The Anaheim Ducks were looking to rebound from yet another overtime loss, this time to the Minnesota Wild by a 3-2 score. The Carolina Hurricanes were fresh off an overtime loss of their own a few miles away at the Staples Center, where the Los Angeles Kings beat them by the same 3-2 scoreline. The Ducks welcomed captain Ryan Getzlaf and Jakob Silfverberg back into the lineup for the Monday night contest, and they were welcomed back with a 3-2 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes. The score seems to be a theme for the two teams, but luckily, the Anaheim Ducks were able to come out on top of this one.
Let’s take a look at how this game broke down.
The game started with the Ducks applying some offensive zone pressure, and then immediately conceding the first goal after. A shot from the point from Trevor van Riemsdyk was deflected in front by Justin Williams past John Gibson giving the Canes the early advantage just 1:37 in. 1-0 Carolina.
The Ducks would answer just over four minutes later as a puck slipped through Scott Darling and Derek Grant was there to slam the loose puck into the back of the net to even the score at one apiece at the 5:55 mark of the opening period. 1-1.
The Carolina Hurricanes would receive the first power play of the game as Cam Fowler was sent off for tripping Sebastian Aho. The penalty kill had a couple shaky moments as Elias Lindholm and Sebastian Aho both had decent quality chances in front of the net, but John Gibson stood strong and the Ducks killed off the penalty.
Corey Perry collided with Jeff Skinner with roughly six and a half minutes remaining in the first period and immediately collapsed to the ice, careful to not put much pressure on his right knee. The replay revealed that his knee tweaked at an awkward angle, and Perry was helped off the ice into the locker room. Yep, the 2017-2018 season, ladies and gentlemen.
Ondrej Kase would give Carolina their second power play opportunity of the period after the physicality picked up and he was sent to the sin bin for roughing against Derek Ryan at center ice. It was a pretty clear late hit to the back of Derek Ryan, and the Ducks penalty kill was put to the test again. Fortunately the PK looked strong once again and killed the minor with relatively little trouble, and a very eventful first period came to a close with the score tied 1-1 and shots favoring Carolina by a count of 9-4.
The middle frame was very tentative defensively and did not feature a lot of early action, as both teams were content to clear pucks and take care of the neutral zone, limiting chances for both sides.
Andrew Cogliano had a very solid chance off a 2-on-1 rush about eight minutes into the period but Scott Darling was able to make a great save to keep the score level at one for the time being.
With 8:35 remaining in the 2nd, the Ducks would get their first power play opportunity of the night, as Trevor van Riemsdyk was called for holding. Unfortunately, the Anaheim power play was unable to generate a whole lot from the man advantage and they returned to even strength.
A minute and a half after that power play expired, the Ducks would get another chance at the man advantage, as Sebastian Aho was sent to the box for slashing. Once again, however, the Ducks would come up empty from the power play and return to even strength with the score remaining at 1-1.
The Ducks would finally break through when Jakob Silfverberg caught a break as Haydn Fleury lost the puck and tripped himself trying to get back to it, sending Jakob in on a clean breakaway. He did not miss his shot and the Ducks had their first lead of the game with just 34 seconds remaining in the period.
The middle frame came to a close with the Ducks leading 2-1, but still trailing in shots, now by a 15-12 count.
Just 1:52 into the final period of regulation, Andy Welinski was able to get himself on an NHL scoresheet for the first time in his career, as he set up Logan Shaw in the middle of the slot. Shaw rifled the shot over the shoulder of Scott Darling, doubling the Ducks lead and giving Welinski something to remember from his NHL debut. 3-1 Anaheim.
John Gibson made two absolutely fantastic saves in a span of sixty seconds to preserve the Ducks two goal lead, including this one below.
THIS! Forever and ever. John Gibson is unreal. #LetsGoDucks @AnaheimDucks pic.twitter.com/hdzV7G547m— FOX Sports West (@FoxSportsWest) December 12, 2017
Ryan Getzlaf took a trip to the penalty box with 10:04 remaining in the 3rd for hooking against Elias Lindholm, and the Canes power play was given the chance to get the team within one.
However, the Ducks penalty kill remained stout and denied most of the chances, with John Gibson making one more incredible save, just for good measure at this point. The penalty expired and Ryan Getzlaf rejoined the play without any damage done as far as the scoreboard was concerned.
Seriously though, look at this guy.
GOOD LORD pic.twitter.com/57EXp2tQMH— Merry Blinnsmas (@NHLBlinn) December 12, 2017
Unfortunately, with 2:40 remaining in regulation, the Ducks decided that playing in front of John Gibson was overrated since he would probably save everything no matter what. However, Victor Rask proved that wrong as he picked up a loose rebound and deposited it to bring Carolina back within one. 3-2 Anaheim.
The Hurricanes opted to pull Scott Darling with about a minute and a half left in regulation. The Ducks proceeded to hit the post of the empty net about as squarely as you can hit a post, as it bounced directly back out the direction it had come from.
The Ducks bled out the remainder of the clock and hung on to win the game by a final score of 3-2. Shots on goal favored the Carolina Hurricanes, 30-23, but last I checked, that’s not the stat that counts in the standings.
The Ducks will be back in action on Thursday night in St. Louis as they take on the Blues in what will be a very tough test for an Anaheim team that is still recovering from injuries.