If anyone wondered how short Glen Gulutzan’s leash on Brian Elliott would be in Game 4, you didn’t have to wait very long to find out.
Just over five and a half minutes into the first period, Patrick Eaves scored from a really weird angle to give the Ducks a 1-0 lead.
Without wasting a second, Gulutzan pulled Elliott and replaced him with backup Chad Johnson.
A minute into his tenure in net, Johnson faced a rush led by Corey Perry. Perry fakes a forward pass to Nate Thompson and slides the puck backwards to Rickard Rakell. Rakell takes a shot that hits Johnson. The rebound bounces out to Thompson who bats it in. Anaheim up 2-0.
This is the second game of the series that Chad Johnson has dressed for. His first was Game 3.
In a regular season game against Anaheim on April 4, Johnson started against the Ducks. He left the game after only 5:19 of play with a lower body injury. He’s been out of the lineup ever since. Jon Gillies backed-up Elliott while Johnson healed.
Then there was Monday night’s game.
The Calgary Flames went out to a 4-1 lead by midway through the second period. The Anaheim Ducks steamed back to a 5-4 overtime win. It wasn’t entirely Elliott’s fault, although he would say publicly it was. His team didn’t help him much either.
After the goaltending switch and the goal by Thompson, the Ducks ended the first period with the two goal lead. Should they win tonight, they’ll close out the series against the Flames and await the winner of the Sharks/Oilers series.