Anaheim started the game with the first break of the game. While on the power play, Arizona’s Duclair had a wide-open shot with Gibson swimming in the crease. Luckily the puck went off of Kesler’s skate and off of the cross bar.
Corey Perry cannot buy a goal these days. Even when he gets his best chances, the hockey gods are finding ways to keep him out of the goal-scoring column. This time Joseph Cramarrosa stood well into the crease and had the puck deflect off of him. The best part of the play may have been Manson’s deft touch pass to Perry directly in the high slot.
The Anaheim offense was out in full force in the first twenty minutes. The Perry line and third line had the most explosive chances. Kase especially looked extremely comfortable with the puck. It was great to see the young Czech get back up to his feet after taking a nasty spill into the boards after getting tripped while dumping a puck into the Coyotes zone.
The Coyotes tied up the score only a minute into the period. Arizona led a rush through the Anaheim zone and got a generous bounce off of Hanzal’s leg for a goal. After Carlyle yet again countered a goal against with the fourth line, Arizona completely controlled the play for the first five minutes of the period.
Soon later, the Ducks dodged a bullet when Montour stopped an Arizona breakaway. The young defenseman was lucky not to have a penalty shot called against him as he inadvertently threw his stick causing the Coyote to lose control of the puck. This could have been a huge momentum swing in the game, but luckily it proved to be a wakeup call for Anaheim.
Then things started to get really weird. The fourth line must have been tired of the third carrying the bottom six and decided to have some fun of their own. Chris Wagner gave the Ducks a 2-1 lead at 16:05. The center sent a low percentage shot at Smith that somehow found its way through the goalie. Smith was in the widely popular Reverse VH position on the post, yet the puck managed to find the puck sized hole that tends to creep up every once in awhile.
The Honda Center crowd came alive early in the third and not because any goal scoring. There was a real life Quack chant. A dream for all Ducks fans to hear in person.
But that energy was short lived as Anaheim went shorthanded and quickly gave up an Arizona power play goal. OEL tied the game at two 3:12 into the period after a botched scramble in front of Gibson’s crease.
All in all, the period featured great pace and speed but neither team could break the tie. As most NHL teams do toward the end of regulation tied, both clubs seemed content pushing the game to extra time.
Anaheim looked like they were playing not to lose rather than to win, but their fortunes finally took a turn. Do you believe in miracles? Kase got his first shift of the session in the final minute and made it count. After narrowly missing a chance with Fowler, Kase received a GENEROUS gift (like a hundred bucks from your grandma for no reason gift) from Smith and potted the game winner. The Ducks actually won a 3 on 3 overtime game, people. Remember this for as long as you can because at this rate maybe they’ll win another one next year.
The Ducks will be back in action Sunday to face off against against Bruce Boudreau and the Minnesota Wild.