The Anaheim Ducks had a shining glimmer of hope that they’d end the losing streak and make some sort of stride towards winning again. However, that hope was extinguished as quickly as it came, as the Flyers scored the game-winner late to completely crush the hearts of the Ducks and their fans.
The Ducks have now lost their sixth game in a row, something that hasn’t happened since 2011. They quickly fell down the standings, landing 9th in the Western Conference. The Ducks will need to take a hard look at themselves and how they want to move forward with the season. All I can really say is the injured players can’t get back soon enough because that would have to help the Ducks even a little, right?
The game started with Marcus Petterson getting called for a hooking penalty just a few minutes in, which gave the Flyers the first power play of the game. The Flyers were able to set up in the offensive zone and Claude Giroux found Sean Couturier in front of the net with a pass. Couturier put a beautiful deflection on it to put the puck over Ryan Miller’s shoulder and made it 1-0.
The Ducks were able to get a power play of their own shortly after and did get some pressure on the Flyers defense. Poor positioning also led to the Flyers getting a short-handed breakaway opportunity, but Miller made the save.
Couturier got another great chance to begin the second with a nifty move up close, pulling the puck back between his legs and flicking it on net. Miller made the save, however, and the Ducks jumped right into an offensive breakout.
Hampus Lindholm passed it up to Rickard Rakell and the Ducks entered the zone with lots of space to make a play. Rakell found Pontus Aberg in the slot. Aberg fumbled the first shot attempt but quickly reeled it back in and sniped it top shelf to tie the game.
Trick: ✖— Anaheim Ducks (@AnaheimDucks) October 31, 2018
Treat: ✔#LetsGoDucks pic.twitter.com/nU6qnPW2tK
The Ducks got called for another penalty a few minutes later but held the Flyers to 0 shots on goal, while also generating a few odd man rushes themselves although none successful.
The Flyers would recapture the lead near the halfway point of the period. Giroux put a wrist shot on from the point. On the way to the net, the puck deflected off Ivan Provorov’s skate and trickled past Miller.
Everything leading up the the final 3 minutes is moot because all the action and devastation happened in those final 3 minutes.
The Flyers were called for a tripping penalty on Hampus Lindholm giving the Ducks a golden opportunity to tie the game. Cam Fowler ended up with the puck and circled from the point over to the right circle. He put a wrist shot on net with Pontus Aberg in front. Aberg got a tip on it, and the Ducks tied the game with just over 2 minutes left.
Now the depressing part. Just 21 seconds after the tying goal, the Flyers generated pressure in the Ducks zone. Oskar Lindholm ended up with the puck behind the Ducks net. He circled around and found a wide open Nolan Patrick in the slot. Patrick wasted no time ripping a one-timer past Miller to reclaim the Flyers lead.
The Ducks would put some pressure out of pure frustration but couldn’t get it in the net and took the loss.
Best and Worst
Best - Pontus Aberg is paying dividends for the Ducks taking a chance on him. He was credited with both of the goals tonight, as well as the last 4 goals the Ducks have scored.
Worst - The Ducks have once again allowed a team to get 35+ shots against them, without being able to at least mirror the quantity and quality of shot attempts. The Ducks simply cannot let it keep happening.
Best - The top line of Aberg, Getzlaf, and Rakell seems to be clicking. They were easily the best line on the ice for the Ducks. If they can keep it rolling, it’ll help ease the pain until the remaining injured players return.
Worst - Six losses in a row should never happen. Figure it the f**k out.
Three Stars of the Game
1. Pontus Aberg - he has scored the Ducks last four goals.
2. Ryan Miller - saving 33 of 36 shots faced, and facing much higher quality attempts than his team is putting up.
3. Nolan Patrick - two points and the game winner. Good for the kid, and no one else on the Ducks really deserved a star.
The Ducks next game is Thursday, Nov. 1st when they host the New York Rangers. Puck drops at 7pm PST.