The Ducks might have played their strongest period of hockey in the opening frame against the Flyers. The started off aggressive, attacking the in the offensive zone, and forced a lot of neutral zone turnovers with more speed than their Flyer counterparts. Sorensen made a few good plays and looked as dangerous as he has been with the Ducks. Kevin Bieksa continues to get key powerplay minutes while the rest of us are sick of hearing Hazy say “Bieksa misfires on a one-timer.” Wagner opened the scoring with his first as a Duck from a beautiful drop pass from Jared Boll. I’m sure Boll has already added it to his career highlight reel. The Ducks took 2 minor penalties but the PK unit looked especially strong on what seemed to be a theme foreshadowing the second period.
Wayne Simmonds got the Flyers on the board after Vermette took a penalty for covering the puck with his hand after a huge opportunity in front of Gibson. This was the start of a parade to the penalty box that would plague the Ducks the entire second period. Holzer was on the receiving end of an uncalled hit up high and the Captain Ryan Getzlaf took an inexcusable retaliation tripping call that lead to Matt Read’s 4th goal of the year. The Ducks took a total of five minor penalties in the second period alone, bringing their game total up to seven through two periods. Corey Perry ripped home a late goal on a 4 on 2 rush up the ice to tie the game at two. Antoine Vermette registered his first point as a Duck with an assist on the Perry goal.
The third period brought a change in the Ducks discipline as they played a very close, careful first half of the period. A flurry of activity in front of the net left Ryan Garbutt wide open for a backdoor pass from Holzer to give the Ducks the go-ahead goal 12 minutes into the 3rd. This marks the first time the Ducks have broken the three goal mark this season. Nick Sorensen continued his strong game and earned his first NHL point on the Garbutt goal. A strong defensive team performance held off a late push from the Flyers as the Ducks got their first win of the season, 3-2. The biggest take away from the third seemed to be the Ducks correcting their penalty problem. After taking two in the first and five in the second, the Ducks avoided the sin bin for the entire third period. Lets hope that whatever was said during that second intermission continues to be drilled into the head of this team.