The Anaheim Ducks traveled to Columbus to take on the Blue Jackets Saturday night to kick off a six game road trip. The Ducks entered the game having won seven of their last eight games and would make it eight of their last nine after defeating the Blue Jackets 2-1 in an overtime victory.
The Blue Jackets would get the scoring started about halfway into the first period. Markus Nutivaara would hammer a one-timer from an offensive zone faceoff, that would deflect off the post and beat John Gibson. It was a perfect shot that Gibson had no chance of seeing. Aside from that goal, Gibson was stellar the rest of the way stopping 36 of 37 shots. He was forced to come up big several times in the game, with one of his highlights being a toe save to deny Brandon Dubinsky early in the third period.
On the opposite end of the ice the Columbus goaltender, Sergei Bobrovsky, would have himself a solid night as well, as he denied the Ducks on several opportunities throughout the game. However, he would not be able to solve the Ducks’ new member, Daniel Sprong. Sprong would put the Ducks on the board late in the first period to tie the game at 1-1. Sprong would take a very severe angled shot that found the slightest bit of daylight under the glove of Bobrovsky. After both teams put up goose eggs in the two remaining periods, Sprong would apply the dagger in overtime. With a clean faceoff win from teammate Adam Henrique, Sprong received the puck and patiently waited for traffic to form in front of Bobrovsky. With Henrique providing a solid screen, Sprong found a seam and put the puck in back of the net resulting in a third straight victory for the Ducks and a fifth straight road victory.
Best & Worst
John Gibson - With the victory Gibson improved his record to 14-9-4. Stopping 36 of 37 shots and 16 shots in the third period alone, allowed the Ducks to remain in the game and pull of the overtime victory. Time and time again, Gibson has come up huge for Anaheim and even at times stealing victories. Deep playoff aspirations require solid goaltending, and the Ducks have that in Gibson.
Daniel Sprong - The 21-year-old has hit the ice running since coming to the Ducks on December 3rd. In just five games with Anaheim, Sprong has three goals in five games and has already surpassed his career high in goals scored in a season.
Adversity - The Ducks are 10-2 in their last 12 games and have shown the ability to comeback numerous times during that span. The victory marked the ninth consecutive win in which Anaheim was tied or trailed when entering the third period. With every comeback victory, the team is building confidence as well as chemistry with it’s new acquisitions. During the middle of the season, playoff caliber teams find ways to win and overcome adversity, and that is what Anaheim currently is doing.
Man Advantage -
Ducks first power play was, in a word, dreadful.— Eric Stephens (@icemancometh) December 16, 2018
Anaheim’s power play has been awful of late. Against Columbus, Anaheim only received on man-advantage and did absolutely nothing with it. In fact, the Ducks are now 0-9 with the extra attacker in their last five games. Not being able to take advantage with the power play is part of the reason the Ducks have found themselves trailing late in games.
3 Stars of the Game
3. Adam Henrique
2. Daniel Sprong
1. John Gibson
The Ducks will travel to Pittsburgh to face the Penguins Monday, December 17th at 4pm PST.