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Perry leads Ducks to comeback win vs. Jets

by Curtis Zupke /

ANAHEIM -- When the Anaheim Ducks have their best players performing to their standard, they are difficult to stop. When they have their power play clicking on top of that, they can grind out wins as well as any team in the NHL.

Corey Perry scored twice in the third period to rally Anaheim to a 4-2 win against the Winnipeg Jets in Game 1 of the Western Conference First Round at Honda Center on Thursday.

Perry's second goal was the game-winner; it came when he drove to the net and attempted a backhand that was initially stopped by Jets goalie Ondrej Pavelec before Perry tapped it in at 13:21. The play was originally called no goal on the ice; however, after the next stop in play, a video review determined that the puck had crossed the goal line.

"I had a good feeling," Perry said when asked if he thought before the review that he had scored. "His pad was back over the line. On the second shot, I thought, for sure. From that angle of it, it was over the line. It's always nice to hear the refs say it's a good goal."

Perry's two goals and two assists tied a franchise single-game playoff point record; the second assist came on Ryan Getzlaf's power-play goal with 3:05 remaining. Anaheim, which entered the game in a 1-for-23 rut on the power play, scored two extra-man goals for the first time since its previous game against the Jets on Jan. 11. The Ducks also went 3-for-3 killing penalties.

"In the end, special teams won the game for us," Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau said. "That hasn't happened too often to us this year."

Getzlaf's goal capped a three-goal third period for the Ducks, who led the NHL during the regular season by winning 12 games in which they trailed after 40 minutes.

"We've done this all year," Perry said of his team's third-period comeback. "We keep playing the same way all season. It doesn't change just because of the playoffs. You have to [work] harder, but it doesn't change."

Game 2 of the best-of-7 series is Saturday (10:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TVA Sports, SN, PRIME).

It was the first playoff game for the Winnipeg franchise since 2007, when it was known as the Atlanta Thrashers. The teams combined for 83 hits in what is expected to be one of the more physical series of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

"They're a team that's first in the West for a reason, and we know it's going to be a long, hard series," Winnipeg captain Andrew Ladd said. "We'll get better next game."

Perry tied it 2-2 with a power-play goal 69 seconds into the third period when tapped in a loose puck that came to him at the right side. Ryan Kesler earned the power play late in the second period when he goaded Jets center Mark Scheifele into an after-the-whistle roughing penalty.

Getzlaf gave his linemate Perry good grades.

"He didn't cheat. He didn't go for goals when he shouldn't," Getzlaf said. "He played a good, honest hockey game and took pucks to the net. He was a factor every time on the ice and that's great."

Winnipeg coach Paul Maurice and his players were pleased with their first two periods. Maurice didn't feel Anaheim's power play was momentum-changing, and said he felt his team handled the emotional swings well considering the high intensity of their final regular-season games.

"In some ways it's quite a bit less devastating than some of those losses that we faced two or three weeks ago," Maurice said. "We weren't figuring this [playoff run] would be 16-0 or 4-0 [in this series]. They're a good team. [It's] their first game at home. We expect the best out of them. There was a lot more good [from] the game for us than the final result."

Defenseman Tyler Myers said that they have their hands full with Getzlaf and Perry.

"Those two guys are key guys and we're going to have to make sure we know when they're on," Myers said.

The Ducks leaned on goalie Frederik Andersen early in the second period, and he made a big save on Chris Thorburn to keep the Ducks within a goal before Anaheim came on strong late.

Winnipeg took a 2-1 lead on Drew Stafford's wrist shot to finish a 3-on-2 rush at 5:00 of the second period. It was one of several scoring chances early in the second for the Jets, who couldn't take further advantage of a typically poor middle period for Anaheim.

Ducks defenseman Sami Vatanen scored 1:57 into the game, beating Pavelec on a point shot with Emerson Etem in front of the net. Getzlaf began the possession when he bumped Ladd off the puck and got it to Perry, who set up Vatanen.

Winnipeg responded quickly when Adam Lowry one-timed Mark Stuart's pass behind Andersen at 2:46. The Jets transitioned quickly in the neutral zone and Andersen appeared out of position.

Perry passed Teemu Selanne for second on Anaheim's all-time playoff assist list (35). Selanne, who began his NHL career in Winnipeg, was in attendance and drew loud cheers when he was shown on the video board.

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