Remember back in 2015 when the Anaheim Ducks set an NHL record with 18 comebacks when down in the third period? Remember how any time the 3rd period came around, no matter what the score was, you knew the Ducks were capable of just suffocating the other team with their resilience? Because I do, and I want to ask, where are those Ducks?
The Anaheim Ducks allowed yet another 3rd period lead slip away from them as they got beat 5-3 against the New Jersey Devils on Monday night. By my (very brief) research, that makes it 9 of their 20 losses coming after having the lead in the final frame. This is a huge concern, or at least it should be. Especially since going to overtime all but guarantees a loss for the Ducks.
The Ducks started out fast in this one, generating some great odd-man rushes and grabbing a 2-0 lead early. The second frame had both teams trading goals early, with the Devils cutting the lead to one late in the second. Then came the third. The Devils started catching the Ducks in their own zone generating chances, and cashing in the 2 they needed to tie and then win the game.
Ryan Miller finally looked human as he let in one weak goal. This was probably his least-impressive game since signing with the Ducks in the offseason, but he still made 30 saves and gave the Ducks chances to win as they were once again outshot by a double-digit margin.
Ryan Miller thought he made "two pretty critical errors" on the second Wood goal and Bratt score. Credited Bratt's shot but thought he didn't square off right on it. "It's a stoppable puck. ... I'd like to make that save."— Eric Stephens (@icemancometh) December 19, 2017
Best and Worst
BEST - Adam Henrique continues to impress and has clearly proven the Ducks are benefiting more from the trade than the Devils. He racked up 2 points tonight including a beauty of a goal by outplaying none other than Sami Vatanen. (I still love you Vatman)
What a goal by Adam Henrique on his return to New Jersey pic.twitter.com/CXGrX7JaCO— HighLight Hockey (@HILITINGHOCKEY) December 19, 2017
WORST - Another blow lead makes two, two-goal leads in the third given up in consecutive games. The sloppy, slow third period play can’t continue. Nobody makes playoffs by just getting overtime points - ask the King’s in 2015. Can we go back to that year? That was a good year.
Three Stars of the Game
1. Adam Henrique - Two point night including a highlight reel goal. Plus player tributes always make you tear up a little bit (don’t lie).
RC today on Adam Henrique and what he's brought to Ducks: "To say that we’re happy, that would be an understatement."— Eric Stephens (@icemancometh) December 19, 2017
2. Ryan Getzlaf - Captain is back and he makes his whole line better. And look what happens when he actually shoots! He now has a point in three straight games.
3. Jakob Silverberg - 3 goals in the last 4 games. We all know what happens when Silf gets going.
The Ducks are right back at it again tomorrow against the New York Rangers, in Madison Square Garden, as Gibby takes on The King. Puck drops at 4pm PST.