That's Why They Play The Games

USA TODAY Sports

The first place Ducks were unable to put away the 28th place Panthers early, and paid for it with a 3-2 loss.

Final Score: Ducks 2, Panthers 3

First Period Recap: It couldn't have started much better for the Ducks or much worse for the Panthers, as only 40 seconds in Andrew Cogliano was left all alone on the far post, out waited Tim Thomas and made a shot from a very sharp angle to open the scoring.

Dustin Penner nearly made it 2-0 a few minutes later when he picked up a rebound off of Thomas' pads but his backhander hit the post and stayed out.

For most of the period the Ducks controlled play and for the few shifts where Florida did have extended possession in the Ducks' zone they did well to keep the Panthers to the outside and the chances at a minimum.

With just over five minutes left in the period, Hampus Lindholm took control of a shift.  He knocked a Florida clearing attempt out of mid air in the neutral zone, skated it all the way to the goal line.  He couldn't get the puck to the net, but as he regained his position at the left point Nick Bonino found him with a pass and Lindholm ripped a wrister over Thomas' glove for his second career goal and made it 2-0 for the Ducks.

In the dying seconds of the period Corey Perry had a breakaway, but the puck was rolling all the way.  He was able to get the puck up, but Thomas kept the Panthers in the game by catching a piece of it with his left shoulder.

Second Period Recap: The early part of the second period was more of the same for the Ducks.  Tim Thomas came up big again with that left shoulder, denying Teemu Selanne of a good chance from a nice pass by Emerson Etem.  They continued to carry the play until back to back power play opportunities right around the half way point of the game.

We all know the PP has had its struggles this season, and at times they have actually had chances but just couldn't find a way to convert.  This was not one of those times.  Zone entries were very hard to come by for the Ducks with the extra man.  They ended up dumping the puck in more often than not and allowing easy clearances for the Panthers' PK.

With seven and a half minutes to play in the second, Brian Campbell found Shawn Mathias in the slot, the pass wasn't perfect, but Mathias made the most of it, corralling and shooting the backhander all in one fluid spinning motion, which caught Frederik Andersen off guard and slipped through his five hole.

Seventy seconds later, the Panthers got a couple bounces.  Scotty Upshall put the puck toward the net from the point, it deflected off of Mathieu Perreault's stick then off of Lindholm's shoulder over Andersen and in to tie the game at two.

That gave the Panthers life, and they completely turned the tables on the Ducks, controlling the rest of the period.

Third Period Recap: That momentum carried over into the third period for Florida.  The Ducks were sloppy in their own end to start the period and that led to the Panthers taking the lead.

At the end of a passive shift for the Ducks in the defensive zone, Bryan Allen won the puck off the boards but completely fanned on his pass to Luca Sbisa.  Upshall pounced on it, made a nifty move around Sbisa got his shot on net and Brad Boyes finished the rebound.

The Ducks had their best chance to get back even a couple minutes later, two in fact on the same shift by Perreault.  It was the first real sustained pressure by the Ducks since Florida's first goal.  Teemu got the puck to Etem in the slot where he redirected it on net.  The rebound came to Perreault with a wide open net, but a diving play by Mike Mottau kept him from getting the puck from his skate to his stick.  The Ducks regrouped eventually getting a shot from Cam Fowler to the net and a HUGE rebound into the slot for Perreault.  But with Thomas down and out again, Aleksander Barkov deflected the shot out of play.

Midway through the period Allen took a strange penalty where it looked like he pulled his man down by the pants.  Either that or he was trying to draw a penalty by tucking his jersey in.  The Ducks actually had the best scoring chance during the penalty though when Nick Bonino was able to get a quick backhand pass from behind the net to Etem.  It looked like Etem had some space, but put the puck off the outside of the post.

Anaheim's third power play opportunity was their best of the night, but that's not saying much.  It was an abbreviated chance, coming in the midst of a penalty kill with only about two and a half minutes to play.  The one chance they were able to get, again came at the hands of Emerson Etem.  Bonino spotted him in front of the net and he got a stick on the puck, but Thomas made a left pad save at the top of his crease.

As the penalty expired Boudreau pulled Andersen, but the Ducks were completely unable to generate anything with the 6-on-5 advantage and start off yet another road trip with a loss.

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The Good: The first period looked like one of the best teams in the league against one of the worst.  By no means was it perfect, but with a little bit of luck they could have put this game away before it ever got started.

The Bad: It wasn't really a classic "playing down to the level of the opponent:"  type game, because in the first half, the Panthers were even worse.  But once the Panthers got it together the Ducks had a hard time keeping up with them.  Simply but these were two easy points the Ducks let slip away.

The Ugly: All together now.... The power play!

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3rd Icehole:

2nd Icehole: Bryan Allen - The first two goals can't really be blamed on anyone, a great play and an incredibly lucky one.  However, that turnover by Allen to set up the game winner could almost go down as an assist for the former Florida Panther.

1st Icehole: Tim Thomas - Kept his team in the game with some HUGE saves when it looked like they were on the verge of being blown out

Next Game: Thursday November 14 at 4:00 pm @ the Stamkos-less Tampa Bay Lightning

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