The Ducks took on the Flyers to open up the first of a four-game road trip. Coming off a 6-2 victory over the Canadiens, the Ducks were hoping that the sudden offensive spark would carry them forward. Needless to say it did. Here is a breakdown of tonight’s game.
The return of Ryan Getzlaf and Hampus Lindholm definitely provided a boost for a Ducks team that has been riddled with injuries this season. This was evident with the Ducks showing a lot of jump in their step during the first period. Unfortunately, the Ducks were also the first to be penalized (big suprise). Nick Ritchie would be called for a delay of game penalty. The Flyers tried their best to take advantage by immediately crashing the zone led by Wayne Simmonds (he seems to always be in front of the net). Luckily for the Ducks, John Gibson was up to the challenge and the Ducks were able to end the penalty early by getting one of their own with a tripping call on Philadelphia defenseman, Ivan Provorov. Although the Ducks would be unable to cash in on their opportunity, they showed great puck movement and looked very crisp. Most notably was a slick feed from Rickard Rakell to Ondrej Kase who had a point blank opportunity, but was stuffed by Brian Elliott.
At 8:51 Philadelphia would strike first with a nice wrist shot by Sean Couturier. Lindholm would get caught flat-footed in the neutral zone and Josh Manson tried playing the puck instead of covering Couturier who was all alone to receive a nice feed from Jakub Voracek resulting in a 1-0 lead for the Flyers. The Ducks would later respond by attacking the offensive zone for a solid two-minute stretch. Most notable during this time was the ability of Brandon Montour to jump into the offensive zone to keep pucks alive. This would be a preview of things to come for the young defenseman. Things got a bit heated later in the period when Kevin Beiksa and Radko Gudas dropped the gloves resulting in Gudas being dropped himself by a solid right-hand by Bieksa.
Uh, was that a Superman punch or….? pic.twitter.com/TxA0BbXAy3— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) October 24, 2017
With less than 2 minutes left in the period the Ducks would find the equalizer. Kase would redirect a Derek Grant shot giving Grant his first assist as a Duck. 1-1 Game. Suddenly Grant has become a point-producer in the last two games quieting any skeptics here at Anaheim Calling. Well maybe not, but it is nice to see him getting rewarded for his play.
After playing by far the worst second period in recent memory last game against Montreal, the Ducks were looking to carry momentum from the late goal in the first period. Both teams opened the frame moving up and down the ice sharing time in their respective offensive zones. At the 5:40 mark the Ducks would capture the lead for good with Kalle Kossila finding a streaking Montour who blew past Brandon Manning and easily deposited the puck past Elliott making it 2-1 Ducks.
The Ducks would later have a chance to add some insurance when Simmonds was called for slashing and holding the stick on Getzlaf, who also received a terrible penalty for holding. Apparently the refs saw something that no one else watching the game did. With Getzlaf in the box, the Ducks second man-advantage was ugly, with terrible passing without their Captain.
However, that would change at the 9:06 mark after Chris Wagner made a clean hit on Jori Lehtera and was followed by Claude Giroux retaliating with a trip on Wagner. With Getzlaf back on the power play the unit looked much more organized creating some scoring chances. With the second power play unit on the ice, the Ducks were able to cash in at 10:03. Lindholm took a shot from the point which Elliott saved but was unable to control the rebound that found its way to Nick Ritchie who deposited to give Anaheim their second power play goal this season and a 3-1 advantage.
But wait, there’s more! At 18:17 Rakell received a perfect pass from Getzlaf to give the Ducks a 4-1 lead. The goal was made possible by solid play from Corey Perry who kept the puck alive in the offensive zone.
Rakell from Getzlaf. Yeah, just leave him on the wing. Picture perfect. 4-1 Ducks.— Eric Stephens (@icemancometh) October 25, 2017
With a sizeable lead, the Ducks figured they would let the Flyers have some life by giving them a 2-man advantage to finish the period. Fortunately, the period ended with the 4-1 lead intact.
The period began with the Flyers still on the man advantage, which has become the norm for the Ducks. The penalty kill was successful yet again for their fourth attempt. This kill helped build some momentum for Anaheim as Getzlaf was able to throw a puck at the net that beat a guessing Elliot who guessed wrong at 3:59. 5-1 Ducks. With the lead, Randy Carlyle began to rotate his 4-lines attempting to control the clock. The Ducks did a solid job of clogging the neutral zone and didn’t allow a shot on net for a bit over 6 minutes to open the frame.
But the Ducks figured it had been some time since their last penalty and took yet another one allowing the Flyers to crawl back into the game. Rakell was called for slashing and Philadelphia had some hope. However, the penalty kill was spectacular tonight and once again ended the threat. The only solid scoring chance for Philadelphia came on a shot off the crossbar by Jordan Weal. Gibson was solid but he can thank the pipe for that one not going in.
Although the Flyers couldn’t score on the man-advantage, they did finally capitalize at 11:54 mark when Couturier tapped one in past Gibson. 5-2 Ducks. Any momentum that goal created was quickly washed away when Kase was tripped on a scoring chance giving him a penalty shot. Kase took full advantage of his chance with a nice head-fake and a gorgeous backhand to make it 6-2 Ducks. Not only was this Kase’s first career multi-goal game, but he is also the youngest to score a penalty shot in franchise history.
With the Flyers depleted, the Ducks were able to finish off their second straight 6 goal game and extended their winning streak in Philadelphia to 9 games.
The Ducks will travel to Florida to take on the Panthers, Thursday October 26th at 4:30 PDT.