Everything is amazing and fancy stats are dead. The Ducks claimed a 4-3 victory in the shootout on an incredible 51 save performance by John Gibson and Ryan Kesler’s first hat trick in a Ducks uniform.
Kesler opened the scoring on a beautiful pass from an activated Korbinan Holzer for an easy tap in. For those who weren’t sure if Holzer was capable of making those kinds of plays, remember his shot-pass to Perry in front of the net last year? But now we’re full on the Holzer beautiful play quota for the year.
However, Flyers rookie Travis Konecny tied the game just 19 seconds later ending an extended goal-drought. The vaunted Holzer-Bieksa pairing couldn’t keep up. I know, I know.
Kesler continued his spectacular game when the “actually 1st line” 2nd line cashed in as Jakob Silfverberg stripped the puck behind the net and fired on goal as Kesler roofed the rebound.
Kesler completed his first hat trick in a Ducks uniform and 4th in his career just 1:09 into the 2nd (the last one coming in 2011 with Vancouver). He went one-on-one with the Flyers defense and sent one trickling through the legs of Mason.
43 seconds later though, the Flyers answered when Sean Couturier brought them within one. Brayden Schenn then tied the game shortly after in what was admittedly a poetic example of the Ducks defensive struggles this season.
After the 3rd goal, it appeared as though Gibson’s night in the Anaheim net was done as Bernier came into relieve the 23 year old. Curiously, Gibson came back in after only a few minutes, with Gibson confirming in a post-game interview that RC told him he’d be coming back in. Safe to say it turned out to be a genius move.
Of note: Getzlaf left the game late in the 2nd period and did not return with a lower-body injury. We’ll continue to monitor his status as the days progress.
The Flyers would continue to pile on the shots eventually racking up 55 shots with Gibson stopping 51 of those, including 3 in the shootout. These weren’t just perimeter shots either. Many of these were quality scoring chances.
Gibson was able to steal the period for the Ducks despite the lopsided amount of scoring chances and shots for the Flyers.
The extra period proved to be a relatively even affair as both teams generated chances, with Flyers goaltender Steve Mason coming up huge against Rickard Rakell on a breakaway and subsequent tip by Hampus Lindholm. At this point we’re in favor of only players from Scandinavia playing in OT for the Ducks.
After the Ducks survived the dreaded overtime period, the Ducks claimed an unlikely victory in the shootout on goals by Rakell and Perry (!).