First Period Recap: Almost the complete inverse of the start to Tuesday's game in Florida, the Ducks came out flat as week old soda. Part of the problem was how well Tampa was playing, they were faster, stronger, cleaner and had complete control of the game for 18 of the first 20 minutes.
In an effort to get something going, Patrick Maroon dropped the gloves with B.J. Crombeen but they pretty much just held each other at arms' length until the linesmen stepped in. IF it's possible for any fight to spark a team, that one wasn't going to be it.
Former Red Wing Valtteri Filpula was double shifted early on and opened the scoring for Tampa just past the halfway mark of the first. He started the play by skating the puck into the zone, was knocked down and eluded all of the Ducks defenders as his teammates effortlessly passed the puck all around the Ducks' zone. Eventually it was Teddy Purcell that found Filpula with a cross ice pass and he was able to pot the fade away one timer.
The Ducks weren't able to muster a shot on goal until the Tyler Johnson went off for tripping Teemu Selanne, however they did get six shots on goal during the power play and two good opportunities to tie the game up.
The best chance was early on in the man advantage, when a rebound came to Corey Perry at the side of the net, but Radko Gudas disrupted Perry's shot and it went off the side of the net. Later in the power play, Teemu found a little bit of time and space to the right of 6'4" goaltender, Ben Bishop and tried to wait him out, but put his first attempt off the pad and Bishop reached behind himself to cover up Teemu's rebound try.
After the uncharacteristically good, but predictably fruitless PP the Ducks had some momentum on their side, but that was squashed by Martin St. Louis' goal about a minute and a half later. On a power play of their own, Filpula's shot pass was deflected on net by J.T. Brown, then the stick of St. Louis and between the legs of Hiller. It trickled through and St. Louis cleaned up the garbage to make it 2-0.
The period ended with another fight, this time Bryan Allen and Ryan Malone went at it and it was just as uneventful. Allen fell to his knees before anything could really get going and it was over just like that.
The shots ended up even at eight after 20 minutes, but that was in no way an indication of the play. All Tampa, all the time, except for the one power play chance.
Second Period Recap: Just a minute and a half into the second, Rickard Rakell took a holding penalty and Filpula made the Ducks pay again. The Ducks penalty killers were collapsing pretty deep in, and when Perry went out to challenge Victor Hedman at the point, he easily beat Perry with a quick pass to Filpula who then had all the time and space in the world to walk in and snipe one over Hiller's shoulder.
This is the point where you think back to Tuesday night and see what could have been if the Ducks would have been able to score in the second and put the game out of reach early. And it continued with an Alex Killorn goal just shy of the halfway point of the game.
St. Louis skated the puck into the zone with Killorn in close support, fed him the drop pass and moved right to the net. Killorn then pulled a toe drag that nearly broke Allen's ankles got his shot away and capitalized on the rebound.
A few minutes later shit got real, when Gudas laid Teemu out with a devastatingly clean hit. He then pinned Teemu and Mathieu Perreault to the boards. When Teemu and Emerson Etem took exception to the rough treatment that the Finnish Flash was getting from the extra hairy rookie, he apparently headbutted someone in the scrum. The penalties shook out as holding and roughing against Gudas and roughing against Teemu.
This Ducks' power play was short lived as Kyle Palmieri went off for high sticking in the middle of it. And the chain of penalties concluded with Ondrej Palat charging Hampus Lindholm. Hampus, was caught awkwardly on the boards because he tried to cut the puck back, putting himself in a vulnerable position, but he was fine.
Etem did pull one goal back for the Ducks before the end of the second. Attacking the blueline with speed, the Long Beach native looked to be splitting the defense, but gave a little shimmy that made Hedman look like Allen, then Etem fired a shot that caught Bishop off guard/off balance and went in low along the ice.
It was a good way to finish a period in which the Ducks looked much better 5-on-5 than the first, and who knows if they could get an early one in the third maybe we'd have a game on our hands.....
Third Period Recap: NOPE. Two minutes into the final frame Cam Fowler bobbled the puck to Johnson. He found Richard Panik in the middle of the ice, who teed it up for Hedman streaking into the zone with about a mile of runway ahead of him. Hedman caught the puck, and zipped a wrister over Hiller's shoulder. Nice shot, but he had so much space it was criminal.
And that was all she wrote. The Ducks did look to get some energy going in the third period, especially the line of Teemu, Etem and Perreault who had a few decent chances on the rush. Palmieri also looked better as the game went on and that's why I don't fully buy the excuse that the flu had drained the whole team's energy which was put forth by Johnny and Hazy throughout the game.
The extra jump in the Ducks' step at the end of the game also could have been a result of Tampa packing it in, which they clearly did for most of the period with a four goal lead.
The Good: That goal by Etem was really sweet. Super fast, awesome move, quick deceptive shot, just brilliant. Also the power play was not the problem tonight. They had their chances early and were shut down by good last ditch penalty killing and goaltending.
The Bad: Bad and Ugly tonight are pretty much the same. The Ducks made it far to easy for Tampa to possess, move and shoot the puck. Three of the five Tampa goals were scored by guys who didn't have a defender within eight to ten feet of them.
The Ugly: The first period was particularly egregious. The Ducks simply didn't show up until they got that power play. They were out worked, out played, out skated, out muscled, out everything'd. It could have been worse after 20, but the Lightning eventually got around to it.
Next Game: Friday, November 15 at 4:00 pm @ Carolina Hurricanes