The Anaheim Ducks hosted the Arizona Coyotes for a Saturday night game, looking to break a four-game losing streak. The Ducks jumped out in front very early in a game in the way of an Ondrej Kase breakaway just 46 seconds into the game. They would add to the lead later in the first period through a power play goal from Daniel Sprong, and from that point on, the Ducks would play some good old-fashioned pond hockey, trading chances back and forth with the Coyotes.
Unfortunately for Anaheim, this strategy lead to them seeing a 4-2 lead turn into a 4-4 game in a matter of 39 seconds. The overtime period did not go in the favor of Anaheim either, as the Coyotes converted a 2-on-1 just 33 seconds into overtime to steal the second point away from Anaheim.
All in all, this was a game that the Ducks absolutely should have found a way to win, and it could become a game that we look back at in early April as a point that might have been pivotal for Anaheim. The teams around the Ducks in the standings are continuing to find ways to win games and the Ducks now find themselves in 4th in the Pacific Division, four points behind the Vegas Golden Knights and only two points ahead of the Vancouver Canucks, who have won their last two contests.
Best & Worst
Nick Ritchie - Nick Ritchie had assists on three of the four Ducks goals and looked like a force to be reckoned with on a line with Adam Henrique and Ondrej Kase. It has continued a trend of steadily encouraging play from Ritchie and it would be a huge relief for the Ducks if he could find ways to consistently appear on the score sheet and out of the penalty box.
Power Play - The Ducks power play was only 1/5 on the night, but they had stretches of very promising puck movement and dangerous shots against Arizona. Also positive to note, the Ducks had five power play opportunities! That’s a nice change, eh?
Shots - The Ducks had 41 shots on goal, and for a team that was last in the league averaging just over 27 shots in a game, it was a nice change of pace to see the offense generating chances.
Defense - Giving up five goals is never good, but especially on only 30 shots. A few of the goals against were on strange looking plays, like the puck deflecting strangely off of John Gibson behind the net to a wide open Christian Fischer out front. However, terrible turnovers and a lack of being in high-danger shooting lanes led to the Coyotes being able to capitalize on their opportunities and stay in a game they had no business being in.
Overtime - The overtime period was extremely frustrating, as the first attempt for the Ducks to move up the ice was blown up immediately and a 2-on-1 in the other direction led to Hampus Lindholm selling out to block the pass, failing to block the pass, and a one-timer to fly past an obviously frustrated John Gibson.
Losing - Just...stop losing please.
3 Stars of the Game
3. Daniel Sprong
2. Ondrej Kase
1. Nick Ritchie