Ducks Apparently Saving Effort for Playoffs

Ice cream or Apple pie for dessert? - Derek Leung

The Ducks give you a 56 minute head start cause they're saving all of their energy and effort for the playoffs...apparently.

Final Score: Ducks 1, Flames 3

First Period Recap: Cam Fowler made it back into the lineup and Teemu Selanne took a seat as the Ducks took the ice against the 13th best team in the West.

While the Ducks definitely came out controlling the game a bit, it wasn’t until Emerson Etem took a high sticking penalty that Calgary really took any charge, and that’s pushing it. Despite a few chances, the Ducks would kill the penalty successfully.

The Ducks then got their own power play opportunity, that, of course, they didn’t capitalize on, but actually looked better than most of their opportunities as of late. The biggest scare came after Corey Perry swatted at the puck in front of Miikka Kiprusoff, eventually the puck found it’s way back to the point and Perry got nailed by a shot taking him down to the ice.

Not long after the failed power play Ben Lovejoy and Curtis Glencross made some contact knee-to-knee (Glencross went to the locker room and did not return), this was followed up by a brief tussle between Lovejoy and Mikael Backlund who came to defend Glencross. Backlund was given five minutes for fighting, two minutes for Instigating and a ten minute misconduct. Lovejoy was given five minutes for fighting and two minutes for interference. Unfortunately the ending result was no man advantage and therefore no power play practice for Anaheim.

However, just moments after the penalties were all sorted out Bryan Allen was the recipient of a high stick from Tim Jackman and the Ducks WOULD get some more practice.

Practice. That’s it. No goal, but you’re not surprised - are you?

Play resumed as normal; back and forth, back and forth until In the final minute of the period, with a gaping open net and Jonas Hiller tied up on the other side of the crease, Daniel Winnik had to step up, lay out on the ice and help to kick out the puck.

Back to the locker room, 0-0.

Second Period Recap: The Ducks could have used a little of the effort they showed in the first period again in the second, but it turned out to be all Calgary.

A shot from Lee Stempniak that bounced off the side of the net and landed right in front of Hiller and was then swatted right between the pads by Roman Horak. Calgary goes up 1-0 and the Ducks became lost and confused as ever.

Bryan Allen apparently thought he’d help to up the tally on high sticks as he gets caught and sent to the box. Calgary fed off their momentum and had a few good opportunities down low, thrilled to expose the Ducks inability to clear the puck. Once again, however, Andrew Cogliano and Etem with their pesky pressure helped to kill much of the penalty.

Later, with a big rush up the ice, Jackman took a point blank shot and got to his own rebound causing Hiller to make a great diving save.

The second period was all Calgary. Tons of chances and they definitely out-worked the Ducks who spent way too much time in their own zone.

Thankfully, Calgary’s goal early in the second was their only.

Back to the lockerroom 1-0.

Third Period Recap:Early in the third period, Sami Vatanen had a great opportunity and joined in on the play. Unfortunately he missed the pass and had to hustle back on defense where Hiller made a solid stop, thankfully.

The Ducks top line started to really get some chances. Ryan Getzlaf taking some big shots but all three of the big men were caught deep in the zone when the puck vacated and Calgary raced for the puck. Francois Beauchemin was the only defensemen back and he was beat for the puck as two Calgary players raced towards the net and Brian McGrattan slipped the puck five-hole to take a 2-0 lead.

Back on the attack again the big boys get a solid possession and a few scoring chances, with a big shot coming from Sheldon Souray that fluttered just wide of the net. These brief moments of Ducks domination seemed to always be followed by an equally dominating and threatening chunk of time from the Flames.

As always, Bruce Boudreau switched up the lines as we generally see from the coach. Usually I get frustrated when this happens, but it was time.

If there hadn’t been enough high sticks in the game, Matthew Lombardi thought he’d get his name on the list as well and took a trip to the box with about seven minutes left in the game.

The Ducks still didn't show much urgency until about the 16 minute mark of the period when Fowler took a great pass from Getzlaf in the neutral zone and sped up the left wing. A cross ice pass that deflected off of Kyle Palmieri and found Perry who netted his 14th goal of the season. It only took 56 minutes, but the Ducks found some of the life that they could have used throughout the game.

Not long after the Ducks got on the board, Palmieri had an opportunity that bounced off the boards to Perry, who swatted at it but was thwarted by Kipursoff. The crowd woke up to celebrate the great save and their longtime goaltender and motivated the Flames defense who eventually would capitalize on the Ducks vacated net to end the game 3-1.

**********

The Good: If you want a bright spot, the Ducks top line performed well and even better once Kyle Palmieri was added to the line. They were all getting some solid chances, especially late in the game when Perry scored. There was definitely a sense of effort from these guys, and it showed in the combined ten shots from Perry and Getzlaf alone.

The Bad: It only took the Ducks 56 minutes to come alive.

The Ugly: Look at the standings to get a real appreciation of the fact that the Ducks have lost two games in the past week and a half to a teams slated 26th and 29th in the league.

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Iceholes: It's getting pretty boring constantly finding the players who aren't performing, but at this point it's just another name and another night. To be honest, I think I might just be thankful that there isn't one player who really stuck out as awful, as, for the most part, they all seemed to have their moments in this game. The Ducks as a whole are snake bitten and they're just not playing with any sort of fire or desire. I guess they don't really have to right now, but I just hope this crappy effort their giving doesn't bleed into the post season.

Next Game: Sunday April 21, 2013, 5:30pm @ team Boo Justin Schultz Edmonton Oilers

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