If there was ever a time to say the ice was tilted (which seems extremely dangerous) then this period was exactly that. The Ducks simply dominated the Avalanche in every facet of the opening twenty minutes.
Anaheim got an early power play opportunity and things got entertaining. All is well in the world again. Corey Perry is back where he belongs on the first unit. The group instantly looked more dangerous and almost cashed in on a garbage goal in front of the net.
The first period was all about Calvin Pickard. There is leaning on your goaltender to steal a game and then there is making your goaltender attempt to be the next Patrick Roy. Pickard stopped all 22(!) shots that he saw in the period including a myriad of chances on the power play. The Ducks have a knack for making opposing goalies look like future Vezina winners, but this was an absolute show. It is difficult to imagine how Anaheim did not make it on the scoreboard.
Second Period (Part 1):
In typical Anaheim Ducks fashion, the Avalanche came out skating in the second period. Colorado hemmed Anaheim skaters in their own zone for multiple shifts in a row. Luckily Gibson was nice and fresh from his break in the first period and was up to the task.
Ten minutes into the period, Colorado’s Gelinas broke a pane of glass. Everything in this game except scoring was happening by this point. This got me thinking. I wonder if it works just like being a kid playing baseball with your friends. If you break a pane of glass in an opposing rink do you have to pay for it? Fined for being a boss—yes please.
Yah just kidding, get it together Gelinas. After a twenty-minute delay, the maintenance crew could not properly fit a new piece of glass behind Gibson. They obviously failed at Perfection as children. The referees deemed that both teams should go back into their locker rooms for the second intermission.
Second Period (Part 2):
It is somewhat understandable that Bieksa and Holzer are paired together during 5v5 play. However, it is perplexing to see them together on the penalty kill. While Holzer made a deft play tying up a streaking MacKinnon, Bieksa planted himself at the near post leaving the defensive duty to Getzlaf. The center was not expecting to make the play, and the puck trickled to Gabriel Landeskog. The power play goal gave Colorado a 1-0 lead.
Nine minutes later and it is time for a dry scrape! And the crowd goes wild.
Third Period (Who even knows at this point):
Jakob Silfverberg was forced to leave early in the period after getting checked into the boards by Nikita Zadorov. It was a clean hit, but the replay showed that Silfverberg hit his head on the ice. Logan Shaw was promoted to a top six role in his place. Carlyle might want to try a more impactful forward in those minutes. Hopefully the Swede is back soon to fill the void.
Anaheim Ducks Gooooal. On the power play? What is that? Out of nowhere, the second power play unit struck gold. Rakell was given a shift with the group and it instantly paid dividends. He got the puck back to Lindholm who fired a clapper past a screened Pickard. Lindholm put up a total of seven shots, which was three more than his closest teammate.
In the best news ever, the game did not reach overtime. Nick Ritchie gave the Ducks a 2-1 lead with only two minutes left in regulation. Ondrej Kase was able to pick up a turnover in the offensive zone and neatly get the puck to Ritchie in the high slot. The big winger sniped a shot top corner and the rest was history.
Anaheim dealt with some dangerous chances in the final moments of the game but was able to come out on top. The Ducks will be back in action Saturday in Minnesota against the Wild.