Final Score: Ducks 5, Hurricanes 4 (OT)
Chart via naturalstattrick.com.
Eric Brewer returned to the lineup tonight as Clayton Stoner drew out with possible flu. Brewer hasn't played since December and was paired with Sami Vatanen. Anton Khudobin started his first game against the Ducks versus Frederik Andersen (former Carolina draft pick). Kyle Palmieri, Ryan Kesler and Patrick Maroon were line with Matt Beleskey moving on to the top line. An awkward bounce off the boards hit Andersen's pads. He didn't move and the puck bounced to Hampus Lindholm to clear. Khudobin was flopping in the crease with Nate Thompson right next to him but he didn't draw the call. The game was sloppy from the Ducks at the start. Neither team could really get anything going. The linesman called icing when Rickard Rakell could have negated it drawing boos from the stands. Neither team had had any really good chances to this point and it was pretty boring.
Jakub Silfverberg passed from the corner to the front of the net and Andrew Cogliano missed wide on the best chance of the period for the Ducks. Eric Brewer had been noticeable so far in a good way. He made a few clean exit passes and stepped up on Nathan Gerbe to keep a puck alive. Devante Smith-Pelly and Thompson had a two-on-one and Thompson was stopped by Khudobin. Perry took a high stick to the face with no call. Palmieri drew the first penalty of the game after being hooked on a long shift in the offensive zone by Ryan Murphy. Carolina's penalty kill is No. 2 in the league, so chances weren't there for the Ducks. The Hurricanes killed off 1:58 of the penalty by pressuring the Ducks out of the zone. Shots were 13-3 in favor of the Ducks to end the period.
A dangerous pass in front of Khudobin was almost tapped in by a forechecking Perry. Perry got a feed from Getzlaf and fired it on Khudobin. The rebound was shoved top-shelf for the opening goal of the game. Perry now leads the team in goals with 20. Ducks continued to pressure the Hurricanes after the goal. Andrej Sekera rang the post on a rush play. Andersen had no idea where the puck was because of a screen in front of him. Carolina got a few chances on Andersen but no sustained pressure. Andersen made a great save on Jeff Skinner who walked around Francois Beauchemin. Beleskey went in and hit the post on the rush. The horn went off and the lights flickered, but it wasn't a goal.
Alexander Semin scored halfway through the second period to tie it at one. Vatanen had the puck go through him and Semin scored between the arm and body of Andersen. The Ducks were really sloppy in the their own zone on that goal. Jay McClement scored just a two minutes after Semin and Carolina took the lead. The Ducks drew a penalty on what could have been a three-on-one rush. Kesler scored on a tip-in on the power play to tie the game at two. Andersen made a save through traffic on Ryan Murphy after the Kesler goal. Getzlaf just missed wide on an attempt on a cycle play. Vatanen was tripped and the Ducks went on the power play for the third time in the game. Rakell quickly passed the puck into the slot, but it went through everyone and cleared the zone. Maroon and Perry had chances on a rebound but Khudobin stopped both of them. Getzlaf's shot was tipped by Perry and Khudobin blocked the chance to end the period.
Getzlaf and Beleskey took a penalty just 17 seconds into the period. The Hurricanes got a full five-on-three power play. Andersen made a huge save on Jordan Stall all alone in front of the net. The Ducks won a faceoff and Vatanencleared the puck. The Ducks killed the penalty. Getzlaf and Beleskey had a chance after exiting the penalty box but nothing came of it. Brewer ran into the referee behind the Hurricanes net. Fowler gives Brad Malone a penalty shot that he scores on. There was no way that Malone was in far enough for that call to end up being a penalty shot. Jordan Stall scores on a rebound chance just a minute after the penalty shot. The shots are tied with just over 14 minutes to play in the period. Palmieri missed high on the best chance so far in the period. Jakub Silfverberg fired a shot to the front of the net and Devante Smith-Pelly dips it in for the goal.
The Ducks were attempting a comeback, but the defense was absolutely terrible in this period. Perry had Getzlaf on a two-on-one but shot the puck and missed. Lovejoy took a holding penalty when he shoots the puck into a Hurricanes player and has to chase him down to prevent a breakaway. Eric Brewer took a bad cross checking penalty and gave the Canes a five-on-three for 1:44. Beauchemin got tripped by Jeff Skinner and that negated the five-on-three. Carolina still had 1:17 left on a four-on-three power play. Andersen made a great save on a one-time shot from Elias Lindholm. Smith-Pelli was spinning with the puck and cleared it. The Ducks killed the penalty and played a short time of four-on-four. Getzlaf tipped the puck just wide after all the penalties had ended. The Ducks controlled the puck in the Canes' zone and Perry got to a loose rebound to tie the game at four. The Ducks still trailed in shots in the final minute of play but had started to control the play. Andersen made one last awkward save to end the period.
This was the 18th overtime game of the year for the Ducks. Khudobin was forced to make a good save on Perry early in the overtime period. Perry passes to Getzlaf in the slot who fires the puck in for the win. This was a very quick ending.
The Good: The Ducks won a total trap game that was so boring to watch. They played horribly through three periods but somehow managed to push the game to overtime. They then woke up and won the game very quickly. This game was not good.
The Bad: The defense was so bad in this game. The Hurricanes are having trouble scoring goals this season and they had four FOUR!!!! in this game. Giving up the kind of chances that the Ducks did against a bad team is unacceptable. This team really needs to get their defensive game together.
The Ugly: The lazy plays forced the Ducks into penalties all night long. Luckily, the Hurricanes don't have a good power play. The Canes had two five-on-three chances in the third period and a penalty shot (that they scored on). The Ducks didn't really have problems in the offensive zone, but when anyone had to play defense it's like they completely shut down mentally. The next game is against Nashville, and this kind of defense will not cut it in that game.
First MVD: Frederik Andersen is the reason why the Ducks had any chance of getting back into the game in the third period. The first 10 minutes were the worst defensively and Andersen was able to make key saves that allowed his team to get back in the game. He made 28 saves and had to endure two five-on-three chances against, so for that he gets the first MVD.
Second MVD: Corey Perry scored a goal for the first time in five games. His three-point night helped the Ducks win the game. He wasn't terrible defensively, and he made an amazing pass to Getzlaf in overtime for the game winner.
Third MVD: Ryan Getzlaf had lapses of playing really great and then not skating and reaching with his stick. In the end, though, he had the game winning goal and two assists.
Next Game: Thursday, February 5th on the road against the Nashville Predators (battle for first overall) at 5:00 PST.