Final Score: Ducks 2, Rangers 1
First Period Recap: Much like their home opener, the Ducks struck early against the Rangers and tried to put them out of the game almost before it had even started. It took a mere 2:29 for New York to commit the cardinal sin of leaving Corey Perry alone on top of their own crease. Henrik Lundqvist coughed up a fat rebound off a shot from Dustin Penner which Perry popped over the Swedish stalwart and put the Ducks up 1-0.
While this may have been just another goal for Perry (his ninth of the season), the play was significant for one Luca Sbisa. Sbisa, who missed the entire start of the campaign with a lower-body injury, registered an assist on the play, meaning he scored his first point of the season on what may have been his first shift of the season.
New York didn't let down easy though and pressured the Ducks net, forcing chances and trying to build their energy back after getting deflated so early. Frederik Andersen, who was given the start in net for Anaheim, had to be especially alert to deny Brad Richards from scoring on a sparkling chance to bank home a shot off the end boards.
Less than eight minutes later, Anaheim would once again suck the building wind out of the Rangers' sails. Francois Beauchemin picked off a lazy clearing pass and carried the puck back over the blue line before dishing a backhand pass off to a collapsing Kyle Palmieri. Palmieri out-waited the Rangers defense before ripping a beautiful shot off the crossbar and down behind Lundqvist to make the game 2-0.
The period would end with New York trying to build back but failing to mount anything else worth mentioning. The shots tallied 10-6 in favor of the home side.
Second Period Recap: New York found a way to get fired up at the intermission and came out dominating the Ducks. There were several stretches of extended pressure in the Anaheim end, forcing Freddie Andersen to really show his goaltending guff in proving he's worthy of an NHL job.
Late in the frame, New York poured it on full-blast and forced him to make arguably his best save of the night (though admittedly there are about four or five others that could take that title). Carl Hagelin raced in and beat the Anaheim defense to a loose puck on a dump-and-chase and then fed a pass out to a crashing Brad Richards who was robbed by Andersen's speedy glove hand.
On the immediately ensuing play however New York would make Anaheim pay for their sluggish period. A scramble in front of Andersen saw him squirt out a rebound that escaped the pile of bodies in front of the net. Michael Del Zotto was the first one to it and he promptly lifted it past a sprawled and entirely helpless Andersen to make it 2-1. Poor clearing from the defenders in front of him but likewise with the way the period went, it was shocking New York only managed to slot home one of their 15 shots in the frame. Anaheim meanwhile was held to six.
Third Period Recap: Anaheim came out a little better in this one, throwing some immediate pressure on the Rangers goal. Dustin Penner even hit a goalpost. However they couldn't put one home and it began to really look like 15 days out on the road took their toll. The team fell completely flat and the Rangers charged full speed forward, spending the vast majority of the final 10 minutes in the Anaheim end.
Freddie Andersen made a slew of spectacular saves, including two brilliant stops on consecutive shots from Ryan McDonagh, the first with his left legpad and the second with his shoulder from point-blank range. It helps to be 6'5" but likewise Andersen's positioning on the shot was spectacular considering how little time he had to react.
He made another brilliant stop on Benoit Pouliot after Pouliot streaked past a flat-footed Ducks defense and cut across the face of goal for a jam attempt.
The play would give the Ducks a penalty, and with about 30 seconds remaining on that penalty Ryan Getzlaf would take one of his own to give the Rangers a brief 5-on-3. It was though the team was trying desperately to throw the game away.
The penalty killers answered the call however, killing off everything and even drawing a couple penalties of their own for Anaheim, who finished the game with a 5-on-4 powerplay after getting a brief 5-on-3 of their own.
However at this point I doubt the Ducks cared that they went 0-for-2 on the night, dropping their success rate even further. The shots of the final frame tallied 13-8 in favor of Anaheim, most of them coming before the last 10 minutes of the period.
The Ducks walked into a newly-renovated Madison Square Garden, took on a heating-up Rangers team, and beat them after being on the road for 15 straight days by a score of 2-1.
The Good: The Anaheim fourth line looked spectacular tonight. This group can go toe-to-toe with just about any other fourth line in the league and win the matchup, and tonight they played spectacular.
The Bad: The team fell flat at times. This can be attested to the fact that this was in fact day 15 of the longest road trip of the season and the energy is gone along with half of our team due to injuries, but there was a definite lack of energy and drive for extended stretches tonight.
The Ugly: Dear lord NBC do some freaking homework before you broadcast a game. Start with learning how to pronounce our players' names. (Francois Beauchemin is not pronounced "Beauchi-mon")
Next Game: Wednesday, November 6th at 7pm vs. the Phoenix Coyotes