The Ducks took on the Colorado Avalanche in an attempt to woo Matt Duchene and convince him that Anaheim should be his new home. That, uh, could have gone better. Nic Kerdiles drew back into the lineup in place of Ryan Getzlaf, with Bieksa and Boll miraculously somehow being dropped out of the lineup as healthy scratches. The head coach is still Carlyle, right? Is....is he ok? Let’s take a look at how the Ducks ended up taking 8 (eight!) penalties and only receiving 2 power plays.
The Ducks started this game without Getzlaf, who was a late decision to not play due to a lingering lower-body injury. Anaheim’s special teams were tested early, with Anaheim being called for too many men at 2:54 of the 1st period. And so it began. The Ducks had little problem killing off the penalty, which was a hopeful sign. The Ducks enjoyed killing that penalty so much that they decided to take another one; this time, Rickard Rakell being the culprit.
The Ducks did not get so lucky with the penalty kill this time around, as Gabriel Landeskog stuffed in a rebound early on in the power play. 1-0 Avalanche. The Ducks decided, “You know what? Let’s give this penalty kill thing another shot. That last PK totally could’ve gone better.” 19 seconds into the third Colorado power play, Nathan MacKinnon caught a high stick to the eye and left the ice to head to the locker room. Luckily for Anaheim, they were able to avoid further damage and kill off that minor. And then, YOU’LL NEVER GUESS WHAT HAPPENED NEXT!
Colorado began their 4th power play of the 1st, yes, first, period with just under 2 and a half minutes to go in the period. Then a 5-on-3 for Colorado for 25 seconds. I’m out of jokes. Out of food. No shelter. It’s cold. Windy. Rain. Oh, right, hockey business. The Ducks killed the 5-on-3, bringing it back to normal play of five Colorado skaters against four for Anaheim. The period mercifully ended 1-0 in favor of the Avalanche with shots favoring Colorado 18-4. Sheesh. NEXT!
The 2nd period started with Reto Berra now in net for Anaheim (uh oh), and the Ducks needing to kill off the last minute of their fifth penalty of the night. They were able to do so, and they finally (FINALLY) got back to 5v5 hockey. The Avalanche got the puck behind Berra, but the goal was immediately waved off by the referee due to goaltender interference. Colorado did not appreciate this call at all, so they challenged the call on the ice. After video review, the call was upheld and it was confirmed to be no goal.
A wild power play appeared! Finally, a penalty on Colorado to give the Ducks a chance with the man advantage at the halfway mark of the game. Ducks used the first power play unit! It wasn’t very effective....So the Ducks used second power play unit! Again, it wasn’t very effective. The Ducks were out of usable power play units! Eric blacked out.
The Ducks continued the period by quite literally running into each other, with Derek Grant, noted almost-NHL goal scorer, throwing a pretty sweet hip check on Chris Wagner, sending him tumbling over Grant’s back.
Colorado was given their 6th power play of the night with about 3 minutes to go in the 2nd period, with Josh Manson getting called for roughing. The Ducks killed yet another penalty, now 5/6 on the PK for the night. All things being considered, that is a silver-lining for Anaheim, especially considering that John Gibson was no longer backstopping the penalty kill. Reto Berra was doing more than just hold his own.
The period ended with the score remaining as it started with the Avs leading 1-0. Shots 30-8 in favor of Colorado. “To hell with Corsi!” -Randy Carlyle, probably.
The 3rd period started exactly the same way that the first two periods did, with the Ducks taking a penalty 40 seconds in. Fowler was forced to slash Andrighetto on a partial breakaway, and the Ducks were back to the PK for the 7th (!!!) time in this game. On the bright side, Anaheim had finally reached 10 shots on goal!
BUT WHO CARES ABOUT SHOTS ON GOAL WHEN YOU HAVE BRANDON MONTOUR!?!
The Ducks 11th shot was the one they needed, with Montour placing a wrist shot perfectly underneath the glove of Jonathan Bernier to tie the game at 1-1. That marks the second shorthanded goal of the season for the Ducks, both coming from defensemen.
Colorado once again got a puck behind Reto Berra, and once again, it was waved off as no goal due to contact with the goaltender in the crease. Thus, a game that could very well be 5-1 Colorado remained a 1-1 tie. The Ducks were determined for it to not remain this way. They took yet ANOTHER slashing call, this time, Montour with seven minutes to go in the game.
Colorado’s 8th power play finally yielded them some results, with Tyson Barrie launching a shot from the point that found its way through the screen and in. 2-1 Colorado with 5:39 left. Couldn’t really help but feel like the Ducks were deserving of this considering the way they played the game thus far. Fifteen shots on goal and eight penalties are not a recipe for success for any team in the league, let alone one missing a lot of their key pieces.
The Ducks finally got their 2nd power play opportunity of the game with 3:56 to go. They have yet to find the back of the net on the power play thus far this season, but they needed that to change if they wanted any points out of this game. Unfortunately for Anaheim, the power play told the same story it had been all year and came up empty.
Berra abandoned the net with just over a minute to go to give the Ducks the extra skater for the remaining 60 seconds. The Ducks were unable to find the back of the net in the remaining minute of the game and the final score was 3-1 Colorado, as they hit the empty net with half a second remaining on the clock.
Ugliness in every area, and the Ducks knew it. Just hope and pray that they look worlds better when this roster is finally back to full health, if that time ever comes.
The Ducks are back in action on Sunday against the Buffalo Sabres at Honda Center.