Ducks put stranglehold on Senators
McDonald collects 3 points to give Anaheim 3-1 series lead
Andy McDonald scored twice and added an assist to lead the visiting Anaheim Ducks to a 3-2 win over the Ottawa Senators on Monday night.
Dustin Penner scored the winner four minutes into the third period, redirecting a Teemu Selanne pass into an open net.
The Ducks take a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven Stanley Cup final, with Game 5 Wednesday in Anaheim (CBC, 8 p.m. ET).
"We have to get ready for the next game," McDonald said. "Hopefully we can use our fans in our own building to get a little bit extra motivated for that next game."
Teams leading 3-1 have won 28 of 29 finals since the best-of-seven format was adopted in 1939. Theexception wasthe 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs, who defeated Detroit.
"We've got to lay it all out there," Senators defenceman Chris Phillips said of Game 5.
Scoring for Ottawa was Daniel Alfredsson and Dany Heatley, with just his second goal in the last 10 games.
It was the 12th one-goal victory for Anaheim in this year's playoffs, matching its own NHL record in 2003 and the Montreal Canadiens in 1993.
Anaheim shut down the Senators after being outshot 13-2 in the first period and posted its second win of the 2007 post-season when forced to play without a suspended Chris Pronger.
Elbow to the head
The Ducks' veteran defenceman wasbarred one game after he elbowed Ottawa forward Dean McAmmond in the head early in the third period of Game 3.
Anaheim also prevailed 5-3 over Detroit in Game 4 of the Western Conference final with Pronger suspended for driving Red Wings winger Tomas Holmstrom's face into the glass.
The Ducks went 6-7-3 without Pronger in the regular season, compared with 42-13-11 with the six-foot-six blue-liner in the lineup.
The rest of the Ducks' defence corps tightened up over the final 40 minutes in Ottawa, limiting the Senators to only 10 shots and 23 overall.
"I think obviously that first period was not the way you're going to win a hockey game in the Stanley Cup final — taking penalties and not playing very smart," Anaheim rearguard Scott Niedermayer told CBC's Scott Oake. "We settled down the last two periods and managed to find a way [to win]."
Asked what was said in the Ducks' dressing room during the first intermission, Niedermayer noted coach Randy Carlyle wasn't impressed by his team's play.
"We just had to regroup, refocus and get ready to come out and play a better period, and we did," said Niedermayer, who had two blocked shots in 29 minutes, 23 seconds of ice time. "We sort of fed off that."
With the game tied 2-2, Penner outskated Ottawa defenceman Wade Redden to the net and beat goaltender Ray Emery for his first goal since Game 3 of a Round 2 series against Vancouver on April 29, a span of 12 games.
Emery, who finished with 18 saves, stopped Corey Perry from in close with six minutes left in the third period to keep the Senators within a goal, but his teammates couldn't take advantage in the final 92 seconds with the netminder pulled for an extra attacker.
"When you get a lead late in the game you can make the other team look fairly inept at times," said Senators coach Bryan Murray. "We had a couple of plays down low but got taken off the puck."
Anaheim goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere kept his team in the game early, making several key saves in the first period and stopping 21 shots on the night.
Trailing 1-0, Anaheim came out a different team to start the second and held an 8-1 advantage in shots in the first eight minutes of the period.
Hit the crossbar
McDonald clanked a shot off the crossbar in the opening three minutes and then hit paydirt midway through the period on a beautiful individual effort.
After taking a Todd Marchant pass at the top of the crease, McDonald froze Emery, hung on to the puck, skated around Senators defenceman Andrej Meszaros and shot the puck off Emery to tie the game 1-1.
"We watched a lot of video on him [Emery] and he comes out pretty far to cut down the angle, so we talked about faking a shot and going around him and it happened to work," McDonald told CBC's Elliotte Friedman.
McDonald notched his fourth goal of the series a minute later when he made a nifty move around Ottawa's Anton Volchenkov and backhanded a shot through Emery's legs.
Heatley pulled the home side even at the 18-minute mark, converting a cross-crease feed from Patrick Eaves, who played in place of McAmmond.
Anaheim left-winger Chris Kunitz, who returned from a broken hand on Saturday, was out of the lineup with an abdominal injury suffered in Game 3.
With files from the Canadian Press