Wednesday's roundup: Ducks sweep Jets

Associated Press

Winnipeg, Manitoba — The Anaheim Ducks wiped out the Winnipeg Jets in front of another raucous whiteout crowd.

Ryan Kesler (Livonia) scored twice in the third period and Anaheim beat Winnipeg 5-2 on Wednesday night to sweep the Western Conference first-round series.

"Obviously it's a building that I know, so it's nice to come back here and be successful," said Kesler, who played two seasons in Winnipeg for the Manitoba Moose in Vancouver's farm system.

"Amazing, especially when they're heckling at you and they're booing you. Obviously, I wanted to silence this crowd tonight, and that's what we did."

Andrew Cogliano, Emerson Etem and Sam Vatanen — into an empty net — also scored, and Frederik Andersen made 25 saves. The Ducks are the first team to advance to the second round.

"I never thought it would be 4-0 in my wildest dreams," Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said. "I thought it would be a six, or seven-game series."

Anaheim will face Calgary or Vancouver in the second round. Calgary leads that series 3-1.

"We didn't come here to win one series," Kesler said. "We came here for the whole thing."

Bryan Little and Mark Stuart scored for Winnipeg.

The Jets/Atlanta Thrashers franchise remains without a playoff victory through 15 seasons of its existence. The only previous playoff appearance was in 1999 in Atlanta, a sweep at the hands of the New York Rangers.

"They scored key goals at key times and made big plays when they needed to, and we couldn't get one to go," Jets captain Andrew Ladd, said. "It's an empty feeling, you don't know what to do. No one said winning the Cup or playing in the playoffs was easy."

Amid more chants of "Katy Perry! Katy Perry!" from Jets fans, Ducks star Corey Perry had two more assists to reach six points in the series.

"We've got All-Stars, we've got all-world players in our dressing room and everyone just feeds off of it," Etem said. "We've got a great mix of older veterans and young guys and the younger guys just feed off of Kes, and obviously Corey and Ryan (Getzlaf). They set the tone each and every game, you know they're going to show up and it's our job to follow them."

Winnipeg opened the scoring Little's power-play goal with 3:34 left in the first period. Anaheim tied it on Etem's goal with 2:08 left in the period.

After an ineffective Winnipeg power play in which it failed to get a shot on goal, the Ducks used more of their slick skill to take the lead. Hampus Lindholm's drop pass to Perry got the puck in the hands of Anaheim's best playmaker, and he the Jets' Dustin Byfuglien and fed Cogliano for the go-ahead goal at 12:55 of the second.

For the first time all series, the Jets didn't take a lead into the second intermission. It didn't matter, as they couldn't get into any third-period rhythm and gave up a goal to Kesler at the 6:41 mark to fall behind 3-1.

MTS Centre was full of nervous energy and generally quiet for most of the third, until the TV timeout at the 10:24 mark. Three seconds later the place erupted when Stuart's point shot beat Andersen to cut it to 3-2.

Kesler made it 4-2 on a 2-on-1 rush with 4:49 left.

"Anaheim was better than we were in this series," Jets coach Paul Maurice said. "There's luck in a game maybe in the series, but over a potential seven-game series the best team almost always wins, and they were better than we were."

N.Y. Rangers 2, (at) Pittsburgh 1 (OT): Kevin Hayes scored at 3:14 of overtime to give the Rangers a victory over the Penguins in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference first-round series.

The Rangers lead the series 3-1 heading back to New York for Game 5 on Friday night.

In overtime, Martin St. Louis started a goalmouth scramble when he threw the puck in front on a wraparound attempt. The puck pinballed to Carl Hagelin and went across the crease for Hayes to flip it past fallen goalie Marc-Andre Fleury. The point was Hayes' first in the postseason.

New York's Derick Brassard tied it at 1 with 2:45 left in the second period with his third goal of the series. Patric Hornqvist opened the scoring at 2:22 of the first period.

Fluery and New York's Henrik Lundqvist each made 22 saves.

Pittsburgh is a loss away from elimination after dropping consecutive home playoff games to the NHL's best regular-season road team. The Rangers have won 12 of their last 13 on the road, allowing 15 goals.

(At) Ottawa 1, Montreal 0: Mike Hoffman scored midway through the third period and Ottawa beat Montreal to avoid elimination.

Craig Anderson made 28 saves to help the Senators' cut Montreal's lead to 3-1 in the Eastern Conference first-round series. Carey Price stopped 31 shots for the Canadiens.

Senators coach Dave Cameron moved Hoffman from the fourth line to the second unit with Mika Zibanejad and Bobby Ryan during the first period. It paid off in the third when Cody Ceci kept Tom Gilbert's clearing attempt in at the point and fed Hoffman in the left circle for quick shot that beat Price.

Only four teams have come back to win when trailing 0-3 in a series: Toronto in 1942, the New York Islanders in 1975, Philadelphia in 2010 and Los Angeles in 2014.

Game 5 is Friday night in Montreal.

St. Louis 6, (at) Minnesota 1: Vladimir Tarasenko scored twice and the revived St. Louis Blues sent Minnesota goalie Devan Dubnyk to an early exit and thoroughly dominated the Wild to even the Western Conference quarterfinal series 2-2.

Kevin Shattenkirk had three assists and Jake Allen made 17 saves to help the Blues end a nine-game postseason road losing streak that lasted more than three years.

Patrik Berglund had a goal and an assist, and David Backes and Paul Stastny scored for the first time in the series. So did fourth-line right wing Ryan Reaves, whose one-timer from the point got past Dubnyk's glove to give the Blues the early lead.

Dubnyk gave up six goals on 17 shots and was pulled with 3:10 left in the second period.

Jared Spurgeon scored for Minnesota.

Game 5 is in St. Louis on Friday night.