It was good roster news for a change to start the game as Corey Perry was back in the lineup from his bout with the Mumps and Kyle Palmieri made his season debut, after having missed training camp and the first month and a half with an ankle injury. Palms wasn't supposed to start, but was pressed into duty due to a stomach flu for Tim Jackman. So he became the second Duck already this season to play three in three after coming up from Norfolk. With those changes, the lines mixed up like so to start out:
Patrick Maroon - Ryan Getzlaf - Corey Perry (Obviously)
Matt Beleskey - Ryan Kesler - Emerson Etem
Andrew Cogliano - William Karlsson - Jakob Silfverberg
Kyle Palmieri - Nate Thompson - Rickard Rakell
But that was about the end of the good news.
Before the first commercial break the Panthers had already taken the lead as Clayton Stoner stepped up to cut off a zone exit by the Panthers but got beat by the pass. Tomas Kopecky went in two on one with Vincent Trocheck against Cam Fowler and were spread wide enough that all Cam could do was sit in the middle. The pass got across to Trocheck and he buried it over Frederik Andersen's glove. 1-0 Panthers.
Only a couple of minutes later the Panthers were again off on a 2-on-1. Nick Bjugstad chipped the puck past a flat footed Josh Manson but when he got the puck back, Freddy was bailed out by the goal post.
The Ducks got the first power play opportunity of the game thanks to a delay of game call against Kopecky but nothing came of it.
Just over twelve minutes in the Ducks evened it up on a play that Florida should have cleared. The Ducks got it to the front of the net and the rebound came out to Hampus Lindholm who just flung it through a sea of bodies, it deflected off of the leg of Derek MacKenzie and past Al Montoya. 1-1 Tie.
Just before the end of the period Kesler had a point blank chance in front of Montoya but the Florida goalie was able to clamp down the elbow and keep it out.
At this point the place went NUTS as the video crew revealed that Teemu Selanne and Saku Koivu were in attendance. No hard feelings about the book. But the period ended somewhat disappointingly tied 1-1 with the Ducks outshooting Florida 9-6, though the disappointment had really yet to begin.
It took Florida less than two minutes into the period to regain their lead. Again Stoner was burned by some nice passing from the Panthers on the breakout, but Beleskey had him covered this time to avoid the odd man rush. The trouble came when Bjugstad cut across the high slot, dropping it to Jonathan Huberdeau and Stoner left Brad Boyes WIIIIIIIIIIDE open to the left of Andersen for an easy tap in. Tic-tac-toe, 2-1 Florida. The goal was reviewed for a kick in, but no distinct kicking motion was detected so it counted.
The Ducks responded with a good couple of shifts, just jamming everything into the crease, but to no avail.
Instead the Panthers extended the lead to two as Bjugstad carried in along the wall, cut around Vatanen and scored a softy on Andersen short side. No reason to let that one in, and that would spell the end of the night for Freddy. 3-1 Panthers.
The ugliness was not over. Huberdeau sped into the zone, it came hard around back to the right point for Aaron Ekblad. The 2014 first overall pick whipped it on net, through the screen of Fowler and Huberdeau made a gorgeous deflection to get it past LaBarbera. 4-1 Pannthers Yikes!
The Ducks had their chance to get back into it with a holding call but the power play had nothing once again. To be fair they did have two chances shortly after the kill, but no luck.
Right near the end of the period, Perry was called for unsportsmanlike conduct for something that happened on the bench. Brad Boyes got his second of the night, trying to pass the puck cross ice, it deflected off of Manson's skate and in. 5-1 Florida umm... WTF?!
Mercifully the period ended but the damage had been done.
Inexplicably Bruce Boudreau put Andersen back in for the final 20 minutes. Considering he wasn't likely to start in the first place and he got pulled AND the game was all over but the crying, the only explanation for Boudreau to go back to Andersen was to let him get his feet back under him for the road trip after having been pulled twice in the last three.
That didn't go so well though, as five minutes into the period Bjugstad made it 6-1. Boyes had the puck at the faceoff dot, Getzlaf poked it away but unfortunately right onto the stick of Bjugstad who fired it high blocker. Holy S*** 6-1.
Blah, blah, blah... Bjugstad came an inch away from the hat trick, hitting yet another post with about five minutes left. Andrew Cogliano scored one that deflected off of the stick of Willie Mitchell with a minute and a half left, but the Ducks still lost an embarassing game to a terrible team.
Good: Corey Perry was back, and dangling like a Mo' Fo'...... but that's about it.
Bad: Freddy's regression is in full swing. He couldn't hang around a .940 save percentage all season, but even worse is that there is no other option. LaBarbera is good for two goals against every time he hits the ice, even if it's for only 10 minutes. The Ducks need to get back to scoring a ton of goals or shore up the defense for the next month with no Plan B in net.
Ugly: The Ducks got run out of their own building by a team firmly entrenched in the Connor McDavid/Jack Eichel sweepstakes.
3rd Icehole: Clayton Stoner - clearly at fault for both of Florida's first to goals.
2nd Icehole: Brad Boyes - the Ducks just couldn't handle his speed, whether it was Manson, Stoner or Allen, he was flying up the ice all night, especially creating odd man rushes early on, when it was still a game.
1st Icehole: NickBjugstad - two goals, two assists, two posts. He was everywhere and everything for Florida in this ridiculous excuse for a hockey game.
Next Game: Tuesday, November 18, 6pm PST in Calgary against our old buddy Jonas Hiller (probably)