Final Score: Ducks 3, Oilers 4 OT
First Period Recap: Just 35 seconds in, the addition of Nick Bonino to the first line took effect. Sami Vatanen carried the puck across the blue line finding Bonino. In a swift give-and-go play, Bonino passed the puck to Ryan Getzlaf who returned the pass to Bonino in front of the net, giving the Ducks an early lead.
After the Ducks continued to dominate the first few thereafter, Matt Hendricks decided to drop gloves with Daniel Winnik in order to rouse up his home team. Despite the man-advantage from the extra roughing minor given to Hendricks, the Ducks were largely unsuccessful in putting the pucks on net. In fact, the best chance for a goal came from the Oilers when Gordon had a shorthanded opportunity when the Ducks missed a pinch. With Pat Maroon stationed in front of Ben Scrivens, Getzlaf looked to either get it through traffic or create a rebound. Unfortunately, Scrivens stood to the call. That phrase basically became the phrase of the night.
In my past previews and recaps, I have been lamenting over the lost pinches that have been costing the Ducks odd man rushes. Once again, that would come into play. Ben Lovejoy skated up for a pinch but got caught out of position when Taylor Hall outletted to David Perron up the ice. Unable to get back in time, Lindholm was left alone from against a 2-on-1 between Perron and Sam Gagner and the Oilers scored on their first shot as well.
The score really didn't do the Ducks' effort justice. They kept up the pressure throughout the entire period leading to quality chances. A lone Teemu Selanne speedily skated ahead to receive a nice pass but he was unable to settle the rolling puck before reaching Scrivens. Immediately after, Jakob Silfverberg's redirect hit the crossbar. In another instance, Perry had a golden opportunity after Getzlaf found him alone only to be stoned by Scrivens' left pad. Stephane Robidas rushed in for the rebound, but Scrivens was just getting started.
A Robidas hit on Hall resulted in a brief bear hug and shoving between Robidas and Perron. Despite there not having been any indication of a penalty call on Robidas' hit, he was sent to the sin bin along with Perron for boarding and roughing minors respectively. Nothing really changed on the 4-on-4 play--the Ducks kept up the pressure as both Getzlaf and Vatanen had a few shots on goal. But alas, neither could solve the Edmonton goaltender. Not long after, Hendricks continued his night of shenanigans by tripping (but actually kneeing) Vatanen. The Ducks' ensuing power play was nothing worth speaking of--the Ducks failed to establish any time in the offensive zone.
Despite all the great scoring chances of the Ducks, only the first shot for each team mattered at the end of the first.
Second Period Recap: I can sum up the period with four words: The Ben Scrivens Show.
The period began with Scrivens attempting draw a goalie interference on Perry and Perry attempting to draw a tripping call on Scrivens. And finally concluded with a crosscheck on Perry by Andrew Ference. No call was made during this time.
Repeat this segment the number of shots the Ducks had on the Oilers: Oilers couldn't clear the puck-->the Oilers defense turned it over-->Ducks held it in-->Ducks found a good shot-->And then Scrivens made some spectacular save, pulling the entire dead weight of his team. Repeat Again. And again....
So the Ducks' shooting gallery attempt on Scrivens began...Set up by Mathieu Perrault, Selanne got a nice shot from the top of the circle, but without any traffic, Scrivens dusted the attempt off. Perry stick handled his way to the blue paint but Scrivens continued to hold his ground. Getzlaf's bomb sent the puck past Scrivens, but Hall would swoop in and swat the puck right off the goal line. Perry, Bonino, and Getzlaf easily skated through the Oilers defensemen, but one man in blue continued to stand between the puck and the back of the net. After a turnover on the Edmonton blue line, Matt Beleskey recovered the loose puck and snapped it past Scrivens. Unfortunately, the Ducks were not only up against Scrivens, but also the goal posts.
By far the greatest crime that occurred tonight was this larceny by Scrivens.
Francois Beachemin's blue line shot was saved by a sprawling Scrivens. Silfverberg was positioned perfectly in front to backhand the rebound into a gaping net. In some incredible athletic and acrobatic feat, Scrivens reached back and gloved the puck. WHAT. THE. HELL.
After all those missed opportunities, something had to give. And as luck had it tonight, fate looked favorably upon Edmonton (probably because they suffer from some real sh**ty weather.) And it began with that gawd damn pinch. Tied up with Hall, Lovejoy was caught out of position. Despite his efforts to hustle back and guard the puck-carrying Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Lovejoy lost his edge. On the 2-on-1 rush, Jordan Eberle easily avoided a sprawling Winnik and snapped it behind Hiller. The Oilers took the lead 1-2.
Despite the Ducks dominating puck possession, nothing seemed to go their way. The Ducks' relentless pressure finally gave way when the rebound from Robidas' point shot created havoc in front of Scrivens. But this time, in a rare instance of weakness, Scrivens could not settle the puck down. Finally, Maroon jammed it home and tied up the game 2-2.
The game continued to get weirder and weirder as time went by. Perry received a perfect outlet pass for at the Edmonton blue line when he was called offside. Upon the playback, the puck crossed the line before his skates. Frustrated by the poor call, Perry took a jab at Hall and more pushing and shoving ensued. With both Perry and Hall called for roughing, the Ducks continued to exploit the Oilers' weak defense by keeping the puck in the offensive zone. But the Oilers had the best defenseman on the ice with Scrivens in net.
Hendricks dropped gloves again, but this time with Matt Beleskey.
In the dying seconds, Beauchemin lost the puck behind the net which nearly resulted in a goal by Boyd Gordon if not for an alert Hiller. Just like the last game in Calgary, the absolute dominance (16-7 SOG) by the Ducks would fail to show up on the scoreboard.
Third Period Recap: The Oilers received their first man-advantage when Robidas was called for interference on Hall. holding Edmonton to the outside, Anaheim was able to kill the penalty without any damage.
The Ducks continued where they left off by forechecking the OIlers' defense. And once again, despite the opportunities, Scrivens continued to stymie the Ducks' offense.
The Oilers took the tied scoreboard as a sign that the hockey gods were looking favorably upon them. In a rare offensive opportunity, the Oilers crossed the blue line. Oscar Klefbom was left wide open in the middle of the ice for a shot. Hiller never saw the puck with all the traffic set in front of him. And once again the Oilers took up the lead, 2-3.
The Ducks had their chances to score. Getzlaf and Perry continued to dominate. But Scrivens just had Perry's number tonight. Perry may be able to fix glass panels, reset goal pegs, and steal hockey sticks, but he could not score a goal past Scrivens. Fortunately, Perrault and Maroon could. Selanne's play off the boards allowed Maroon the perfect opportunity to use his signature no look-backwards-pass to get the puck to Perrault in front of the net. The Ducks tied it with less than five minutes left in the game.
Both Scrivens and Hiller made some final key saves at the end of the third, forcing the game into overtime.
Overtime Recap: Remember how I said this game only got weirder and weirder as time went by? Well, it all accumulated during the overtime. Unsurprisingly, the Ducks came out and pressured the Oilers in their own zone. In the opening seconds of the overtime, the Ducks unleashed havoc in front of the Oilers net when Beauchemin passed to Perry while Vatanen got a chance on the rebound. Though Scrivens made the save, the Ducks would get the call as Ference sat out for hooking.
The Ducks did not hurry on the power play. With Maroon screening Scrivens, the Ducks patiently passed along the perimeter. When the Ducks finally took the shot, the Oilers frantically swatted at the puck to clear the zone. With 21 seconds left on the PP, Petry swatted the rebound over the glass. Finally, it seemed like lady luck was smiling towards the Ducks as the Oilers were called for delay of game. The Ducks had a 5-on-3 man advantage for 21 seconds--which they failed to use in any efficient manner. Lady Luck can be a fickle b**** as the play turned into even strength 3-on-3 when Perrault was called for tripping.
With so much ice, both teams of three traded chances. Winding down to the final minute of overtime, Vatanen's pass intercepted by Ference down the middle of the ice. He wasted no time ripping it, off the post and behind Hiller.
Oh, how cruel the hockey gods can be.
The Good: Honestly, how good was Ben Scrivens? Considering the sh**-show of the Oilers' blue lline, he was absolutely spectacular. He won that game. The Ducks had FIFTY-ONE shots on goal; he only let in three. And keep in mind he was left hanging for a good portion of the game.
The Bad: I'm going to split this into two parts:
a) Power Play...welcome back to the "bad" list- Back to the old days of the power play...the days which we would like to forget....The second PP was particularly horrible. In the two WHOLE minutes of having a man-advantage, the Ducks failed to amount ANY sort of momentum in the offensive zone. And what about those last PP's during overtime? The Ducks were back to passing back and forth along the periphery, having no clue or purpose in their passing.
b) The missed pinches that led to the odd-man rushes- Ben Scrivens was awesome, but his saves don't put up goals on the scoreboard. Taking the unwise and untimely pinches have become a bad habit of the Ducks' blue line. And it's coming back to bite them in the ass. Two of the goals were scored on odd-man rush attacks, that were only possible due to a defenseman being caught out of position. What's going to happen when the Ducks face a Stanley Cup caliber team? The Ducks need to really work on their defensive positioning and discretion during this last stretch.
The Ugly: Despite playing an overall solidly good game, the Ducks still fell to the Oilers, thanks to Ben Scrivens. The Oilers took advantage of the tiny lapses, while the Ducks couldn't execute on the majority of their given opportunities. The Ducks never gave up or eased the pressure, but in the end, they got beat by great goaltending. This entire game was an absolutely ugly loss to the Ben Scrivens Show-that was just a marvelous effort by the ex-King goaltender. He single-handedly stole the game from the Ducks. I still cannot believe what I witnessed. It just sucks.
3rd Icehole: Ben Scrivens-After giving up the first goal in 35 seconds, Scrivens was out to prove himself. The Ducks had some quality chances in the opening minutes of this period. Refer to the first period save highlights.
2nd Icehole: Ben Scrivens-Refer to the second period save highlights.
1st Icehole: Ben Scrivens-Refer to the third period and OT save highlights.
Next Game: vs. Vancouver, Saturday, March 29th, at Rogers Arena