A valiant effort by Karri Ramo was not enough to spoil a storybook game by Corey Perry. The Anaheim Ducks eliminated the Calgary Flames in overtime of Game 5 to advance to the Western Conference Final.
Jiri Hudler, the Flames' leading regular season scorer, finally showed up in the series, breaking the scoreless tie with a slap shot goal at 10:43 of the first period. It was his first goal since Game 6 against the Vancouver Canucks in the first round.
Despite the opening marker, the Ducks thoroughly outchanced the Flames all game long. This culminated in a power play goal by Ryan Kesler early in the second period to tie the game, but the Flames answered a minute later when the Ducks left the slot wide open for Johnny Gaudreau to fire a puck past goalie Frederik Andersen.
Calgary's lead would not last. Anaheim continued to push until Matt Beleskey scored in the third period to tie the game once again. In overtime, Ramo made three excellent stops before Perry dug a goal out of a scrum to send the Ducks to the Western Conference Final, where they will face the Chicago Blackhawks.
3 things we learned
1. Corey Perry almost paid for a series full of antagonisms.
Corey Perry has an amazing ability to make opponents want to shove him or punch him in the face. He's great at annoying people just to the point of drawing a penalty, and the Flames' ire towards him had been building all series long. It almost boiled over and cost Perry the rest of his season when Matt Stajan made a knee-on-knee hit on him late in the second period. Perry came back, but he was clearly not at full power.
And yet, he had enough in him to score the game-winner. Playoffs!
2. Matt Beleskey is quietly Anaheim's hero in this series.
The Ducks forward scored to tie the game in the third period, notching a Ducks record fifth goal in five playoff games. In just five games total last year, Beleskey tallied two goals. It's a marked improvement that has propelled Anaheim in the series.
3. Calgary played with fire all night.
There are two things you generally should not let happen in an elimination game: get outchanced and head to the penalty box too often. Calgary did both in Game 5, getting outshot 47-19 while letting Anaheim score on two of four power play opportunities.