Final Score: Ducks 5, Flyers 4 (SO)
The First period started out with special teams. Rene Bourque was off for hooking just over a minute into the game. Wayne Simmonds hit a post from the slot and the Ducks had a 2-on-1 that fizzled during the penalty. Immediately after the kill the Ducks had their turn on the PP as Chris VandeVelde was caught on an equally stupid hook, behind the Ducks' net, but nothing of note came from that penalty. Despite the two power plays, neither team registered a shot on goal for nearly nine minutes.
At the midway point of the period the Ducks went on another power play when Andrew MacDonald interfered with Jakob Silfverberg's dump and chase attempt. This time the Ducks didn't even get set up once in the offensive zone.
Around about the 15 minute mark the Ducks got some offense going, throwing the puck into the crease on several occasions, but nobody was able to get a touch on it, most notably Devante Smith-Pelly would have had an empty net if it wasn't for some good stick work from a Flyers defenseman.
With just under three minutes remaining Philly got a 2-on-1 with Claude Giroux and Michael Rafl against Sami Vatanen from the blue line that resulted in a bit of an awkward save from Frederik Andersen, but no second opportunity.
The period ended scorelessly with only four shots on goal per team. What. A. Snooze.
The first minute of the middle period was already more exciting than the opening 20, as Andrew Cogliano had two chances in close, one on a breakaway from the blueline but couldn't beat Steve Mason. And then the Ducks went on another early period power play when Mark Streit went off for slashing Ryan Kesler. They nearly gave up a shorthanded breakaway to Matt Read, but Sami made a good play to deny a shot on goal. After that the Ducks did begin to look like an actual power play unit with a couple of scrambles in front but the penalty was killed.
Despite the Ducks clearly having the better of the play, Philly opened the scoring as Giroux entered the zone with speed and laid a pretty pass across the slot to Rafl and Josh Manson couldn't get to him. The puck found its way through a sliding Freddy Andersen and into the net. 1-0 Flyers.
Tempers flared after Matt Beleskey put the puck into the net wayyyyyyyy after the play had been blown dead for offside, even though the play truly was onside, and all of a sudden this had become a hockey game. In the ruckus Simmonds and Perry were given roughing penalties resulting in some 4-on-4 play. During the penalties the Ducks caught Philly on a bad line change for a 3-on-2 rush and Silf dropped the puck to Cam Fowler whose shot deflected off of Streit's stick past Mason to even the score just past the eight minute mark. 1-1 tie.
But Philly got it right back as Simmonds burned Clayton Stoner in the neutral zone, steamed in on net and caught Freddy before he could square up, butterfly and/or challenge the shot really in any way, only 32 seconds after Fowler's equalizer. 2-1 Flyers.
Immediately after the goal Mat Clark went off for elbowing. From the first angle it looked like a clear headshot, but upon further review he may have gotten some shoulder/chest area first. Either way it was a dangerous/ugly hit. In the last seconds of the power play Nick Shultz' point shot was blockered away by Andersen, right into R.J.Umberger and it just dropped right into the crease for him to tap it in. 3-1 Flyers.
The scoring explosion continued as the Flyers nearly had an odd man break, but turned it over for the Ducks to go in 3-on-1 and Ryan Getzlaf picked a corner. 3-2 Flyers.
The Ducks followed it up with a hard forechecking shift that ended with Streit slashing Tim Jackman's stick in half and another Ducks power play. Immediately off the faceoff Kesler got a shot away that Mason just barely steered it off the crossbar and Perry nearly jumped on it as it came back in front off the high glass. This was by far the best PP opportunity for the Ducks to that point in the game, but still no luck in terms of a goal.
With only 53 seconds remaining in the period, Sami Vatanen tied the game on a great individual effort. He tried to walk the puck through just about every Flyer defender, chipped the puck on net that was directed behind the goal by Mason. Maroon got it back to Vatanen and he just tucked it around the post and in from below the goal line with Mason looking the other way. 3-3 tie.
That was 20 minutes of hockey that would have made Grandma Fiddler proud, especially in comparison to the intensely boring first period
The coaches clearly got to their players during the second intermission because the third period stared much more reserved by both teams. Just about five minutes in, Anaheim had a clear cut 3-on-2 rush but wasted it by going offside.
The middle of the period was more or less a series of icings. Back to that boring, non-play from the first period, though in fairness there were a few more shots than the first, even if they weren't anything dangerous. That is until Sami Vatanen got the puck and again tried to skate through the entire Flyers team, this time getting unceremoniously dumped by an open ice hip check from Schultz in the slot.
With 6:40 left in the period the Ducks were on yet another power play, after the Flyers cleared the puck over the glass and Pat Maroon converted against the team that drafted him. Getzlaf's shot from the outside was blocked by Perry, the rebound off the end boards was backhanded to Maroon by Perry and Mason seemed to lose track of it before Patty put it in. 4-3 Ducks.
Craig Berube pulled Mason with about 1:45 left. Giroux cranked two one timers wide, DSP couldn't handle the puck at the top of the crease in front of the empty net, and just as you would expect Simmonds tied it up, on his second opportunity to the side of the net with 1.8 seconds on the clock. 4-4 Tie.
The first chance was Brayden Coburn all alone, but with no kind of screen it was an easy save for Freddy. Then the Ducks had two odd man rushes, first a 3-on-2 instigated by Manson then a 2-on-1 with Vatanen skating the puck in. You can't say they weren't going for it.
Fowler made a great pass to Cogs in front, but Mason tripped him up before he could get it on net. The Ducks turned it over at center ice for a Read breakaway, he tried to snap it high glove, but Freddy read it all the way. Andersen had to make one more save on Read at the buzzer, and we were off to the skills competition.
Voracek - Save (super slow attack, quick release, five hole closed)
Slfverberg - Goal (between the arm and the body, glove side)
Sean Couturier - Goal (triple deke, attempted poke check failed)
Perry - Goal (wide right, five hole)
Giroux - Save (little juke, forehand shot, leg pad save)
Ducks Win, even though it took longer than it should have.
The Good: For the first time in quite a while, the Ducks were the better team through the majority of this game, but....
The Bad: This defense just isn't good enough. Luckily neither is Philly's. Against most other teams in the league, going down 3-1 is a death sentence.
The Ugly: Not quite Patrik Stefan, but Jesus Christ DSP put that empty netter away!
The Other: How nice is it that Wayne Simmonds doesn't play for the Kings anymore. God damn, I love the way that man plays hockey.
3rd MVD: Jakob Silfverberg - He just seems to be riiiiiight on the cusp of breaking through. He had a pretty little assist on Cam Fowler's goal and a couple good chances to get one of his own, but still no dice. Keep tapping on that ketchup bottle Silf.
2nd MVD: Patrick Maroon - Goal and an assist (should have been the game winner)
1st MVD: Sami Vatanen - great goal, five shots (tied with Getzlaf for the team lead) a couple good defensive plays to stifle clear cut chances. Couldn't you just watch him skate the puck all day?
Next Game: Friday, Dec 5 at Minnesota 5pm PT