The Anaheim Ducks were looking to win four of their five home games before the All-Star break and the upcoming tough road trip, and they did so in the most dramatic fashion. After a hard-fought 60 minute battle with the Winnipeg Jets, the Ducks went on to dominate in overtime (yes, this happened) and eventually get the second point in the shootout.
Let’s take a look at the period-by-period breakdown of how this game ended up in overtime, and how the Ducks were able to figure out 3-on-3 overtime somehow.
The first period started very tentatively for both teams, which could have been an advantage for the Ducks, as it gave the defense a chance to settle in and find their legs against the high-powered offense of the Winnipeg Jets. However, the strategy of “don’t make mistakes” was short-lived for Anaheim.
Ryan Getzlaf lost a puck in his feet behind John Gibson and Patrik Laine took the puck and slotted it underneath Gibson to give Winnipeg the lead with 16:34 remaining in the opening period. 1-0 Winnipeg.
The Ducks needed a response, and boy, did they ever get one. Adam Henrique stripped the puck from Patrik Laine, turned, got hooked by Laine, and still fired a rifle of a shot into the top corner behind Connor Hellebuyck to draw the Ducks even less than three minutes after the opening goal from Laine. 1-1 and I need some air. That goal was something else.
With 8:42 remaining in a very fast-moving first period, Nick Ritchie headed to the penalty box for his first minor penalty of the season! [earpiece buzzes] “I’m sorry. He has HOW many penalties? Oh dear”. He heads to the penalty box, anyhow, sending the Winnipeg power play that is operating at 25% (yes, twenty-five) to work.
Mathieu Perreault negated that power play by getting sent to the sin bin for elbowing John Gibson in the head (takes furious notes to watch Josh Manson vs Mathieu Perreault later) and the teams went 4-on-4 for 40 seconds.
Both teams were able to survive the abbreviated special teams-fest that took place there and the teams returned to full strength tied at one. The Ducks seemed to control the better part of possession during the 4-on-4 and had a couple good looks at Connor Hellebuyck, but were unfortunately unable to break the tie.
The Ducks would be the next to go shorthanded once again with 3:38 remaining in the first period as Ryan Getzlaf was called for tripping. Really a less than ideal strategy against this offense, but hey, what’s the worst that could happen?
The first period came to a close with the teams still knotted at one apiece, with Winnipeg leading in shots on goal by a 14-11 count. Not a bad period for Anaheim, but the penalty trouble was certainly an area of concern.
The 2nd period started with the Ducks applying some early pressure and getting rewarded for it. Adam Henrique turned and fired a shot into a crowd, with the puck deflecting off Nick Ritchie’s leg and in to give the Ducks an early goal and a 2-1 lead! Yes, that Nick Ritchie.
Just 2:11 later, Winnipeg stormed right back and tied the game once again on a bad turnover from the Nick Ritchie that we all remember, and that led to a 2-on-0 in front of John Gibson. Somewhat difficult to give offenses this good 2-on-0 opportunities and expect anything different. 2-2.
The middle part of the period was largely a battle for possession, with the Ducks getting a power play opportunity that they proceeded to do absolutely nothing with. Both teams had looks and quality shots, but neither goaltender was willing to break and the score remained knotted at 2.
The Ducks would get another power play with 2:12 remaining in the 2nd period with the score knotted at 2-2 and shots even at 21-21. Deuces are wild.
The Ducks would once again proceed to do nothing on the power play, despite Adam Henrique coming very close to giving the Ducks the lead on a shot that was blocked by Dustin Byfuglien.
Deuces were truly wild by the end of the 2nd period. Score 2-2. Shots 23-22 in favor of Winnipeg. Couldn’t have just held that last shot, eh? I digress. Onto the 3rd!
The pivotal third period started with both teams playing tentatively once again, just as they had to begin the game. Neither team really generated any extremely dangerous chances for the opening five minutes, but finally, the score was tied no more.
Ryan Kesler, folks. You may have entirely forgotten he was still playing in this game, but he scored a crucial goal with a seeing-eye shot that gave the Ducks a very important 3-2 lead just 5:48 into the period!
But, all good things are never bound to last in the life of me. The Jets found a way to tie the game just 31 seconds later through the first career goal of one Jack Roslovic. Back to it being a nail-biting 3rd period with still plenty of time to go. 3-3.
With 10:06 remaining in regulation, Nikolaj Ehlers was assessed a minor penalty for covering the puck with his hand after being hit from behind by Kevin Bieksa. Pretty unfortunate for him, but hey, the Ducks will take power plays however they can get them.
With 6:40 remaining in the game, Blake Wheeler lost an edge skating towards the Anaheim net and crashed hard into John Gibson, taking him out at the knees while he was looking the other way. John Gibson would leave the game and be replaced by Ryan Miller. Everything is fine. I’m not crying, you are.
The Ducks and Jets would continue trading chances with both teams making mistakes that resulted in shots, but none of the mistakes proving to be fatal. The remaining minutes ticked away slowly, but eventually, the Ducks and Jets both survived to claim a point and play some 3-on-3 hockey to determine the 2nd point.
The Ducks won the opening faceoff to earn possession in overtime, and Kesler was able to turn it into a shot that Hellebuyck struggled with, but fought off. The Ducks absolutely dominated the middle part of the overtime period, controlling all of the possession and forcing the Jets to be stuck on the ice for very, very long shifts. The overtime period came to a close, much to the relief of the Winnipeg Jets, and the game was off to a shootout.
Round 1 -
Corey Perry - X
Bryan Little - X
Round 2 -
Ryan Getzlaf - X
Patrik Laine - X
Round 3 -
Rickard Rakell - X
Blake Wheeler - X
Round 4 -
Ondrej Kase - X
Matt Hendricks - X
Round 5 -
Adam Henrique - O
Mathieu Perreault - X
DUCKS WIN! DUCKS WIN! 4-3 IN A SHOOTOUT! SEE YOU AFTER THE ALL-STAR BREAK BOYS!