Final Score: Ducks 2, Hurricanes 3 (Shootout)
First Period Recap: It was a VERY conservative approach taken by both teams in the first period, but when compared to how badly the Ducks were dominated in the first period last night in Tampa, it was a welcome pace.
Really there were only two specific plays worth noting in the opening 20. Carolina nearly drew first blood when Jay Harrison's point shot squeezed between the arm and body of Viktor Fasth (playing for the first time in a month) and Fasth was able to dive back and sweep the puck off the goal line with his glove.
Late in the period Daniel Winnik took a puck off the face in the neutral zone and had to leave for repairs. Luckily for Winnik and the Ducks, he returned to the game late in the second with a jaw protector.
The Ducks seemed to have the better of the possession and the shots bore that out, 8-4 in favor of Anaheim, but other than that, a rather pedestrian period of hockey.
Second Period Recap: The second was more of the same until the Ducks got a power play about 12 minutes in. The power play didn't convert, but it looked pretty solid. Carolina's PK was very aggressive along the boards almost always sending two defenders to battle for the puck. It seemed like a high risk strategy because there were always Ducks open on the far side, but it worked because the Ducks weren't quite able to get it away from the aggressive penalty killers much.
After the Kill the game sped up exponentially. For some reason a switch was flipped and everyone decided to start trading chances. There were still some very good defensive plays that stopped quality scoring chances on both sides of the puck, but everything was just SO MUCH faster.
Each goalie had a fantastic save in the second half of the period off the rush. Fasth was able to close the five hole on a point blank one timer from Drayson Bowman (who was very good and super quick all game), while Justin Peters' best save was getting the right pad on a back door opportunity for Rickard Rakell.
The Ducks opened the scoring with two minutes left in the period, when Ryan Getzlaf (back after missing the last three games with an upper body injury) intercepted a clearing attempt and got the puck to Corey Perry behind the defense, who roofed it over Peters.
Not quite a minute and a half later, Alex Semin evened the score on the power play with a spectacular shot. He carried the puck into the zone cut to the middle and since the Canes were on the PP the Ducks defenders backed off. The trouble came when Devante Smith-Pelly dropped to one knee to block a shot that never came, allowing Semin to walk in to the faceoff dot and rip a wrister through traffic, perfectly placed in the top corner.
Third Period Recap: You wouldn't know it from the shot totals, but the speed of the game really played right into Carolina's advantage and oly three minutes into the third, they took a 2-1 lead because of it. Bowman came flying into the zone and beat Bryan Allen to the puck along the boards. Allen took a whack at his stick/hands since there was no way he was going to keep up with the young Hurricane, but that didn't help. Bowman drove the puck right into the crease and slid it around Fasth's far pad.
Three minutes later Justin Faulk took a tripping penalty and the Ducks capitalized to tie the game at two. Once again the Canes did a good job of pinning the puck on the boards, but this time Perry was able to get free into the middle of the ice and find Dustin Penner wide open on the far post. Penner didn't get much on the shot because his stick broke in the process, but it didn't matter because the pass had Peters beaten all the way. Maybe the best part about the goal, though was Penner's celebration, where he casually tossed the two broken halves of his stick away in one fluid motion from shot to arms up.
For the most part the period was up and down the ice, with pretty good flow, but not a whole lot of exciting chances resulting from the quick play. Despite the fact that the Ducks looked to be tiring and the Canes were much faster, the Ducks out shot their hosts 17-6 in the final frame.
Overtime Recap: Not much to write home about here. The Ducks looked very sluggish and the Canes, especially Ryan Murphy had the afterburners on. However it didn't result in much and off we went to the shootout.
Shootout: Teemu Selanne tried to go five hole but was stopped.
Riley Nash's shot hit the post, then bounced off of Fasth's back and in.
Perry came in with speed and scored with a shot along the ice.
Fasth stayed right with Semin for a textbook blocker save.
Getzlaf got really fancy with his build up, slowly weaving up to the blueline then turning on the jets, but missed wide.
And Chris Terry went backhand shelf to salt it away.
The Good: Dustin Penner was very good in this game. He did a very good job of getting open away from the play so that Getzlaf could get him the puck in dangerous areas. He even had a partial breakaway that was stopped in the second period by some strong backchecking.
The Bad: Not surprisingly almost everyone on the team, except Emerson Etem, looked tired in the third period and overtime.
The Ugly: Not much actually. It was a pretty solid game overall from the Ducks. I guess I'll go with Getzlaf's miss in the shootout, only because he wasted a really great run up. Gotta put it on net, dude.
Next Game: Monday, November 18 at 4:00 pm @ Pittsburgh Penguins