cam Fowler said. "Whether it's protecting a one-goal lead or pushing to get a goal back. It definitely helps to have some regular season experience to fall back on when you find yourself in those situations. We're a confident group. We believe no matter what."

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Ducks are the first team in NHL history to take a 2-0 series lead when trailing at the start of the third period in each of the first two games.

Anaheim center Chris Wagner left the game with an upper-body injury in the first period. Winnipeg forward Mathieu Perreault returned after missing Game 1 with a lower-body injury.

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