ANAHEIM, Calif. — Travis Moen helped shut down Ottawa’s big three, then scored a goal that trio would have been proud of.
Moen, part of Anaheim’s primary checking unit, took a pass in the slot from Rob Niedermayer and snapped the puck past Ray Emery with 2:51 left in the third period, giving the Ducks a 3-2 victory over the Senators in the Stanley Cup finals opener Monday night.
Moen’s fifth of the playoffs came after Ryan Getzlaf’s tying goal 11:25 earlier erased the 2-1 lead Ottawa carried into the period.
In the teams’ first matchup this season, Moen, along with Niedermayer and Samuel Pahlsson, held Ottawa’s top line of Daniel Alfredsson, Jason Spezza and Dany Heatley to two assists and handed the Senators their first series-opening loss in these playoffs.
Mike Fisher staked Ottawa to a 1-0 lead in the first period with a power-play goal, and defenseman Wade Redden also scored on the man advantage in the second.
Andy McDonald scored in the first period for the Ducks, who will try to take a 2-0 lead at home on Wednesday night.
The Senators looked ready to win their first Stanley Cup Finals game since the franchise was reborn in 1992, but the Ducks fought back and stole it away. Ottawa lost only one game in each of its other three playoff series and now faces its first deficit.
Jean-Sebastien Giguere made 18 saves to improve to 10-3 in the playoffs. Getzlaf’s goal put the Ducks in a great position, then Moen scored the winner.
Even after grabbing an early lead, Ottawa goalie Ray Emery and the rest of the Senators showed rust in the first period following an eight-day layoff.
After leaving juicy rebounds and looking a bit unsteady in his crease, Emery bounced back in the second period, stopping all 10 Anaheim shots, including one he grabbed out of the air as it threatened to bound past him.
Redden broke a 1-1 tie in the middle frame, making up for losing the puck in the opening period that led to McDonald’s tying goal.
It was nearly enough to give the Senators a win in their first venture out of the Eastern time zone since March. Ottawa fell to 7-2 on the road in the playoffs.
The Ducks, off five days since eliminating Detroit, seemed to take control after McDonald tied it, but gave the momentum back to the Senators by taking penalties. That is a common theme for Anaheim, the NHL’s most-penalized team during the regular season with 17.8 minutes a game.
It could’ve been even worse for the Ducks in the second period, but they were able to kill off a 5-on-3 disadvantage that lasted 1:35.