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Rakell's OT goal completes Ducks' rally against Jets

by Patrick Williams /

WINNIPEG -- The Winnipeg Jets are going to have to figure out how to solve the Anaheim Ducks in the third period before they can begin to think about winning the Western Conference First Round.

Anaheim rallied three times before Rickard Rakell scored 5:12 into overtime in a 5-4 win in Game 3 at MTS Centre on Monday.

The Ducks lead the best-of-7 series 3-0. They can complete a series sweep in Game 4 on Wednesday at MTS Centre (9:30 p.m. ET, USA, TVA Sports, SN, FS-W).

Rakell tipped Francois Beauchemin's shot from the right circle past Winnipeg goaltender Ondrej Pavelec.

"We had a good forecheck going there, and [Andrew Cogliano] made a good pass up to [Beauchemin, who] made a great shot to find my blade there, and I just tried to deflect it to the net," Rakell said.

The Jets were nearing their first-ever win in the Stanley Cup Playoffs when Anaheim's Ryan Kesler put Jakob Silfverberg's cross-slot feed past Pavelec with 2:14 left. The Ducks have outscored the Jets 6-0 in the third period in the series.

Along with the three Winnipeg leads, Anaheim had to deal with the MTS Centre crowd. It was the first Stanley Cup Playoff game in Winnipeg since April 28, 1996 when the original Jets franchise finished their 17-season run in this city. The Jets will again lean on their fans in Game 4.

"The energy in the building, that's as good a building as I've ever seen in my life," Jets coach Paul Maurice said. "We had good jump and good legs because of it. We needed it. We used it to good effect for a big chunk of the game."

Said Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau, "Well, it certainly was loud, and it certainly gave (the Jets) energy. I don't know if we handled (the crowd) great or not, but we handled it just enough to survive. Once you get into the game, sometimes you don't hear a lot of that. At the beginning, it was incredible."

Ducks goaltender Frederik Andersen made 31 saves; Pavelec had 26.

Lee Stempniak gave Winnipeg a 1-0 lead 9:38 into the game. Cam Fowler tied it for the Ducks with 6.4 seconds remaining in the first period.

A five-goal second period started when Corey Perry's third goal of the series at 3:08 gave the Ducks their first lead of the game. But Winnipeg defenseman Tyler Myers made it 2-2 with a power-play goal 3:32 later. Blake Wheeler regained Winnipeg's lead 2:57 after Myers' goal.

Silfverberg's second goal of the series with 3:56 left in the second period erased another Winnipeg lead. But 2:14 after Silfverberg's goal, Bryan Little put the Jets back in front.

However, comebacks are nothing new for the Ducks, who won each of the first two games with third-period rallies. Anaheim's 18 regular-season wins when trailing at any point in the third period set an NHL record. The Ducks' 12 wins when trailing after two periods also set a League record.

"We don't stop believing in that [dressing] room," Kesler said. "It has been like that all [season]. To do it in the playoffs in three straight games, it's pretty special and there is something special growing in that room right now."

But the Jets have a different view of the Ducks' comeback ability.

"It's hard to put a finger on it," Little said. "If we knew what it was, we'd fix it. You've got to give them credit, they don't stop. They go right to the end of the game. It almost gets in your head how good they are at it. They've done it to us three [games] in a row now. A couple bounces either way tonight and we could've had a different outcome."

Secondary scoring is helping to drive Anaheim's comebacks. Winnipeg limited the Ducks' top line of Perry, Patrick Maroon and Ryan Getzlaf to one goal, but the third line of Rakell, Silfverberg and Andrew Cogliano took up the scoring burden. Silfverberg had a goal and two assists; Cogliano had three assists.

"We needed it tonight. A third-line guy scoring the winning goal, and you get Silfverberg, Cogliano and Kesler getting in, because I didn't think the Getzlaf line was as good as they were in the first two games," Boudreau said. "If you don't get that secondary scoring, you're not going to win any games."

Winnipeg pounced on Anaheim early. Stempniak, acquired from the New York Rangers before the NHL Trade Deadline, snuck to the front of the net. Rookie Adam Lowry worked the puck to Stempniak, who swept it over the goal line before Andersen could scramble into position.

Anaheim scored its first goal late in the first during a 4-on-4 situation. The Jets could not move the puck out of the defensive zone and Cogliano sent it to Fowler, who snapped a low shot past Pavelec from the left circle.

Hampus Lindholm located Perry alone in front early in the second. Lindholm's backhand pass to the edge of the crease reached Perry, who tapped a shot past Pavelec at 3:08. Perry has three goals and two assists in the series.

The Ducks took a bench minor for too many men on the ice while on a power play at 5:03 of the second period. The Jets had not scored on their first eight power plays of the series until Myers sent a wrist shot on net past Winnipeg forward Michael Frolik's screen that eluded Andersen at 6:40.

Wheeler, who led the Jets with 26 goals in the regular season, made it 3-2 when he picked up a long rebound to the left of the net and sent a shot over Andersen's right shoulder at 9:40 of the second.

Silfverberg, who had the game-winning goal in Game 2, continued his strong series with a goal that made it 3-3.

But Winnipeg got the lead back when Little intercepted Fowler's clearing pass up the middle of the slot before beating Andersen with a high slap shot at 18:18 of the second period. The goal was the first since Feb. 24 for Little, who missed 11 games because of an upper-body injury in March.

After a game that featured 105 hits, Kesler expects that the Jets will provide even more resistance in Game 4.

"[It will be] the hardest-fought game yet," Kesler said. "The fourth [win] is the hardest. As heartbreaking as that was for them to lose in overtime in that fashion, I think that both teams are going to regroup and forget about [this] one and play hard for the fourth one."

Wheeler concurred.

"You've got to make them win four games, so we're sure not going to go down easy," Wheeler said. "You've got to win four games. We have won four in a row before. The first one's going to be the hardest one, apparently. Just lick our wounds tonight. It's going to hurt, obviously. The sun's going to rise tomorrow, and we've got to refocus for Game 4."

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