The Anaheim Ducks took the first round playoff series away from the Dallas Stars on Sunday night in a thrilling 5-4 overtime win — a victory even the most faithful fans in Anaheim doubted for almost 58 minutes of game time.
While Anaheim has boasted the ability to be the “comeback kids” of the NHL, Dallas hit hard and fired a few very meaningful shots to set the tone for the game on Texas ice, taking an early 2-0 lead over the Ducks. And while those comeback kids have certainly proved up to the task of overcoming two-goal deficit before, the pace the Ducks played at for most of the game showed no signs of a comeback.
However, one of hockey’s great qualities is that nothing is ever over until that third period buzzer sounds, and Anaheim’s Nick Bonino and Devante Smith-Pelly reminded the NHL of that as the two forwards scored two goals in two minutes to tie the game at four and force overtime. Bonino would eventually score again for the series-winning goal in the first period of OT.
So what does the Ducks’ ability to come back mean going into the second round of the playoffs?
While all the negative aspects of this game certainly need to be addressed if the Ducks are to survive another round of hockey playoffs, this team’s ability to use every last second to their advantage should be an overwhelming threat to whichever team the Ducks face next. As Dallas learned on Sunday, night no lead, no matter how great or small, is ever safe against the comeback kids.