Final Score: [Ducks 3, Blackhawks 2: Shootout]
First Period Recap:
The Ducks took to the ice and played a strong first period. It was obvious that a day off did them well as they kept pace with a Chicago team that definitely enjoys an uptempo game.
While the Ducks would find a way to take a silly too-many-men bench minor, they boosted their confidence with an early penalty kill. Despite some solid work, and a shorthanded chance by Corey Perry, Corey Crawford would prove on this instance, and far too many others on this night, that he would not be bested.
The Ducks penalty kill proved to remain competent against a very lethal Hawks power play, but it was their own power play opportunity that just looked down right ugly.
Second Period Recap:
The scoring finally got going in the second period when Daniel Winnik drew a penalty giving the Ducks another power play opportunity. Great work entering the offensive zone saw Nick Bonino make a move around the Chicago defenders to pass the puck up to Ryan Getzlaf. His attempted pass to a wide open Perry on the opposite of the crease found an open Brent Seabrook's stick instead, and the Ducks went up 1-0.
However, it wasn't until Brad Staubitz took to the ice that the Ducks found themselves in trouble. Getzlaf was the recipient of a solid hit from Bryan Bickell in the corner of the Ducks zone, and it was one that Staubitz didn't feel should be overlooked. He quickly attacked Bickell and drew an instigator penalty and a 10:00 minute misconduct in addition to the 5:00 for fighting.
The momentum had changed.
Chicago would score on that very power play to tie the game at 1-1.
Shortly after, the Ducks would be the victim of a scare as Viktor Fasth went down in the crease to block an ambush of players tying to poke the puck into the net. His arm appeared to twist in an awkward fashion while reaching for the puck and this caused the goalie to seek attention from the training staff. Fortunately he was given a few moments of rest as the scramble in front of the net was reviewed for a possible goal.
To the dismay and disbelief of Ducks fans everywhere, the controversial goal was reviewed by the war room in Toronto and deemed a good goal. Take a look at the highlights to get a better idea of the call made by Toronto.
Despite having a 5-on-3 power play and drawing another penalty in the final minute of the second period, the Ducks would go to the locker room down 2-1.
Third Period Recap:
On the power play to start the third, the Ducks were unable to make anything happen. No surprises there. It has something to do with passing and not shooting that are currently the troubles plaguing the Ducks.
Thankfully, the Ducks showed they still have fight in their game. With much of the action going back and forth, they were able to keep the Blackhawks at bay. Persistence wins in the end, however, as Andrew Cogliano gets to the net and pots a rebound late in the third to send the Ducks into overtime.
The Ducks were shorthanded (4-on-3) for nearly 4 of the 5 minute session. That is a lot of time and extra space on the ice for lethal players like Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane. Enough said.
The Good: Two points. There's no dancing around it, the Ducks got two points against the biggest threat in the league. It would have been awesome to not give the Blackhawks any points in return, but hey - let's not be picky, shall we?
The Bad: The Ducks are starting to suffer from the lack of production from their big boys. Yes, it is fantastic to see that all 4 (well, usually 3) lines are rolling well and playing equal amounts of time throughout the game, but the lack of scoring from players like Perry is really beginning to hurt. Just one goal tonight would have made the difference between regulation and overtime. I'm hoping Perry breaks through soon - for the Ducks offense and his own mentality.
The Ugly: Special teams, most particularly the power play, boggle my mind. How you don't score on a 5-on-3 is absurd and quite frankly unacceptable. Bruce Boudreau might be doing wonders with the Ducks line up as a whole, but his special teams need some serious attention!
Next Game: Friday, February 15, 2013 @ Detroit 4:30pm