WINNIPEG — Rickard Rakell scored the overtime winner to propel the Anaheim Ducks past the Winnipeg Jets 5-4 in Game 3 of their Western Conference Quarterfinal series at MTS Centre Monday night. With the victory, the Ducks take a 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven, pushing the Jets to the brink of elimination.
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Ducks forward Ryan Kesler buried the equalizer with 2:14 to play in the third period marking the third time this series Anaheim has scored with less than five minutes left in the game.
The Jets took a 4-3 lead into the third period thanks to Bryan Little’s first career playoff goal. The forward took advantage of a Cam Fowler giveaway with less than two minutes to play in the second to put Winnipeg in front. Both teams swapped two goals each in the frame prior to Little’s go-ahead goal. Anaheim’s Corey Perry broke a 1-1 tie a little more than three minutes in the period with his third of the series. Winnipeg then scored twice in 2:57 to jump back in front.. The goals came from Tyler Myers and Blake Wheeler. Jakob Silfverberg squared things up 3-3 in the back-half of the frame.
A whiteout helped the Jets storm to an early 1-0 lead less than ten minutes into the game. Lee Stempniak burried his first of the playoffs with assists from Adam Lowry and Jacob Trouba. Ducks defenceman Cam Fowler scored in the dying seconds of the opening period to make it a tie game heading into the second.
More than 15,000 fans packed MTS Centre for Winnipeg’s first playoff game in 19 years. The majority of those in attendance wore white, a tradition that started during the days of the original Jets. The crowd was deafening at times including during the warmup when fans cheered everytime a member of the Jets appeared on the jumbotron and booed whenever the Ducks were shown on the big screen.