No one hurts Cam and gets away with it. - USA Today Sports
After a shaky start and losing the lead several times, the Ducks battled back to beat rival Los Angeles 7-4. Only down point of the evening was the loss of Cam Fowler to an apparent head injury.
Hang on, folks. This recap is going to take a while.
First Period Recap: It ended up being on hell of a night for Nick Bonino, after scoring the opening goal of the game against Kings starter Jonathan Quick. Bonino was set up by Emerson Etem on the goal - a nifty toe drag around something called 'Muzzin' - giving Etem his first career NHL point.
Etem wouldn't have to wait too long for his second point in his currently two-game NHL career. Etem held the primary assist on Nick Bonino's second goal. I still have no idea how this puck went in the net. Bonino, negotiates around Drew Doughty and falls while doing so. From his knees, Bonino fired the puck between Rob Scuderi's legs (I think) and over Quicks pads.
The second goal triggered Kings coach Darryl Sutter's hook, pulling Quick in favor of backup Jonathan Bernier (his first action of the season). I haven't even mentioned all of this took place within the first 5:39 of the game.
Something I noticed about Sheldon Souray. When he can't catch up to a guy, he either holds on to the jersey of the other player or takes small slashes at the player's wrist. He was caught by the ref for the former and the Ducks went on the penalty kill. (I get nauseous when they go on the PK.)
Francois Beauchemin's poor attempt to clear the zone lead to Anze Kopitar feeding a wide open Dustin Brown for the Kings first goal, on the power play, natch. Did anyone else catch Bryan Allen abandoning his side of the ice to get tied up with Jeff Carter? By doing so, Brown had a free shot.
About 30 seconds later, Toni Lydman - in after sitting out Friday's game against Minny in favor of rookie Sami Vatanen - screened Jonas Hiller leading to a Jared Stoll goal. It's 9:49 in and the score is tied 2-2.
Shortly after LA ties it up, Doughty takes out Teemu Selanne. Elder abuse. Teemu made up for it a little later by throwing the body (not something I'm used to typing when it has to do with Selanne) on Doughty. Kind of awesome.
Still in the first period, Captain Duck earned his third goal of the season after winning the face-off and getting the puck to Corey Perry. Perry takes the puck behind the net and does a sweet spin move and pass to an open Getzy in front of the net. (Getz well on his way to eclipsing his 11 goal total of the previous season, knock on wood.)
The refereeing in this game was subject to say the least, on both sides of the puck. With 2:10 left in the period, Francois Beauchemin receives a very gray-area interferrence call for hitting Davis Drewski after he let go of the puck. The hit came maybe three to five seconds after Drewski let go of the puck. Penalty kill again for the Ducks with one of their best defensemen in the box (gulp).
Bryan Allen is such a dumbass. In the final seconds of the period, Allen hits a falling Doughty. No big deal. Final horn sounds and Justin Williams goads Allen into a roughing penalty, putting the Ducks down by two men to start the second period. Fan-effing-tastic.
Second Period Recap: The Ducks, down by two men, kill the first of the two penalties. Good. The second penalty, not so much. Toni Lydman doesn't clear Dustin Brown out from in front of the net, so when Drew Doughty takes a shot at the circles, Jonas Hiller makes the initial leg save and Brown knocks in the rebound. Penalty kill now 1-for-3. The game is tied 3-3.
Lydman has another nearly disastrous moment as he allows Mike Richards to steal the puck from him RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE NET. Hiller make a miraculous save on Richards, saving Lydman's ass.
The next set of events were even crazier. First, Allen fights Jordan Nollan, which is great because it gets Allen off the ice for five minutes.
While this is happening, Cam Fowler is on all fours in the corner boards with the Ducks trainer. He stays there for a while before being helped off the ice and helped to the locker room. He was visibly dazed. What happen was Fowler had the puck and was being chased by Stoll. Fowler throws on the breaks, Stoll grabs Cam's jersey and as Cam is falling, Stoll rams Fowler's face dead-on into the lip of the dasher. It was violent and at high speed. Stoll did not receive a penalty on the play. It was a clear headshot and the league should review the hit - doesn't mean they're going to.
Fowler did not return to the game. The Ducks stated he had an 'upper-body injury'. I'd be hardpressed to believe it isn't a concussion. We'll keep you updated as soon as we hear anything.
The Ducks were overly emotional on the ice after Cam left the game. Every player on the ice at the same time as Stoll was focused on hitting him. Luckily, it didn't bite them in the ass.
Kopitar took a tripping penalty, putting the Ducks back on the power play. They looked disorganized and unable to get set up. Cam Fowler usually brings the puck up the ice on the PP but with him out, it went to Sheldon Souray on the first unit. A minute or so to go in the man-advantage, the puck finds Souray at the point. He does what we know he can do - fires a missile straight through Bernier and in the net. The Ducks take the lead for the third time in the game.
Shortly after, Saku Koivu was sent to the box for high-sticking. Our best penalty killing center now in the box (nauseous again). The Ducks are fortunate the Kings were trying to get too fancy on the power play and couldn't really get set up. A successful PK for the Ducks - thank you, Hockey Gods!
At this point, Anaheim looked visibly tired. They were skating a little slower, not hitting as much. The Kings were skating circles around them in the Ducks end and they paid the price for it. Justin Williams, being chased by Emerson Etem, was able to keep Etem from getting to his inside as he skated around the goal from behind. The puck took a bad bounce off Hiller's blocker and ricocheted into the net. Game tied - again.
The Ducks end up back on the power play and still looked sluggish. Taking advantage of this was Mike Richards (who always plays really well against Anaheim). On his short handed attempt, he shot the puck on net. Teemu peels off instead of going to the front of the net. The shot rebounded right to Richards and Hiller was forced to make another outstanding save.
Remembering they were on the power play, the Ducks get set up in the Kings zone. Luca Sbisa, Beauchemin and Koivu were passing back and forth, seemingly stifling the Kings attack. Koivu received a crisp pass and in one touch sends it to a wide open - who else - Kyle Palmieri in the center a couple feet away from the crease. Palmieri gets down on one knee (as he did twice Friday) and slings the puck past Bernier. The Ducks take their fourth lead of the game.
Prior to the power play goal, the Ducks were playing a familiar 'not to lose' style except now they were completely exhausted. The goal woke the team and the building up. Anaheim takes its 4-3 lead into the locker room.
Third Period Recap: The energy boost didn't last through the second intermission. The Ducks came out pooped and played a bunch of minutes in their own end. If they were able to get the puck out, it would be on a stretch pass along the boards. Nothing really came of that until Kopitar takes another penalty.
Back on the power play, Sbisa feeds a pass to Bobby Ryan. Ryan finds an open Bonino. Scoring machine Nick Bonino (yes, THAT Nick Bonino) takes an initial shot that bounces off Bernier and on the rebound, Bones knocked it in. That's a hat-trick for Bonino (YES! THAT NICK BONINO!).
Scary moment which lead to another Ducks power play. Dustin Penner slew-foots Bobby Ryan, hitting BR in the jaw as he fell to the ice. Bobby skated directly to the bench and went into the tunnel. Luckily he'd return to the game, no worse for wear. Back on the power play, Bruce decided to put Lydman in the same spot Vatenen was the night prior. It was weird. The Ducks almost went 4-for-4 on the PP when Teemu hit the crossbar behind Bernier. It was pretty much the exact goal he almost scored in the shootout against San Jose.
Hiller carried the team the rest of the way. The Ducks lost the adrenaline from the Bonino goal quickly and allowed the Kings to dig at pucks in Hiller's crease without incident. Hiller covered up everything the Kings threw at him.
With three minutes left, Sutter pulled Bernier. In response, Boudreau puts Koivu, Souray, Ryan, Beauchemin and Daniel Winnik on the ice. They kept the Kings from getting quality chances. Somehow after the change, Teemu got the puck and fired it into the empty net for his 666th career goal. Give the assists to Bobby and offensive powerhouse, Nick Bonino.
Ducks kept LA from scoring and the game ended, 7-4. Ducks win.
The Good: Robby shamed the Ducks special teams this morning. The power play units listened and went 3-for-4. Tonight was the first night since THE OPENING GAME TWO WEEKS AGO the power play had scored a goal. Inexcusable for the amount of talent on the team. Hopefully this sticks.
The Bad: The penalty kill still blows. Fortunately for the Ducks, they've learned some patience and haven't had many trips to the sin bin. They killed 2-of-4 penalties. San Jose comes to Honda Center on Monday. Do we need to remind you how good their power play is??
The Ugly: Who knows if or how long Cam Fowler will be out of the lineup. I thought he played his best game of the year against Minnesota. He's finally becoming the defenseman we knew we drafted. Send all the positivity you can to Cam. Second ugly, Bryan Allen still blows. I think he had only one or two GOOD shifts in the final minutes of the game. The rest was shit. I'd love for Boudreau to sit him in favor of Vatanen.
Next Game: Monday, Feb. 4 at 7:00 pm vs. San Jose Sharks in Anaheim. Humongous big game. Sharks barely won last meeting between the two team in a shoot out.