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Ducks @ Sabres MORNING THOUGHTS: Ready to Be Home

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The Ducks finish their five-game road trip and return home for two before another four-game road trip

NHL: Anaheim Ducks at Buffalo Sabres Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

The Anaheim Ducks wrapped up a long road trip with a much needed 4-3 OT win against the Buffalo Sabres. The Ducks had lost their previous three games before this win, and they found themselves digging a deeper hole to climb out of in regards to the playoff race in the Western Conference. With San Jose and Los Angeles both having games in hand and winning games, the Ducks desperately needed two points from that game.

Thanks to Adam Henrique, they got those two points.

The Ducks dominated a large majority of the game in Buffalo in regards to possession control and shot attempts, but the Sabres were able to capitalize on the opportunities they did get and ended up making the game a lot more uncomfortable for Anaheim than I’m sure the Ducks were hoping. The Sabres have the second-fewest points in the league, ahead of only the Arizona Coyotes with 38 points in 53 games.

Best & Worst

Best -

Adam Henrique - Henrique scored the overtime winner, giving him 12 goals and 18 points total in his 30 games so far as a member of the Anaheim Ducks. His play has been nothing short of phenomenal for the Ducks, and if he continues at this pace, he’ll be a huge key factor in the Ducks making a late regular season push into the postseason.

Ondrej Kase - Ondrej Kase continues to be one of the better scoring options in Anaheim’s lineup, scoring another crucial goal in the win against the Sabres. The goal would most likely be described as a “goal-scorer’s goal”, as it was just whacked at by Kase while it was loose and found it’s way between the pads of Robin Lehner right as he tried to get back to his feet.

Ryan Miller - Sure, he didn’t have his best game of the season, by any stretch. He did, however, recover nicely from allowing a really bad first goal to get back into the game and ultimately make 33 saves en route to the victory. It may not have been a fantastic goaltending performance like Anaheim fans are used to, but it got the job done, and that’s all that matters to me.

Worst -

Special Teams - I was hoping that the Buffalo Sabres would be a good platform to get the Ducks rolling on special teams and maybe generate some momentum moving into the upcoming games against Pacific Division opponents. Promptly giving up a shorthanded goal on your first power play opportunity was......not quite what I was hoping for.

Blowing the Lead Late - The OT win is all fine and dandy, but giving up the lead with 14.5 seconds left is not quite how I would draw it up. I appreciate the Ducks taking shots at the empty net, but if the opportunity is there to just flip the puck into the neutral zone and kill 10-15 seconds, please take that instead if you don’t plan on winning any puck battles.

3 Stars of the Game

3. Brandon Montour - He may not have made a significant difference on the scoresheet, but this was the first game in a while that he was actually noticeable on the ice to me. Here’s to hoping for a bunch more games just like it.

2. Ondrej Kase - Ondrej Kase deserves more ice time. Give him all of the ice time.

1. Adam Henrique - You score the game-winner in OT, you’re the #1 star. And #1 in my heart.

Poll

What Would You Like to See the Ducks Do at the Trade Deadline?

This poll is closed

  • 45%
    Trade Nick Ritchie
    (38 votes)
  • 7%
    Stand pat
    (6 votes)
  • 23%
    Trade for a goalscorer (Evander Kane)
    (20 votes)
  • 14%
    Trade Nick Ritchie
    (12 votes)
  • 9%
    Trade Nick Ritchie
    (8 votes)
84 votes total Vote Now