Ducks lean on Frederik Andersen in net as Flames opt for Karri Ramo

Anaheim Ducks goalie Frederik Andersen stops a shot during the Ducks' 6-1 win over the Calgary Flames in Game 1 of the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs on Thursday.
Anaheim Ducks goalie Frederik Andersen stops a shot during the Ducks' 6-1 win over the Calgary Flames in Game 1 of the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs on Thursday. (Jae C. Hong / AP)

Ponder this statistic: Nine teams have used two goalies in the NHL playoffs, and the second round has barely started.

Baseball's pitching rotation meets hockey's goalie shuffle.


The rather incredible thing is that the Ducks are not one of the nine teams. They were practically the musical chairs of goaltenders in the playoffs last season, using Jonas Hiller, Frederik Andersen and then rookie John Gibson.

Now Andersen has seized the job and isn't letting go, helped by circumstance and sheer excellence, going 5-0 in the playoffs with a goals-against average of 1.97 and save percentage of .930.

The Ducks beat the Flames, 6-1, in Game 1 of the second round of the playoffs, and Andersen came within half a period of recording his first playoff shutout.

Team Stability, thy name is Ducks.

Meanwhile, the Flames are rearranging their stable. Coach Bob Hartley said Karri Ramo will start Game 2 on Sunday. Hiller was the starter for Game 1 but was pulled in favor of Ramo early in the second period.

The playoff-perfect Ducks have had no need to ponder such decisions, and forward Andrew Cogliano said this postseason approach has benefited Andersen in terms of comfort and not approaching every game like it is "life or death."

"I think it helps," said Cogliano of the goalie stability. "The players don't read too much into it. It helps for the goalie to know if he has a bad game or a bad period or two, he's not looking over his shoulder.

"Now Gibby is a great goalie, and he's very capable of stepping in at any time," he added, on backup John Gibson. "That's a nice luxury to have as well. I think Freddie is doing well, and I think he needs to continue to do that.

"He's got a different mind-set right now. I can tell. He's done a good job of blocking things out, keeping things focused, and I think it's showing."

Ducks goalie consultant Dwayne Roloson discussed Andersen's evolution and ability to make the right save at the right juncture.

"It doesn't matter if it's this series or any series. It's the timely saves, when the saves happened," Roloson said. "From my Oiler days, it could be 10-9 games, but it was the timely saves Fuhrsie [Grant Fuhr] made to keep the game close and to give the guys a chance to win."

Andersen's timely save on Thursday didn't come in a wild, high-scoring game. His defining moment of Game 1 came a little more than two minutes into a scoreless contest when Josh Jooris had a breakaway and was denied trying to beat Andersen between the pads.

"I think it's been like that the whole playoffs," Andersen said. "You've just got to make those saves at the right times, the big moments. After that, we played really well. It's nice to be able to continue with a big save like that.

"It's nice to get into the game like that. I don't look to make big saves. I just take what comes at me."


That prevented the upstart Flames from getting an early lift and the chance to quiet the Honda Center crowd. The Ducks led 2-0 after the first period and 4-0 after two periods, but Ducks center Ryan Kesler still felt the need to address an issue between periods, according to teammate Matt Beleskey.

"We come in here after the second, and Kes sits everyone down and pretty much tells us we've got to stop playing loosely," said Beleskey, who scored the game's first goal. "We were kind of loose at the end of the second, and he sets the tone right at the beginning of intermission, settles everyone down.

"He's not that vocal. You watch him on the ice. You watch his dedication, the way he works, he sets the tone that way. But when he pipes up and says something like that, everyone's listening, It was a good point. We needed to settle it down."

Captain Ryan Getzlaf and linemate Corey Perry combined for four points in the third period for the Ducks. Overall, they had eight points in Game 1, four each.

"I always tell people I have the best seat in the house watching those guys on the ice," said Ducks center Nate Thompson, who returned for Game 1 after missing the first round because of an undisclosed injury. "They're both special players. When they're on their A game, there's not many guys or teams that can stop them."

Said Coach Bruce Boudreau: "This year, more than any other year, they've realized that it's their team. Getzy's been the captain for a while, but there was always Teemu [Selanne] and Saku [Koivu] around.

"They understand that, 'Hey, we've got to be the leaders. We've got to be the guys that show what we can do, and players will follow.' I've told both of them that many times this year, that when they're playing their best, our players will just follow their lead. I think they've really taken it seriously in this playoff, and they've both been very good, for the most part, for the five games we've played so far."

Injury updates

Hartley offered an update on one of his two injured players, saying he expected Micheal Ferland would be available for Game 2. The Flames held an optional practice Friday, and there was no update regarding the status of Jiri Hudler, their leading scorer in the regular season. Hudler was injured in the second period and did not return.

Rookie forward Johnny Gaudreau stayed on the bench for the final few minutes of the second and the entire third period. Hartley did this because he felt the Ducks were taking "liberties" and acknowledged Gaudreau was "not happy" with sitting.

"Johnny wants to be on the ice," Hartley said. "As much as he's not a big-size player, but my job as head coach of the Calgary Flames is to do what's best for the organization in those times, and what was best last night was to keep him on the bench. There was no sense exposing him out there."

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