The Anaheim Ducks were looking to rebound from a 6-2 defeat at the hands of the San Jose Sharks on Sunday night when they hosted the New York Rangers on Tuesday night. Randy Carlyle tested out some new line combinations, and goals came pouring in. Were they the result of Randy’s experimentation? The world may never know. What we do know is, the Ducks got a pivotal two points, and they scored a lot of goals in the process.
Here’s a breakdown (buckle in for this first period if you didn’t get to watch) of how the game ended up being so wide open for what felt like the entire 60 minutes.
The game started with teams trading possession and both seeking to control possession in the offensive zone. However, a turnover led to J.T. Brown getting a rush into the offensive zone and he snapped a shot past Henrik Lundqvist to give the Ducks the lead just 3:26 into the game and score his first goal since becoming a member of the Anaheim Ducks! 1-0 Anaheim!
The Ducks would follow this up with getting a power play opportunity as Jimmy Vesey would sit for tripping just under two minutes after the goal from Brown. Unfortunately, despite a few good shots towards the net, the power play was unable to capitalize.
The first period continued with an extremely frantic pace, with both goaltenders seemingly struggling to freeze pucks, allowing the play to continue on. Finally, another whistle was blown past the halfway mark of the period, but for a hooking call against Jakob Silfverberg. Less than ideal, but the Rangers had their first power play opportunity of the night.
The power play would not take long to convert and burn the Ducks penalty kill through Rick Nash. Nash gave himself a little space behind Hampus Lindholm and used his stick’s length to be able to drag the puck all the way around John Gibson to stuff it home and tie the game. 1-1. Le sigh.
But wait! Tim Peel is the referee, everyone! MOAR PENALTIES! Mats Zuccarello was called for a blindside shot on J.T. Brown that sent him to the sin bin to think about what he had done. Ducks right back to the power play! After some struggles to accurately deflect a puck towards Henrik Lundqvist, it happened.
Yes, that. The man. The myth. The legend. Mr. Scorey Perry, ladies and gentlemen. After being demoted to the 4th line, he decided he was not about this life and got behind the Rangers defense on the power play, getting his shot to squeak through Lundqvist to restore the Ducks lead. 2-1 Anaheim!
Unfortunately (again) the lead was short-lived (again) as Rick Nash (again) tied the game for New York (again). 2-2.
But AGAIN, the Ducks would quickly reclaim the lead!!! The Iron Man! Those who have been wronged this week are making it RIGHT! 3-2 Ducks with 3:39 remaining in the first period, and that spelled the end of the night for Henrik Lundqvist.
Cam Talbot Antti Raanta Ondrej Pavelec took over in net for the Rangers.
Pavelec would quickly get introduced to the hockey game by Adam Henrique as Ryan Getzlaf picked off a pass and sent Henrique in alone short-handed. He made a very nice move in front of Pavelec and easily put the puck in to double the Ducks lead. 4-2 Anaheim, and yes, it’s still the 1st period.
The first period would finally come to a close after a ridiculous offensive pace saw six goals on the board after the first 20 minutes. The shots on goal were 18-8 in favor of the guys wearing blue, but the Ducks have John Gibson. Therefore, the Ducks had the lead.
The 2nd period started right where the first had left off, with both teams flying up and down the ice getting chances left and right. I’m really not sure why this was the strategy, but hey, it’s entertaining!
The Ducks would get another power play opportunity after a too many men penalty against New York with 16:01 remaining in the middle frame. Anaheim would fail to capitalize on the power play, but the offense continued to look dangerous and generate good-looking scoring opportunities all over the offensive zone.
The period was largely played back and forth, but it was a bend-not-break strategy for each team, as both teams held their own for a majority of the period without giving up a goal or a penalty.
Finally, the Ducks would get another power play, their 4th of the night, as Rick Nash would sit for hooking with 4:22 remaining in the middle frame. Unfortunately, the Ducks would immediately give up a short-handed goal as a Getzlaf mishandle leads to a 2-on-1 the other way and Michael Grabner making the most of the opportunity. 4-3 Ducks.
The Rangers had two other short-handed opportunities to tie the game, but John Gibson held strong. The Rangers obviously felt that this was the most effective method to score, because they immediately allowed a breakaway to Ryan Kesler and then proceeded to take another penalty to stop the shot. Time for the Ducks 5th (fifth) power play of the night.
The 2nd period came to a close with the power play circling but unable to beat Pavelec, despite coming close. The Ducks carried 29 seconds of power play time into the final period of regulation, holding a 4-3 lead with shots on goal still favoring the Rangers, now 32-22.
The 3rd period started and before I could finish writing this sentence, Rickard Rakell capitalized just 30 seconds into the period and scored the Ducks 5th goal of the night, just as their 5th power play expired. 5-3 Ducks!
After a brief scuffle with 12:41 remaining in regulation, the Rangers would get another power play opportunity after Ondrej Kase was called for hooking against Brendan Smith. The Ducks had a two-goal lead and were facing a critical two-minute penalty kill.
The Rangers would struggle to get anything established on the power play and the Ducks were able to kill it off relatively easily, a huge positive momentum shift for Anaheim at the time.
With 2:21 remaining in the game, Ryan Getzlaf recorded his 3rd point of the night as he backhanded an empty net goal from center ice to seal the deal and earn Anaheim a vital two points in their race to keep pace with Los Angeles, Calgary, and San Jose.
The Ducks continued to pressure after the empty net goal and nearly got a seventh on numerous occasions on what can only be described as the Rangers simply quitting. Players were just standing around watching the Ducks cycle the puck in the offensive zone and it forced Ondrej Pavelec to make a few more saves before the final buzzer.
Final score 6-3 Ducks!
The Ducks will be back in action again on Thursday night when they host the Winnipeg Jets.