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Jets blow lead, take penalties and lose Game 1 to Ducks on Perry's goal

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ANAHEIM, Calif. - In the physicality and pace departments, the Winnipeg Jets showed they were playoff-ready. They just weren't able to handle the playoff-tested, comeback-loving Anaheim Ducks.

The Jets took it to the Ducks but blew a lead and fell into penalty trouble to lose Game 1 of their first-round series 4-2 Thursday night at Honda Center.

Corey Perry scored the tying goal on the power play and then the winner later in the third period, only after a minute played and video review confirmed the puck went in the net.

Adam Lowry and Drew Stafford scored for the Jets, and goaltender Ondrej Pavelec stopped 29 of the 33 shots he faced.

In addition to Perry's two, Sami Vatanen and captain Ryan Getzlaf scored for Anaheim. Frederik Andersen finished with 24 saves.

Game 2 is Saturday night in Anaheim before the series turns to Winnipeg.

Despite the long layoff from the end of the regular season Saturday until Game 1, the Jets and Ducks were amped up from the start of warm-ups and came out flying. The pace was quick right away leading to two quick goals.

Less than two minutes in, Vatanen's seemingly innocent shot deflected off the inside of Jets defenceman Ben Chiarot's left skate and past Pavelec to give the Ducks a 1-0 lead. It didn't last long.

Two players each skating his second shift in the Stanley Cup playoffs made sure the Jets responded quickly. Lowry redirected Jacob Trouba's centring pass on the rush in 49 seconds after Vatanen's goal to tie the score at 1.

Punishing the Ducks every time they got the puck, the Jets were the aggressors despite a deficiency of playoff experience. They had chances to take the lead on a mid-first-period power play and were fortunate that Pavelec got the shaft of his stick on a shot from Ryan Kesler to keep Anaheim from going ahead.

Five minutes into the second period, Stafford made it 2-1. With Mark Scheifele screening Andersen, Stafford beat him short side.

With plenty of chances to build on that lead, the Jets couldn't score on a three-on-two rush when Andersen stopped Chris Thorburn. Then they had scary moments, like when the puck almost went in off Mark Stuart's skate before Pavelec covered up.

After playing disciplined, physical hockey for the first 39 minutes, a roughing penalty on Scheifele with 32.5 seconds left in the second paved the way for Anaheim's second goal of the night. Perry put back a loose puck in front 1:09 into the third period for the Ducks' first power-play goal since March 24.

Chiarot took a high-sticking penalty in the third, and while the Jets weren't perfect they managed to survive the two minutes. Killing is nothing new to the second-most-penalized team in the NHL during the regular season.

At the 13:21 mark of the third period, Perry put his arms in the air when he thought his back-handed shot beat Pavelec, but play continued. At the next stoppage, after a Ducks penalty was called, video review revealed the puck crossed the line.

Even though there was more than a minute put back on the clock, by rule Stoner's penalty counted. The Jets couldn't take advantage, and a late penalty on Michael Frolik gave Anaheim another chance.

Getzlaf's power-play goal at 16:55 sealed it. It was the Ducks' first game with two power-play goals since Jan. 11.

Notes ??? Jets forward Mathieu Perreault was scratched with a lower-body injury. ... Three players the Ducks acquired before the trade deadline (defenceman James Wisniewski and forwards Tomas Fleischmann and Jiri Sekac) were healthy scratches. ... Former Toronto Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle was on hand to watch the Jets, who he played for, and the Ducks, who he coached to the Cup in 2007. ... Former Jets and Ducks winger Teemu Selanne was also in attendance, watching in a suite with former Anaheim teammate George Parros. Selanne's No. 8 is the only one retired by Anaheim.

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