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Baby Steps: Ducks Play Slightly Better in 3-2 Win

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The Bruins were the better team for the majority of this game and the Ducks got away with it.

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Final Score:  Ducks 3, Bruins 2

ducks bruins corsi all situations 12-1-14

First Period:

If we're being honest here, the first period was kind of boring.  The Ducks didn't play very well but got an early power play chance when Mat Clark was tripped by Chris Kelly behind Frederik Andersen only 2:48 into the period.  Some good penalty killing from Boston stopped them from really doing anything of value though.

Just before the midway point of the period, Tuukka Rask came out to cut off a Jakob Silfverberg dump in and turned it right over to Devante Smith-Pelly but was able to get back into his net to make a save.  Like most of the Ducks' shots in this period it was from the perimeter.

Shortly thereafter, Hampus Lindholm took a holding the stick penalty right in front of Freddy, and the Ducks did almost as good a job on the kill as Boston.  Only a few minutes later the Bruins got another chance with the extra man as Kesler went off for slashing.  That power play was a little bit better but still nothing extraordinarily dangerous outside of a couple of deflections that went wide.

By far the best chance of the period came with only a few seconds left when Matt Fraser's wrap around attempt slipped right through the crease to Reilly Smith with Andersen flat on his stomach, but Smith was a little off balance and had Kyle Palmieri pressuring him so he couldn't get it over the pad.  The Ducks were nearly doubled up in shots on goal 13-7 in the period and it showed.

Second Period:

The Second was much more action packed.  Right away the Ducks caught a HUGE bounce as Daniel Paille got a rebound at the top of the crease, swept it around Freddy and off the post.  The puck rolled back under Andersen with Josh Manson and Cam Fowler laying in the crease but came out the front.  The Bruins recovered and Gregory Campbell whiffed on a pass right through the crease as well, somehow the Ducks survived.

The Ducks finally got a good couple of shifts in the offensive zone that led to some shots thanks to a great outlet pass from Ryan Getzlaf to Corey Perry and two fancy keep ins first from Getz, then from DSP.  It didn't result in a goal, but the Ducks did get a second power play opportunity when Silfverberg was high sticked at the end of the play by Fraser.  However, the PP was so terrible, the Ducks should have declined it.  Boston got three shorthanded shots on goal to Anaheim's zero during the penalty.

Only about a minute after the Boston kill they went on the PP, when Andrew Cogliano tripped Milan Lucic at the Ducks' defensive blueline.  The Ducks killed it off but, were hemmed in the zone due to poor clearing attempts for the vast majority of the penalty.  And just seven seconds after Cogs was released from the box Freddy kicked a rebound from a very sharp angle right out to the slot for Brad Marchand to open the scoring for Boston.  1-0 Bruins.

The lead didn't last long though, because Sami Vatanen and Patrick Maroon didn't let it.  Only 57 seconds after the Bruins goal, Sami steamed into the Boston zone carrying the puck, dropped it off for Maroon and continued to drive toward the net where he kicked the rebound off of Maroon's shot to his stick and chopped it past Rask.  Gotta love that skating from Sami V.  1-1 Tie.

The Ducks got one more power play in the period about two minutes later, and this one actually looked like they had more players on the ice than Boston, imagine that.  Their best chance came from a rebound to Silf, but he was falling and couldn't wrap it around Rask who had come out to the top of the crease.  But that chance paled in comparison to Joe Morrow's breakaway fresh out of the box.  Freddy did a great job to stay with him as Morrow went to the backhand and get his left pad on the shot

So all in all, the Ducks were pretty lucky to be going into the second intermission tied, BUT WAIT, with only 21 seconds left DSP redirected Fowler's point shot in for the Ducks to take an unlikely lead. The lead was made even more unlikely by the fact that DSP was quite obviously holding the stick of Matt Bartkowski in front of the net just before Fowler took the shot.  2-1 Ducks despite being out  shot 28-18.

Third Period:

The first five, or so, minutes of the third period was the best stretch for the Ducks by far.  Kyle Palmieri had a Hell of a shift a few minutes in when he carried the puck in the zone, made a hard cut around Tory Krug and just missed his shot over the top of the bar.  But the Ducks regained possession thanks to some bad ass forechecking by Ryan Kesler and Palms very nearly cashed in from close range from a sweet pass by Rene Bourque.

Less than a minute after that, Tim Jackman had a similar play where Nate Thompson threw a puck to the front and he jammed it off of Rask's pads.  This time it popped up in the air, Rask didn't know where it was, Maroon followed the play and tried to swat it in to a pretty wide open net, but didn't make good contact and for some reason the referee blew the whistle, even though it was never covered.

Only two minutes later, I officially decided I was done with the "Tuuuuuuuuu" chants from the Boston fans whenever Rask touched the puck.  It wasn't quite to the Vancouver/Luongo levels, but Perry knocked a puck out of mid air that sat right in front of Rask and all he did was cover.... Seriously not worth chanting his name, people.  But it all worked out for the best when Matt Beleskey scored right off of the ensuing faceoff.  Getzlaf clean faceoff win, Bleskey one timer right over Tuukka's glove.  3-1 Ducks.

Boston got one back five minutes later when Simon Gagne (who is apparently still not retired) snuck into the slot and redirected a centering pass from Paille past Andersen.  3-2 Ducks.  Apart from one more scramble play around Rask, thanks again to Kesler working his ass off on the forecheck, the rest of the game was a series of failed clearances, blocked shots, and icings for the Ducks as they held on for dear life.  Claude Julien pulled Rask with just under a minute and a half to go but the Ducks withstood the onslaught to win.

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The Good: Luck.  Really the only difference between this game and the one in San Jose on Sunday was that the Ducks got all of the bounces.  They could have easily been down three or more by the midway point of the game, but they were able to keep it tied and steal a lead going into the third.

The Bad: All of the Corsis. For the third straight game against a good opponent (even if all three are still a below where most people thought they would be at the start of the season), the Ducks were massively out possessed.  After the games against Vancouver, Calgary and Arizona I was almost starting to think that the Ducks could get their act together possession wise, as they did in certain stretches across all six of those games last month but these last three have been a huge step back against much better opposition.

The Ugly: Homerism.  Combined on my 10 minute drive home, Steve Carroll, Dan Wood and Josh Brewster each called this a 60 minute effort on multiple occasions.  It was not.  Blocking 28 shots, while impressive to an extent, is not the kind of effort required to win games on a regular basis.  Just because they won and Bruce Boudreau said he wanted a 60 minute effort out of the team (who gave a zero minute effort and a 20 minute effort their last two times out) does not mean that is what happened.  The Bruins were the better team for the majority of this game and the Ducks got away with it.

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3rd MVD: Sami Vatanen - I'll give it to him, just because that goal was so damn pretty.  I wonder if Boston fan's know what it's like to have a defenseman who can skate the entire length of the ice, through multiple defenders like it's nothing and score from the top of the crease.....

2nd MVD: Jakob Silfverberg - Still can't put the puck in the net but was getting chances all night, led the Ducks with five shots on goal and made some nifty little defensive plays with his stick.

1st MVD: Freddy Andersen - He got a little lucky, but once again was the main reason the Ducks were in the game and able to take the lead going into the second, completely and utterly against the run of play.

Next Game: Wednesday, December 3, 7:30pm PT vs. the Philadelphia Flyers