After losing back to back games, the Anaheim Ducks got a fortunate break as other teams fighting for a playoff spot all lost. The Ducks didn’t take advantage of the gift given to them, as they drop their third in a row. This time coming at the hands of the St. Louis Blues. The Blues got on the board early and never gave the lead back. The Ducks managed to push back some in the second and third period, but otherwise fell flat. Defensive mistakes were what spelled disaster for the Ducks in the end.
The Ducks looked good to start with the top line doing the heavy lifting of generating chances early. Corey Perry flipped a puck up the ice to Ryan Getzlaf who beat the defenders for a partial breakaway. He go a wrist shot off to the right side, but Jake Allen made the pad save.
A real treat for everyone watching was watching Beachemin and Kelly almost generate a 2-on-1 break. Hayward will tell you Beachemin had something wrong with his skate which caused him to get easily tracked down and have the play broken up, but we all know better than to try and defend Beachemin by now, right?
The Ducks also brought some aggression early, forcing the Blues to pay the price for getting near the crease. Jaden Schwartz was the biggest victim in the opening minutes, getting thrown to the ice and struggling to get back to the bench.
Another scoring chance came to the Ducks, once again by the top line. A loose puck landed on Getzlaf’s stick in the slot. He fired it on, but Allen got in front of it. Perry was able to grab the rebound and spun around shooting it just wide hitting the outer net.
After having the majority of the scoring chances to start, the Ducks blew defensive coverage horribly to give the Blues the first goal. As some Ducks try to change, the Blues make an entry and it leaves four Ducks all on the right side of the ice. Robert Bortuzzo is left wide open coming down the middle and gets the puck. He cruised in and puts it just above John Gibson’s left pad.
In true Duck fashion, Anaheim comes out stale to begin the second and gets absolutely worked. After getting severely outplayed for 3 minutes. Ivan Barbashev is banks in a rebound in close after Soshnikov gets a shot off.
This woke the Ducks up a little bit as they get their first chance of the period. Getzlaf got the puck with some space and put an open wrist shot on from the right circle but Allen made the glove save.
Soon after the Ducks cut the lead back to one. Getzlaf along the side boards turns and zips a pass, through Vladimir Tarasenko’s legs, to Perry on the doorstep to tap in.
With Francois Beachemin and Kevin Bieksa on the ice together, another opportunity is given up. Tarasenko gets a partial breakaway, beating Beauchemin to the middle, forcing Beachemin to trip him and send him barreling into Gibson. Not only is Beachemin a liability to goals being scored. He’s not a liability to our goalies actual well-being.
Vladimir Sobotka extends the lead back to two with just over 3 minutes remaining. Schmaltz gets a puck down low to Sobotka, who then does a spin move over to the left side of the net. Gibson falls to his stomach as he tries to sprawl over for the save but Sobotka is able to sneak it under Gibby.
The Ducks are able to once again bring the Blues lead to within one 4 minutes into the third. The Ducks 4th line generate a fast break, and Chris Kelly comes along the right boards and puts a shot on net. Elite center Derek Grant, screening Allen in front, is able to get a partial tip and beat Allen short side.
Ducks begin to show signs of life as the generate several scoring chances and make a push for the comeback. Bieksa had something to say about that. In the Ducks defensive zone, Bieksa makes a behind the net pass to Cam Fowler along the boards. Fowler isn’t able to grab it cleanly and gives it up to Kyle Brodziak. Brodziak quickly feeds it to Patrik Berglund in the slot, who wastes no time burying it on Gibson.
The Ducks pulled the goalie with a few minutes remaining but couldn’t generate anything from it. Ultimately they lose 4-2 and capture zero points. Your next chance to watch the Ducks break your heart is Wednesday when they host the Vancouver Canucks. Puck drops at 7pm PST.