Last night, when it looked like the Ducks were cruising to a 3-0 series lead, the Calgary Flames appeared to tie the game in the third period off a shot from Sam Bennett, but it didn’t count. The puck looked to have crossed the goal line but it was hard to tell for sure. Was it a goal, was it not a goal? [Sportsnet]. Thankfully, it didn’t matter, because Johnny Gaudreau, benched just a couple games earlier, found the back of the net to send the game to overtime in the dying seconds of the third. It was done in typical dramatic Flames fashion.
The comparisons to the 2004 disallowed goal quickly came flooding in, which is annoying because the only similarity is the fact that it involved the Flames both times. Thank goodness for Gaudreau’s goal so we didn’t have to hear about this for the rest of eternity. [CBC]. Calgary was completely outmatched in game one, kind of outmatched in game two, but brought a lot more compete in game three. And it paid off. Less than five minutes into the first overtime, on a delayed penalty call, Mikael Backlund scored his first career playoff goal to seal the victory for Calgary.
The series is now 2 games to 1, and as much as I love the Flames story this season, I think last night’s win only prolonged the inevitable. I don’t see the Anaheim Ducks losing three more times. There are so many stretches where the Ducks just flat out dominate play, and I don’t think the Flames will be able to keep up. Can they win the next game, or at least one more game? They certainly have the belief they can, and that goes a long way. But in this series, talent, experience and strength are going to win out, and that all lies with the Ducks.
The other Western Conference series has been far less entertaining, as the Blackhawks took a commanding 3 games to none lead over Minnesota. The only perceived weak link for the Hawks has been goaltending, but Corey Crawford looks to be at the top of his game. And it’s come at the perfect time. [Deadspin]. Similar to the Flames, the Wild have been a great story this season. But Devan Dubnyk and his teammates are running out of time, and I don’t see any way they can somehow steal this series. [National Post]
In other news…
Ray Shero and Dan Bylsma are forever linked together. [Puck Daddy]
Brandon Prust will be fined but not suspended for his comments about referee Brad Watson. [Sportsnet]
The Habs will need more than Carey Price to beat the Lightning. [Wall Street Journal]
Here are your nominees for the Ted Lindsay award. [CTV News]
Jamie Benn is a deserving candidate, winning the Art Ross despite needing hip surgery. [ESPN]
Will Mike Babcock be staying with the Red Wings after all? [Detroit Free Press]
The Kings should consider bringing back Andrej Sekera. [Jewels from the Crown]
Darnell Nurse is headed to the AHL. [Oilers Nation]
Should the Oilers kick tires on Michael Grabner? [Edmonton Journal]
Leafs assistant GM Kyle Dubas discusses the road ahead for the team. [The Leafs Nation]
Is Vladimir Sobotka on his way back to the St. Louis Blues? [Today’s Slap Shot]
Is Guy Boucher soon to return behind an NHL bench? [Canucks Army]
Gary Bettman will testify on the concussion lawsuit. [TSN]
The ice at Nassau Coliseum has been removed for the last time. [The Hockey News]
And finally, check out this new site that has a database of salary cap information. [General Fanager]