Recap: Anaheim 3, Edmonton 1 - Welcome Back, Ducks

Derek Leung

While it wasn't a complete 60 minute effort, it was the best effort the Anaheim Ducks had put forth in a while.


Final Score: Ducks 3, Oilers 1

First Period Recap: This game started rather inauspiciously with a Taylor Hall/Sam Gagner 2-on-1 that turns into an Oilers goal (a wrist shot, courtesy of Mr. Hall) just 60 seconds in. Five minutes later, Daniel Winnik is called for boarding, and the Ducks go on the penalty kill. They're successful at stifling the potentially lethal Edmonton offense.

Midway through the first period, shots are 3-2, in favor of the Oilers. There's a scary moment when some fancy Gagner stick work results in an almost-goal, but it goes just wide of Jonas Hiller. Corey Perry follows up with an attempted a wraparound goal, but it's stopped by Devan Dubnyk.

The Ducks get a break when the Oilers' Mike Brown draws a penalty for high-sticking with five seconds left in the first. A mere three seconds later, Nick Bonino, returning to the lineup after a 21 game absence, digs at a puck laying around Dubnyk's pads. It pops out and goes directly to Cam Fowler. Fowler hits the top shelf for his first goal of the year. We go into the first intermission with a 1-1 tie.

Second Period Recap: Jerrod Smithson has a one-timer at the beginning of the period, but it's stopped by Jonas, who is keeping the Ducks in this game. This is followed by two power plays - the first is the result of a holding call on Ryan Jones, which the Ducks kill. The other is the result of an interference call on Shawn Horcoff. During the latter power play, Corey Perry gets a shot on goal, but it's stopped by Dubnyk. Dubnyk has a couple more big saves, then Daniel Winnik is called for interference. Justin Schultz mishandles the puck (three total turnovers on the night for Mr. Schultz, the most on the Oil), and the Ducks almost have a shorthanded goal.

In the final minute of the period, Bonino puts the puck on net and the rebound gets to a wide-open Kyle Palmieri. Palms easily puts the puck Dubnyk . It's Bonino's second point of the night. (He's the only Duck with the multi-point game.) The Ducks lead 2-1 going into the second intermission.

Third Period Recap: The period begins with Nick Schultz and Saku Koivu getting in a shoving match behind Dubnyk's net. Koivu gets two minutes for roughing because he instigated the contact. With one of their best penalty killers in the box, the Ducks manage to successfully complete their third PK.

A couple minutes later, the Ducks find themselves on another power play when Taylor Hall is called for hooking; however, this is negatead when Corey Perry is called for cross-checking about a minute later. Hall gets a shot after his penalty expires, but it goes over Hiller and into the netting.

With the period winding down, the Oilers are unable to tie the game up. Bobby Ryan gets blasted near the blue line. When he gets up, he rejoins the play right away by intercepting the puck. Ryan passes to a streaking Getzlaf. Getz bounces the puck off his skate to gain control before he sends the puck to Perry for the tip-in. Ducks increase their lead to two goals.

Under 4:30 to go, Ducks embark on their fifth power play of the night by way of a slashing call on Sam Gagner but are unable to convert.

Dubnyk is pulled with about 2 minutes remaining. Both David Steckel and Andrew Cogliano miss WIDE OPEN nets, clanging the puck off the post. [Ed. Note: A blind person could have scored on those two shots. - JN]. The missed goals weren't needed and the Ducks' dominance of the Oilers at Rexall Place continues. Ducks win, 3-1.

**********

The Good: The RPG line. The three worked together on the "insurance" goal late in the third, and really buzzed for the last two periods.

The Bad: The first period, in general, and sloppy turnovers. Teemu had a team-high three give aways and Corey Perry's turnover in the first, that led to the Taylor Hall goal, was atrocious.

The Ugly: This is very nitpicky, but our multiple failed attempts at scoring an empty net goal were both comical and pathetic. I have never found posts so frustrating.

**********

3rd MVD: Jonas Hiller. Other that the first goal (which was really a team failure), I thought he was pretty good. Jonas made some crucial saves at the beginning of the game, when the Ducks hadn't quite figured out that they were playing hockey.

2nd MVD: Cam Fowler. Not to take anything away from the efforts of the RPG line, but you have to give some recognition to the guy who gets his first goal of the season. I think he's been reading Robby's posts.

1st MVD: Nick Bonino. Welcome back, man! Bonino had two assists, including one on the game-winning goal. Hopefully, we'll begin to have some more consistent success now that he's back in the lineup.

Next Game: Monday, April 22nd at 6:30 pm at Edmonton

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