At this point, it feels as though the multitude of home openers the Ducks are taking part in have cursed them. The team continues to find themselves in search of their first win of the season after a 2-1 loss to the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday night. While the team at least escaped with a point in an OT loss to the Islanders on Sunday, the Ducks couldn’t find any semblance of discipline as the Devils scored 2 power goals.
Anaheim went down a man a whopping 7 times, 5 of which were taken in the 2nd period. Prudential Center staff are going to have to lay new ice over the path to the opposing team’s penalty box tomorrow. I think the Best/Worst analysis for this game is going to be one of the easier ones in this young season.
The Ducks started off on the right foot at 9:03 in the 1st period by grabbing their first lead of the season when Sami Vatenen fired a wrister from the right circle that beat a screened Cory Schneider. While the Ducks played a mostly strong game in the period, the Devils did have a couple of chances that were foiled by the spectacular play of Cam Fowler as well as superb goaltending from John Gibson.
However, it all started unraveling in the 2nd period when the Ducks started on the penalty kill and proceeded to form a conga line to the penalty box. With Antonie Vermette in the box for tripping, Taylor Hall cashed in a rebound on a hard shot from the point for his first goal as a Devil. Later in the period he would get his second goal on a tip in from the slot that bounced to the ice and behind Gibson. You can thank Kevin Bieksa’s beautiful defensive coverage in the slot for this goal.
The Ducks somewhat cleaned up their act in the 3rd period and had an opportunity late in the 3rd on a delay of game penalty. Head coach Randy Carlyle turned the power play into a 6 on 4 opportunity, but Schneider and the Devils thwarted the comeback for their first win of the season.
The Ducks make a final stop on this long road trip in Philadelphia on Thursday as they’ll face the Flyers in yet another home opener.