Sports

Kesler helps Ducks complete sweep of Jets

Winnipeg, MB (SportsNetwork.com) - The Ducks came into an intimidating building on the road and finished off a four-game sweep behind two clutch goals from Ryan Kesler.

Kesler, who sent Game 3 into overtime with a late tally, scored a pivotal goal with just under five minutes to play as Anaheim advanced to the Western Conference semifinals with a 5-2 victory over the Winnipeg Jets on Wednesday.

Sami Vatanen supplied a goal and an assist, Emerson Etem and Andrew Cogliano also lit the lamp and Frederik Andersen made 25 saves for the Ducks, who completed their fourth postseason sweep and will face either Calgary or Vancouver in the next round.

"I never expected this series to go 4-0. The difference for us was our response throughout the series," Anaheim head coach Bruce Boudreau said. "Every time they scored a goal, we responded. That showed me determination. We were always able to respond."

Bryan Little scored and also assisted on Mark Stuart's marker, while Ondrej Pavelec allowed four goals on 34 shots for the Jets, who fell to 0-8 in postseason franchise history.

"Anaheim was better than we were in this series," Winnipeg head coach Paul Maurice said. "We were a whole hell of a lot better than we were last year at this time."

Anaheim took the lead for good with 7:05 left in the second. Corey Perry received a drop pass from Hampus Lindholm and breezed past Dustin Byfuglien with a toe-drag move. Cogliano took a pass from Perry from the side of the net and beat Pavelec top-shelf.

Skating into the Winnipeg zone on a 3-on-1, Tomas Fleischmann sent a cross-ice pass to Simon Despres, who had his shot in tight stopped by Pavelec. Kesler was there to knock the rebound into an open net for a 3-1 advantage 6:41 into the third.

Stuart made things interesting for the Jets after his point shot off a faceoff win deflected off a defender in front and past Andersen midway through the third.

Following a big Andersen stop, the Ducks broke out on an odd-man rush. Kesler took a pass from Jakob Silfverberg and snapped a shot over Pavelec's shoulder to silence the crowd and seal Winnipeg's fate.

Vatanen added an empty-net tally with 27 seconds remaining to account for the final score.

The Jets opened the scoring with a power-play goal. After Cogliano went off for tripping, Mathieu Perreault entered the offensive zone up the left side and sent a pass to Little, who stickhandled into the left circle and wristed a shot over Andersen with 3:34 left in the opening stanza.

Etem countered just over a minute later with a terrific individual effort. He raced through the neutral zone, effortlessly deked around Jets defenseman Jacob Trouba and capped the impressive sequence by tapping a smooth backhander over the glove of Pavelec.

Game Notes

The Ducks swept Detroit and Minnesota during the 2003 playoffs and Colorado in 2006 ... Kesler recorded his fourth career multi-goal playoff game ... Perry supplied two assists ... Anaheim outscored Winnipeg 10-1 in the third period during the series ... Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper was in attendance at MTS Centre.