The Anaheim Ducks took on the Ottawa Senators in the second game of a back-to-back set. Coming off a six game road trip and a shootout loss to the Golden Knights, the Ducks returned home for a three game home stretch hoping to take advantage of a struggling Senators team that is 1-7-1 in its last nine games. Here’s a period breakdown of how the game played out.
Ottawa was expected to come out strong against a Ducks team who most likely was feeling the after effects of a long road trip. However, both teams played evenly through the period and Anaheim was able to control the push from the Senators. Both teams struggled to create consistent pressure in their respective offensive zones resulting in one shot apiece within the first 6 minutes of the period.
At the 6:11 mark Ottawa would get the first penalty of the game when Derick Brassard was called for Holding the Stick. The Ducks penalty unit looked solid with Brandon Montour and Cam Fowler taking a few shots from the point and Corey Perry providing screens. However, Perry would receive a nasty cross-check from Dion Phaneuf sending him into the Senators net. The refs must have been to busy Christmas shopping on their phones as not one of them signaled for a penalty. Perry would chase down Phaneuf and both would drop the gloves at center ice. The fight was short lived and not terribly exciting as neither player would be able to get a free hand to throw a solid punch and eventually both would give up. It’s probably for the best, because the Ducks can’t afford to lose another offensive player to injury.
At the 13:31 mark the Ducks would receive their first penalty with a Montour Interference call. The penalty kill unit was decent in keeping most shots from the perimeter and using active sticks to break up passes.
The Ducks would create some push in the final few minutes of the period by creating turnovers, however Andrew Cogliano would be penalized for Interference with 20 seconds left in the period.
Overall, the Ducks showed solid energy for coming off a road game the night before and being able to control the push of the Senators. The period would end in a 0-0 tie and the shots-on-goal in the Ducks favor 10-9.
The Ducks would start the period shorthanded to kill off the Cogliano penalty. The Senators created a couple solid scoring chances but Ryan Miller was up to the challenge. Ryan Dzingel would have the best scoring chance that would catch the short side post keeping Ottawa of the scoreboard.
Anaheim would score the first goal of the game at 3:47. Perry would dump the puck into Ottawa’s zone that would rebound off the boards to Rakell’s stick who promptly would deliver it to a surging Adam Henrique. Henrique would then send a one-timer past Craig Anderson giving the Ducks a 1-0 lead and Henrique his first goal as a member of the Ducks. Shortly after the goal, Henrique and Rakell would pair up again when Henrique would make a beautiful stretch pass to Rakell who was alone on net for a split second but would lose control of the puck.
However, at 11:10 Anaheim would strike again as Andrej Kase would record his sixth goal of the season. Kase would outwait a sprawling Anderson and flip the puck over Anderson’s right leg pad increasing the Ducks lead 2-0.
Ottawa would try to gain some momentum when Josh Manson would get called for a Delay of Game penalty at 11:49. The Senators power play looked dangerous as they created solid puck movement but were unable to get anything past Miller who looked solid in net once again.
The period would come to an end with the Ducks leading 2-0 and the Senators leading in shots 16-15.
The Ducks were visibly tired to start the period which is understandable in the latter of a back-to-back. Anaheim was simply flipping pucks out of their zone. As the period progressed, the Ducks would regain their second wind and tightened up on defense.
At 3:48 Anaheim would go back on the power play with a Phaneuf Slashing call. The power play unit wouldn’t be able to cash in but the unit showed great patience with crisp, quick passes. Most notably were a few feeds by Henrique.
Ottawa would begin to make their push towards the end of the period but they were unable to phase Miller in net. Throughout the night he remained calm and in control not allowing any big rebounds.
The Senators would pull Anderson with two minutes and change left in the game and would create some chaos in front of Miller, but once again he was able to gather the puck and keep the Senators off the score board.
The Ducks would get another goal at 18:25 with Henrique’s second of the night on an empty net. Henrique would win a battle against the boards in the neutral zone and would flip it in on net.
The Ducks would finish the game with a solid 3-0 victory and a great showing from their defensive corps. It was also a very solid performance by Miller who was able to make 29 saves for his 40th career shutout and the Ducks first shutout of the season.
Anaheim will remain home to face the Minnesota Wild Friday, December 8th at 7PM PST.