The Anaheim Ducks are coming off a great bounce-back win against one of the best teams in the NHL, beating the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-1 last night. The Ducks faced the Carolina Hurricanes in the second game of a back-to-back. These types of games are never easy, but the Ducks got some chances early, and Ryan Miller stole the overtime period to lead the Ducks to victory. Let’s recap.
If the Ducks didn’t have enough to worry about with injuries, 23 seconds in Corey Perry takes a shot, and it’s deflected off a stick and hits Ryan Getzlaf in the face (right near his eye). Getzlaf headed to the locker room to be checked on. Fortunately he would return.
A key for this game, being the backend of a back-to-back, was to slow the game down so the Ducks didn’t exhaust energy too early. Fortunately the heavy neutral zone pressure by both teams, leading to 4 offside calls in the first 6 minutes, helped do that for the Ducks.
As expected, the Ducks don’t like playing the game without getting some penalties. Josh Manson crushed Marcus Kruger in the corner on a dump from the Canes and got an interference call as Kruger hadn’t played the puck yet. Getzlaf returned to the game at this point for the penalty kill.
The Ducks got a nice bid while down a man as Jakob Silfverberg got a great read while defending and was able to get the puck out of the zone. Andrew Cogliano continued the pressure, causing a turnover and got a shot on net, but Darling made the save.
The Canes got their best chance of the period (so far) shortly after. After a quick zone entry Sebastian Aho made a slick spin pass to give Elias Lindholm a shot as he was coming down the slot.
DUCKS GOAL 10:48 - Nick Ritchie won a puck battle just inside the offensive zone off the faceoff and gotthe puck to Ondrej Kase at the right faceoff dot. Kase then did a quick turn around wrist shot, catching Carolina goalie Scott Darling off guard, and buries it for the first goal of the game.
Perry almost made it 2-0. As Manson entered the zone he drew the defender and left a drop pass for Perry who rung the crossbar on a bomb of a slapshot from the top of the right circle.
DUCKS GOAL 17:14 - Silfverberg and Cogliano put pressure along the boards around and behind the net causing multiple Canes players to help out. Eventually the puck was pushed out from along the half boards right to Derek Grant, who was all alone in front of the net, and he put it between Darling’s legs for the 2-0 lead.
With only 7 seconds left in the period, the Canes were able cut the lead in half on the power play. After getting set up in the zone Derek Ryan found a chance from the right circle and beat Miller high but off the crossbar. Unfortunately, Miller couldn’t find it and as Jeff Skinner and Slifverberg came crashing in the puck goes off Skinner’s foot and in.
That ended the period as the Ducks lead 2-1 but got out-shot 9-7.
A worrying site (or lack thereof) was Getzlaf not out on the ice for the second period, which meant the early puck he took to the face may have caused more issues than we thought. I can only assume his left eye is swollen shut - it didn’t look good when he was playing.
There’s always a chance we see the notorious “we are terrible in the 2nd period” Ducks. This was one of those nights, with fatigue playing an obvious role.
The Canes came out with a great chance early. Francouis Beachemin got checked into the boards in the Ducks zone leading to a scrum for the puck behind the net. It squirted out in front where Miller turns around several attempts by Joakim Nordstrom and Brock McGinn.
Later, Justin Williams blew a wide open net chance at the halfway point. Victor Rask gave him a no look feed right in front of the net with Miller out of position. Williams couldn’t settle the puck, however, and sent it over the net.
The Ducks got their best (and only) real chance of the period at the 12 minute mark as they got traffic in front battling for the puck. Darling was able to get his right pad out to stop a loose puck from going in off Silfverberg.
The Canes tied it up with just over 7 minutes left. After another relentless forecheck Lindholm, found Aho down low. Aho fed a puck from behind the net to Staal for the tap in goal as Miller didn’t have a chance.
The Ducks followed up with a penalty, which almost didn’t need to happen as the Canes entered the zone with numbers and a feed to Jaccob Slavin left him plenty of time to wind up a slap shot. He beat Miller glove side but off the cross bar. This period continued to be all Hurricanes.
The Ducks have been terrible at clearing the zone this period, and at the 18:30 mark, Justin Faulk made them pay for it with his first goal of the year. He kept the play alive at the blue line and fired a bomb from the point. Miller was screened and unable to see the puck as the Canes took the lead 3-2.
The 3rd period has been the Ducks best this season, and they came out playing that way. They had a great opportunity early when Holzer came rushing down the right boards and fed a pass back to Perry at the right circle, but Darling was ready for it.
Later on, Perry got the puck behind the net and threw it to Rakell who got a point-blank opportunity, but Darling was able to get a shoulder on it for the save.
DUCKS GOAL 15:12 – Silfverberg with his first of the year! It seemed like the ducks were about to get one. Hampus Lindholm led the puck into the zone and flipped it over to Cogliano. Cogs gave a quick look behind (and saw Silfverberg loading up) so he dropped it off and Silfverberg to buried it five-hole.
The Canes came with some pressure following the goal. Victor Rask almost scored after being left wide open and a chip pass from Teuvo Teravainen, but shot wide. Later, Miller was caught out of position on a Canes rush but made a sprawling save on his stomach. Late in the period, Faulk sent a bullet from the left faceoff dot off the post
We’re headed to Overtime.
In typical Ducks fashion, the overtime was owned by the Canes. Fortunately for the Ducks, who only managed one shot on net, Ryan “Brick Wall” Miller was in net.
Right out of the gates Faulk got an open chance streaking down the slot but couldn’t convert as Miller made the save. Rask then fired a wrister from the circle after another Canes rush, but Miller flashed the glove to keep the Ducks alive.
The Ducks looked like they had some potential with all three Swedes on the ice, but they couldn’t get the chance they were looking for. This led to Lindholm giving up a breakaway opportunity to Aho. Shortly after, Miller made yet another breakaway save!
The Ducks survivedthe overtime, on the back of Miller, and e’re headed to a shootout.
Justin Williams – started from the right, tried a head fake, went to the backhand, Miller read it and interrupted the puck. SAVE
Rickard Rakell – started from the right, slid into the slot and fired a wrister off the crossbar. SAVE
Jaccob Slavin – tried to lead the puck five hole as he skated left but Miller closed the legs and stoped the attempt. SAVE
Perry – headed right down the middle, slaped the ice on fake shot and froze Darling, then wristed it five-hole. GOAL
Aho - came in fast, tried the backhand-forehand move but Miller read it and made the save. SAVE - DUCKS WIN!
The Ducks can rest easy for the next few days after having a successful road-trip. They’ll be back in action Wednesday against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Honda Center.