Perry extinguishes Flames, Ducks head to conference finals
One could argue that Corey Perry shouldn’t have even been on the ice after suffering a lower-body injury in the second period of Game 5. That’s the funny thing about sports, though: sometimes the guy on a bum leg makes the biggest difference.
The Anaheim Ducks kept pouring on chances in overtime, but Karri Ramo wouldn’t let the Calgary Flames die without the fight that was a staple of their surprising season. Ultimately, Perry punched in that final chance, winning in 3-2 in overtime to close the Flames out in five games.
Fittingly, the strong-closing Ducks finished this series with yet another third-period comeback, as Matt Beleskey scored his fifth goal of the series to tie things up 2-2.
With that, Bruce Boudreau heads to his first career postseason conference final series in his otherwise dazzling coaching career. It won’t be easy, mind you, as the Ducks get home-ice advantage but the Chicago Blackhawks hold the big-time game experience edge (at least if you consider this the “Boudreau Ducks”).
Perry scored that electric game-winner, but how healthy is he, really?
The good news for the Ducks is that he’ll get some time to heal up until that series against Chicago ... assuming a few extra days would make a difference.
The Flames put together an effort that was a decent testament to their unlikely ups. Ramo was excellent (44 saves), which fits in with their streaky goaltending. More typical: Jiri Hudler and Johnny Gaudreau made big plays.
They just didn’t do enough, and now Calgary approaches an offseason in which they ponder what to do next.
Speaking of what’s next: do you take the West’s top seed (Ducks) or arguably the gold standard franchise (Blackhawks)? Either way, hockey fans are in for a treat.