Final Score: Ducks 2, Blue Jackets 3 (OT)
First Period Recap: The game started with a bunch of back and forth skating. The Ducks looked rusty and unable to control the puck; whereas, Columbus was very active and always on the attack.
The Blue Jackets had the first quality chance of the period when the Ducks allowed the Columbus players to get set up in Anaheim's zone. Matt Calvert is manhandling Sami Vatanen (in for lower body injured Luca Sbisa) in front of the net. Fedor Tyutin shoots on goal, the puck hits Sami's skate and the puck deflects past Viktor Fasth, loudly clinking off the post. It looked like the puck went in but the overhead cam showed the puck ricocheting off the post, out of the crease and the ref waives it off at the same time.
Emerson Etem, always playing at 11, rushes in to the CBJ end with Tyutin on his tail. Tyutin smacks Etem in the face and he falls on his back, skidding into the end boards. It takes Etem a minute to get up off of all fours and skate off. He was fine and was given some butterfly stitches on the bench above his lip. Tyutin was given an interference penalty on the play and the Ducks were on the power play.
With the absence of both Sbisa and Cam Fowler, Vatanen found himself on the first power play unit alongside Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry, Teemu Selanne and Bobby Ryan. Getzlaf started off the man advantage by skating circles around the Blue Jackets. He is double teamed and manages to some how skate off both players. Even though the captain's smooth skating seemed to gorgonize the Jackets, it didn't lead to any quality scoring chances. The Ducks looked to be trying to jam in goals on Sergei Bobrovsky instead of taking shots from further away with people in front of the Columbus netminder.
Throughout the entire two minutes, the Ducks had a terrible time attempting to control the puck. Their struggles leads to two short-handed attempts by the Blue Jackets' R.J. Umberger. The first attempt was the direct result of being unable to keep the puck under control in the neutral zone. Umberger skates in untested and Fasth makes a diving saving to stop the puck. The second bid for Umberger came as Perry was jumping on the ice in a change. The puck was at his skates but he failed to notice, sending Umberger on his way. Sheldon Souray had been out for a long shift and was the only guy close enough (but still pretty far away) to very slowly trail Umberger. Again, Fasth bails out his teammates stopping Umberger's shot.
Not too long after Perry and David Steckel have a major communication breakdown in the Ducks zone. The two players kinda run into each other and go for the puck. It was weird. They looked confused. I was confused. Anyway, former Mighty Duck, the inexplicably tan Vinny Prospal, takes the puck and fires on Fasth. Fasth must have been as confused as I was because he had to make the save by leaping laterally in his crease.
Blake Comeau was whistled for holding at 11:31 and by 11:37 the Ducks had taken the lead. Back with the first power play unit, Getzlaf passes the puck to Vatanen who sends a laser of a wrist-shot over the shoulder of Bobrovsky and into the top corner. This is Sami's first NHL goal in his fourth NHL game.
The goal gave the Ducks some energy while the were skating but they didn't translate the newfound energy into attacking Columbus. They reminded me of the Wicked Witch's flying monkeys in the Wizard of Oz. They swooped around the ice but over-skated the puck or didn't stop in front of the net.
The Blue Jackets went on the power play next after Perry slammed Tyutin face and chest first into the boards, resulting in a boarding call. In a way, Anaheim lucked out. Columbus has the 29th best power play in the league. They took shots from above the circles, on net, without anyone in Fasth's sightline. The period ended with the Ducks still up 1-0 and Columbus' power play carried over into the next period.
Second Period Recap: The Jackets had 0:21 remaining on the power play to start the second. The best chance they had at scoring was on a Cam Atkinson semi-breakaway. At the moment of truth, Atkinson lost control of the puck and Fasth didn't have to do anything.
The line that probably had the most consistent scoring chances was that of Ryan, Saku Koivu and Andrew Cogliano. They were able to find way to send multiple shots at Bobrovsky, grab the rebound and fire again. They just couldn't get it past him.
The second period was a lot like the first. The Ducks didn't skate terribly hard. They hooked and held instead of attacking the CBJ player before he could grab the puck. Fasth continued to bail his teammates out time after time because they just couldn't clear the zone.
Columbus tied the game when Fasth couldn't control a rebound that went to James Wisniewski. Wiz fired the puck on net and Comeau tipped the puck past Fasth. Following the goal, there was a good deal of pushing and shoving. Jared Boll cross-checked David Steckel in the back after the puck went in the net. Sheldon Souray did not appreciate this from Boll and he and Boll had some pokes at each other. They were both sent to the box for matching roughing minors.
Marian Gaborik had the first real shot at a goal after a couple sick moves. He stickhandled the puck through Bryan Allen's legs and then did the same to Vatenen. Luckily Koivu was able to lift Gaborik's stick before he could get a shot off. As for the Ducks, Vatanen almost catches Bobrovsky sleeping when he flung a pass from the Ducks zone that banked off someone in the neutral zone and went right on net. Bobrovsky had to make a weird, sprawling save to cover his ass.
The period ended with both teams at a goal a piece.
Third Period Recap: As seems to be the trend lately when the Ducks are down, the RPG Line was reunited to start the third. The Twins had originally been playing with Kyle Palmieri but he wasn't getting the job done.
Ok, so maybe Palms wasn't getting it done with Perry and Getzlaf but he managed to factor into one of the strangest goals I've ever seen. Palmieri is at the side of Bobrovsky's net. Right before he gets blasted by one of the Blue Jackets, he sends the puck through his legs and back towards Steckel. Steckel and Timothy Erixon chopped at the puck at the same time. The puck goes straight up in the air and lands behind Bobrovsky in the crease. No one has any idea where the puck is. Once Prospal saw it, the puck was dancing cross the goal line. Ducks up 2-1. This is Steckel's first goal as a Duck. (We got him for face-offs, not offense).
There was more roughing after the goal resulting in a 4-on-4 even strength go (Steckel and Wiz are in the box). Less than a minute later, the 4-on-4 becomes a 4-on-3 when Perry doesn't move his feet and elects to hook Jack Johnson instead. Fasth had to come up big again with his teammates out of position on the ice. Once again, luck was on Fasth's side and he stopped all chances.
Under ten minutes left in regulation, Matt Calvert easily scores on a rebound from a Brandon Dubinsky wrap around attempt. The puck deflected off of Fasth's stick, right to Cam Atkinson, who fans on the shot. The fanned-on puck finds Calvert and he roofs it over a splayed out Fasth. Game tied 2-2.
The Ducks have a prime opportunity to win the game as Mr. Meat Train Jack Johnson interferes with Palmieri with 3:23 to go. The power play was short lived. The Ducks made the bonehead mistake of having too many men on the ice, neutralizing their power play. The TV viewers caught a glimpse of Bruce Boudreau as the penalty was being announced. He angrily threw a forearm/elbow on the glass behind him while shouting a word I'm pretty sure wasn't 'DUCK'.
CBJ holds on to the puck as the clock ticked down to their power play. After a stoppage, Columbus calls a time out. Off the faceoff, Dubinsky and Prospal nearly score on a Getzlaf turnover. The period ends and we're going to OT.
OT Recap: The Ducks only good chance at ending the game was from a Getzlaf stretch pass from the Ducks zone to Perry rushing into the Columbus zone. The puck is too far ahead of Perry and he's being chased down by Tyutin attempting to get the icing call. Perry plays Tyutin's stick instead of getting inside of him to take away the icing. No shot, no goal.
Nick Foligno does some fancy skating moves to get around Koivu and then shoots the puck on goal. Rushing down the center, and right past Teemu Selanne, Tyutin met Foligno's shot at the tip of the crease and deflected the puck through Fasth's five-hole. Game over. Columbus beats the Ducks in OT for the second time this season.
The Good: All it took was a tiny Finnish man (Sami Vatanen) to remember how to score on the power play.
The Bad: Sami will never have size working in his favor. He's pretty short by NHL standards. He was getting physically dominated by the Blue Jackets. He should strength train with Emerson Etem because Etem is built with a lot of lean muscle that Sami needs to stay on his feet.
The Ugly: I thought the defense for the Ducks would come together with Sbisa out for a game. They didn't. Francois Beauchemin was saving everyone's behind way more than he should have been, including his defensive partner Souray.
3rd Icehole: Teemu Selanne. He was the forward back who allowed Tyutin to easily skate past him and get in position for the game winning goal in OT.
Viktor Fasth. He played an outstanding game and it all went to shit in overtime when he gave up the game winning goal. I am so, so tired of the one soft goal he gives up every game because it's always scored via the five-hold. Even Hazy says he needs to get his stick in front of the five-hole on saves and he won't give up that goal quite as much. (Redacted upon further review)
1st Icehole: Corey Perry. He just looks off. He's not pissing people off in front of the net as much anymore. He's slow to the puck. He has had a tendancy to attempt to draw a call and then stare at the ref when it doesn't work (and play is still going on.)
Next Game: Friday, April 19th, 6:00pm PT at Calgary