Final Score: Ducks 3, Columbus 2
First Period Recap: Jonas Hiller - who is probably feeling the Fasth-related heat at this point in the season - started very sharp. However, a flat-footed Ducks defense allowed Columbus to score first. Vinny Prospal got hit by a puck and subsequently sent it past Hiller. Our worst fears as Ducks fans seemed to be coming true - Columbus jumped out to an early lead, and out shot the Ducks by a significant margin to start the period.
The Ducks put several shots on goal, but failed to capitalize on anything: a Lovejoy shot on goal went right into Bobrovsky's glove, Lydman fired wide and Koivu's one-timer drilled Bobrovsky. Peter Holland gets called for interference to stop a clear cut 2-on-1, but he tied the game shortly after his penalty expired. Yay Holland! (And thanks to Bobby Ryan for the breakaway pass).
The Ducks took the lead with a goal from Ryan Getzlaf off a Bobrovsky rebound immediately after Holland's tally. Palmieri was denied by Bobrovsky at the end of the period, but that doesn't really matter. The Ducks scored two goals in 21 seconds.
Second Period Recap: Saku Koivu took a holding penalty and guess what? Our penalty kill worked! Hiller got caught swimming in the crease, but luckily Francois Beauchemin came to the rescue playing goalie for a shift to stop a sure goal from Derick Brassard. Phew. This was a relatively uneventful period, but Corey Perry hit Jared Boll at center ice, and Bobrovsky stopped a Winnik on a cross crease pass from Teemu, that should have been a goal.
Third Period Recap: A shot ricocheted off of Hiller and hits Derek Dorsett in the head. It looked ugly, but he should be okay. Adrian Aucoin gave Ben Lovejoy a hard shove to the ice, and no penalty is called. Because we're the Ducks, basically. But that doesn't matter, because Perry extended the lead moments later on the power play off a Getzlaf feed down low. Just like old times. Beauchemin tried to get in on the action, as the puck trickled over Bobrovsky's shoulder, but it's Perry's goal.
But just when it seemed as though the Ducks had iced the game, Brassard brought the Jackets within one on a delayed penalty. Perry was sent to the box for holding with only 34 seconds remaining and Bobrovsky pulled for the extra attacker so Columbus finished the game with a 6-on-4 attack. There was a tense moment where Beauchemin got a puck out of the crease, but Koivu blocked the final shot with about a second left on the clock and the Ducks held on to win 3-2.
As much as I would've liked a Flyers-Islanders style beat down, a regulation win is still a regulation win.
The Good: The power play! Many of us have bemoaned the struggles of our special teams, but the power play seemed to click tonight. The Ducks were able to maintain possession during the PP and generate lots of chances.
The Bad: The defense, with the exception of Beauchemin. They looked very sloppy at the beginning of the game, and were directly responsible for Vinny Prospal's goal. They were also responsible for several close calls later in the game.
The Ugly: There was nothing particularly ugly about this game. I wish it hadn't been so close, though (as I said earlier).
Next Game: vs Colorado, Sunday, February 24 at 5 pm