First Period Recap: Mathieu Perreault and Francois Beauchemin drew back into the lineup tonight for the Ducks, but other than that the game didn't start as Bruce Boudreau would have hoped. The first 20 minutes were marked with numerous turnovers and overall sloppy play and as such the Oilers had the better of the chances.
The Ducks got a power play early in the period as Jesse Joensuu went off for hooking Nick Bonino, The advantage didn't amount to much and we even saw one of the old Ryan Getzlaf spin around/no look backhand passes go awry which have thankfully been the exception to his play this year. The best chance the Ducks had in the early going was off of a Perreault shot that snuck through Ilya Bryzgalov but hit the post and stayed out.
Moments later the Oilers got on the board as Taylor Hall worked his way up the boards and across the blue line for a shot that was deflected in by Ryan Nugent-Hopkins in the slot. Both Ben Lovejoy and Perreault released Hall along the boards giving him the time and space to make the play, for the rest of the game that was corrected.
Just past the halfway point of the period, Bonino pulled the Ducks back to even. The goal was a result of a good cycle play by the line of Bonino, Kyle Palmieri and Patrick Maroon and all three ended up on the scoresheet. Palmieri got the puck from the corner to Maroon behind the net who fed a quick pass right on to the tape of Bonino's stick and it was behind Bryz before he knew it.
The rest of the period was pretty uneventful. Dustin Penner went off toward the end of the period for clearing the puck over the glass, but the Oilers were unable to capitalize, and though Edmonton outshot the Ducks 14-8 the teams went to the dressing rooms tied at one.
Second Period Recap: The middle frame started off with some worrying moments for the Ducks. Just a minute into the period Beauchemin was called for holding, but much worse was that Jonas Hiller appeared to get clipped by a stick (possibly Cam Fowler's? I was in the car listening to the radio broadcast when this happened) and play had to be stopped. After being attended to, Hiller stayed in the game and the Ducks killed the penalty.
Only a few minutes later, Corey Potter hit Bonino from behind with a cross check to the back, and Bones went head first into the boards. It was an ugly play that could have ended very seriously, but luckily Bonino returned to the game very shortly thereafter. Potter did not, as he was assessed a five minute major and a game misconduct for checking from behind.
The five minute power play was so bad for the Ducks, you might have thought it was October again. The only chance of any quality was another shot off the post from Perreault. To be fair it was a really nice play to get the puck to Perreault and a much better shot that had Bryz beaten cleanly, but CLANG. Other than that, the Ducks had a hell of a time even trying to enter the zone against a team with a supposedly terrible defense.
The good news was that the Ducks carried the play much more than they did in the first period, though it didn't materialize until the end of the period. With five minutes remaining, the ketchup bottle opened and Teemu Selanne scored for the first time since Oct. 20. The play was somewhat similar to the Bonino goal in that Perreault got the puck from behind the net up to Teemu right at the top of the crease, but it required a little more skill from Teemu to get the puck from his skate to his stick and past the toe of Byrzgalov.
The shot totals were almost exactly flipped from the first with the Ducks out shooting Edmonton 14-6.
Third Period Recap: Right away to start the third period Hall took a shot from the outside and Hiller made the save with his far pad, but kicked out a juicy rebound to Jordan Eberle on the far side. Eberle couldn't elevate the puck, but Hiller did a great job to get back and cover the lower part of the net to keep the Ducks up by one.
Edmonton did equalize though midway through the period when Sam Gagne turned on the jets and got in behind Hampus Lindholm. Palmieri was nearly able to lift his stick, but Gagne got the shot off and it found daylight between Hiller's pads.
Throughout the third period Ben Lovejoy did a real number on the top line of the Oilers. There were two specific instances where he made great defensive plays. One was on a mirror of the opening goal of the game as Hall tried to skate himself into open ice, but Lovejoy stuck right with him and eventually forced the puck out of the zone for the Ducks to transition the other way. The other (which I'm surprised isn't on the NHL.com highlight reel) came as Nugent-Hopkins nearly got in on a breakaway, but Lovejoy made a picture perfect diving sweep check to knock the puck off of his stick before they both ended up in the net.
The other non-goal related highlight of the period for many Ducks fans was Beauch's open ice hip check on none other than Justin Schultz.
For the most part the PPG line was kept under wraps, but once again they came up big when it counted. With three minutes remaining in the game Getzlaf got the puck to Penner found a soft spot at the top of the circle with time to settle it and fire. The puck deflected of Jeff Petry's stick and over the glove of Bryzgalov. The Ducks did a good job of holding the puck deep in the Oilers' zone for most of the last few minutes, allowing the former Oiler's goal to hold up as the game winner.
With that, the Ducks have won five in a row and improved to 13-0-2 on home ice as they head out on a four game road trip prior to the Christmas break.
The Good: Teemu is still allowed to score! And his line with Perrault and Matt Beleskey looked much more dangerous than any "second line" combination had in the past few weeks. Also the only line without a player on the score sheet was the Saku Koivu - Daniel Winnik - Andrew Cogliano line. Finally getting some secondary scoring, and it was a particularly good time for it seeing how the PPG line was contained for the majority of the game, though they did end up being the difference.
The Bad: The first period was sloppy all around from the Ducks, but they were able to survive with a 1-1 tie after 20 and make some much needed adjustments both offensively and defensively.
The Ugly: Corey Potter's hit on Bonino, though not as severe as it could have been, was scary to look at just like any hit from behind in that range about five feet away from the boards.
Oilers Potter has a phone hearing this afternoon.— John Shannon (@JSportsnet) December 16, 2013
Next Game: Tuesday, December 17th at 4:30pm against the slumping Red Wings in Detroit