Despite playing their best hockey in the third period, the Anaheim Ducks come up short against the Columbus Blue Jackets, losing 4-2. This brings the Ducks to 11-11-4 on the season as the continue to struggle on their current 6 game road trip.
The Ducks were able to get some new faces as Adam Henrique and Joseph Blandisi made their debuts after being acquired in a trade that send Sami Vatanen to the New Jersey Devils. Blandisi played limited minutes on the 4th line, while Henrique jumped right into his expected role on the top line (for the time being) and was able to record his first point as a Duck assisting on Kevin Roy’s breakaway goal.
The Ducks also returned both Ondrej Kase (concussion), who missed the past 10 games, and Brandon Montour (elbow). Kase seemed to get right back into the swing of things as him and Roy used their speed to generate several scoring opportunities.
Even with all these players jumping into the lineup, the Ducks took too many penalties (18 minutes total) and couldn’t generate any consistent scoring chances until the third period. The Blue Jackets, who rank dead last on the power play (8.8%), were only able to convert once with the man advantage, but that many penalties by the Ducks allowed the Blue Jackets the majority of shots and scoring opportunities which usually results in a win.
Things were chippy throughout the game as Nick Foligno did a great job getting under the Ducks’ skin. He drew a tripping penalty from Gibson, and even retaliated by going after the netminder which caused him and Josh Manson to get matching roughing penalties. Earlier in the game he drew in Kevin Bieksa next to the Ducks’ net, but wouldn’t respond when Bieksa dropped the gloves asking to go. Foligno tried to excuse his way out of it, but we all know he just didn’t want the same “superman punch” fate Bieksa’s other victims have faced.
“I wish I got that fight,” Foligno said. “I didn’t know he dropped his gloves. I feel bad. I had asked him, so that’s on me. I’ll have to own him one in his barn.”
Three Stars of the Game
3. Columbus’ top line - responsible for 3 goals, including one on the power play, Dubois, Panarin, and Anderson won puck battles and dominated in the offensive zone.
2. Adam Henrique - Nice to see the new Ducks pay immediate dividends as he had over 18 minutes TOI and recorded an assist. He is a welcomed addition and could center a dangerous line with Ondrej Kase and Kevin Roy once the Ducks center depth is healthy.
1. Kevin Roy - This ship to take this kid back to the minors has sailed. Welcome to your permanent home in the NHL. Scoring a breakaway goal to give the Ducks the lead early in the 2nd period, Roy’s speed and skill is something we’ll be enjoying for a long time.
The Ducks hit the quick reset button as they conclude a back to back against the Nashville Predators tonight in game 5 of their 6 game road trip.