Palmieri Fuels Comeback Win with Two Third Period Goals

Jim McIsaac

The Ducks improved as the game went on, and pulled out a win in Philly, but lost Teemu for most of the third period to a high stick.

Final Score: Ducks 3, Flyers 2

First Period Recap: It was a slow start for the Ducks.  Philly struck first blood early on when Wayne Simmonds went behind the net and reversed the puck to Matt Read right as Jonas Hiller took his eye off the puck to look over his other shoulder.  Hiller impressively got a toe on Read's first shot, but the Flyers' forward beat Francois Beauchemin to the rebound for the goal.

The Ducks' only real chance in the first part of the period came on the power play.  As you should expect by now, the PP didn't start out great, but as the seconds wound down Nick Bonino picked up a blocked shot and made a nice move around Kimmo Timonen to the center of the ice, but his shot was blocked by Luke Schenn.

Much of the rest of the period was marked by poor clearing attempts and missed passes by the Ducks, but it was the Flyers' power play that would give them a two goal lead.  With Ryan Getzlaf off for slashing, the 28th ranked PP unit in the league went to work.  Claude Giroux fed a pass right through the middle of the box to Vincent Lecavalier for the one timer.  That's what a power play should look like (serves me right for calling them out in the GameThread headline, magumbo).

The Ducks were able to start a turnaround in the last five minutes or so of the first period, thanks to a few solid forechecking shifts from the top line.  Maroon had an opportunity while crashing the net off of a sweet backhand pass from Corey Perry. But the closest the Ducks would come to scoring in the opening frame was when Mathieu Perreault deflected Beauch's point shot into the net with a high stick.

The play was reviewed, and the call on the ice of no goal was upheld.  It was very close, but the low angle in the corner appeared to confirm that the puck was above the crossbar when Perreault tipped it down.

Second Period Recap: Early in the second, Bonino had another opportunity from a very dangerous area right in the slot, but this time wasn't in a position to put a good shot on goal and backhanded it wide.  A few minutes later, Simmonds and Read tried a very similar play to the one that opened the scoring, except Read was higher in the zone and this time the shot went off the post and out of harm's way.

Perhaps Philly's best chance of the period was a partial breakaway by Jakub Voracek.  Brayden Schenn tipped the puck past Daniel Winnik at the Flyers blueline right into the path of Voracek who took off and was pressured just enough by Hampus Lindholm to be forced into a spin-o-rama in the slot.  Lindholm slid past Voracek and into Hller as the Flyer and spun, but Hiller was equal to the backhander he flung low.

Just shy of the midway point of the game, Perreault gave Giroux a little push in the back.  While everyone in the building thought the referee was calling him for boarding, the call actually went against Giroux for diving.  Needless to say, the goalless Flyers' captain was not happy about it.  Right off the faceoff, Getzlaf got a quick shot away but that would be the PP's best opportunity as Bonino went off for hooking halfway through the diving minor.

The Ducks cut the lead to one goal when Nicklas Grossmann turned the puck over to Getzlaf at the blueline.  Getzy's shot went wide, off the end boards and straight to Andrew Cogliano, fresh off the bench, and Cogs one timed it high over a sprawling Steve Mason.

Third Period Recap: The Ducks really took the game to the Flyers in the third, almost the inverse of the first period.  Just 1:01 into the final frame, Kyle Palmieri blocked a Lecavalier point shot and went in on a breakaway.  Palms made a move to the backhand, getting Mason to move laterally, open up and slipped it five hole to tie the game at two.

More injury news:  about two minutes into the period Emerson Etem, Luke Schenn and Teemu Selanne went into the corner for a puck.  Etem went to take the body on Schenn, who dodged the hit, but lost control of his stick and it whacked Teemu right in the face.  No call on the play, Teemu laid on the ice bleeding for a minute or two, while there was some speculation that he may have hit his head on the ice, but that doesn't seem to be the issue.  He left with a towel soaking up blood from his mouth and did not return to the game.

A few minutes later Devante Smith-Pelly found himself open with the puck in the slot, but Mason's save sprung the Flyers the other way on a 3-on-2.  Fortunately for the Ducks Michael Raffl's pass missed everybody and the play fizzled.

The Ducks continued to control the play in Philly's zone for most of the period, but not a lot of spectacular highlights came of it.  Mostly it was a matter of the first line pinning it deep and winning all of the battles for loose pucks.

With about five minutes left the puck came to Sami Vatanen at the point and Lecavalier (who looked strong all night) nearly tipped it past him for a breakaway.  That's been a tough part of Sami's game so far this season, but this time the diminutive Finn fought Vinny off and found a way to tip the puck back into the zone for a two on one between Bonino and Palmieri.  Bones took it high and Palms charged for the net, then Bonino zipped a shot/pass right off of his tape and in.  3-2 Ducks.

For the second night in a row, the Ducks had to kill a penalty in the dying minutes of regulation with a one goal lead.  This time it was for too many men on the ice, a call that the Flyers got away with earlier in the game (some strange officiating going on in this one).  For a good 10-15 seconds midway through the kill, Perry did a wonderful job to get the puck deep in the Flyers' zone and hold it there (with a little support from Getzlaf) against three Flyer defenders.  It was a thing of beauty.

After that, Philly pulled Mason to make it a 6-on-4 advantage, and Hlller made a couple really quick saves at the side of the net as the penalty expired to hold on for the win.

**********

The Good: The Ducks got better and better as the game went on.  The third period was all Ducks as they out shot their hosts 16-6.  However...

The Bad: The other side of that coin is that they did not start well.  This is starting to look like a trend that we saw last year.  Even though the Ducks are second in the league in first period goals this year with 15 (behind only San Jose's 17), they're increasingly having to come back to win games late, and that's a tough thing to rely on.

The Ugly: Injuries are becoming a worse problem than the power play.  Teemu is now the third top six forward to be pulled out of a game with an injury in the past week and a half.  Here's the latest on his condition from the Ducks twitter feed:

Reminds me a little bit of when his face was an absolute stick/puck magnet in the '07 playoffs.  I'm sure he'll play Thursday, as long as the jaw isn't broken.

**********

3rd MVD: Corey Perry - Didn't get on the score sheet, but made himself a nuisance.  Probably on here mostly for the fabulous work he did holding the puck below the Flyers' goal line during their PP in the last two minutes of the game.  Plus you know this year, if the Ducks win either Perry or Getzlaf has to be on this list.

2nd MVD: Nick Bonino -  Did a great job of getting into dangerous areas offensively while filling in for the injured Saku Koivu and had a nice assist on Palmieri's game winner.

1st MVD: Kyle Palmieri -  Can't overlook two goals in the third period of a 3-2 comeback win.

Next Game: Thursday, October 31st 4:00pm PT @ Boston (hopefully they're all too drunk from the Red Sox winning tomorrow night OR too distraught over them losing)

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