The Ducks were looking to extend a winning streak after a crucial 3-0 victory over the Vancouver Canucks on Wednesday night. They took on the Detroit Red Wings and renewed an old, but not lost, rivalry in a game that saw a lot of fights, and a lot of scoring. Ultimately, the Ducks would end up as the ones on top and leave with another massive two points for the standings.
Let’s see how the game broke down period-by-period and find out exactly when it turned into a UFC event at Honda Center.
The game started with the teams trying to find their legs and make pushes into the offensive zone, and the Red Wings ended up being the ones to take an early penalty, just 28 seconds in.
Mike Green sat for high sticking Corey Perry, and the Ducks started on the power play. Despite the power play getting some dangerous chances and great looks on net, the special teams advantage came up empty, mostly due to Jimmy Howard making a couple key stops.
Detroit would then get their turn on the power play shortly after the Ducks power play expired as Ondrej Kase would have a seat in the sin bin for slashing. The ensuing Red Wings power play also had a few chances, but John Gibson was having none of that business. Back to even strength, no score.
So let’s change that, yeah? Yeah!
The Red Wings turn a puck over behind their own net and Ondrej Kase delivered a beautiful pass to Nick Ritchie coming straight down the pipe, and he beat Jimmy Howard to give the Ducks a 1-0 lead at the 6:02 mark of the opening period!
Just before the halfway mark of the period, Cam Fowler got crushed in the corner and gingerly made his way to the Anaheim bench. Here’s to hoping that doesn’t become a lingering issue, because that’s pretty close to the bottom of the list of things the Ducks need right before the playoffs.
Detroit would get a second power play opportunity with 8:33 remaining in the opening twenty minutes, as Ryan Getzlaf would be next on Tim Peel’s scroll of things to call penalties for.
The penalty kill once again came up strong with another good kill, this time without as much frantic action in front of John Gibson.
The teams responded to this by trading some fisticuffs courtesy of Nick Ritchie and Luke Witkowski, the culprit who crushed Cam Fowler just a few minutes prior. The scrap was nothing special, but in any case, both players would sit for the next five minutes.
With only 2:46 left in the opening period, the Ducks would get trapped on the ice, and the Red Wings would make them pay for it. A loose puck deflected to Mike Green, and he scored a goal that any of you reading this could have scored. John Gibson was nowhere to be found, the net was wide open, and Mike Green had about ten feet of space in every direction. 1-1.
The period ended with the teams tied at one and some pent up animosity after a few big hits.
The 2nd period started very similarly to the first, in that the Ducks stormed into the offensive zone and drew a penalty on the Red Wings less than 30 seconds in. This time, it was only 21 seconds into the frame.
The power play had a ton of dangerous looks, great passing, good-looking shots, and of course, no goals. Le sigh. Back to 5-on-5.
The tie game would not last much longer, however, as ELITE 1C Derek Grant shoveled a loose puck towards a clusterf...yeah, a ton of people in the net. Bottom line, somehow it crossed the line and gave the Ducks the lead. 2-1 Anaheim!
The Ducks would take a really dumb too many men penalty just 5:02 into the period as a really bad change was followed by a really bad decision to play the puck in the midst of the chaos. Right as the power play expired, Gustav Nyquist received a nice pass from Justin Abdelkader on a broken play in Anaheim’s zone and fired it past Gibson to tie the game once again. 2-2.
Just past the halfway mark of the hockey game, Ryan Kesler would get Tim Peel’d and head to the box to serve his two minutes for Tim Peeling. Back to the power play again for Detroit.
However, the Ducks would once again kill off a Tim Peeling call and get back to even strength. Any takers on if that’s the last penalty of the game?
The Ducks would pull a Detroit Red Wings and turn what looks like a broken play in the offensive zone into a wide open look at an open goal from less than five feet away. This time, it was Corey Perry who found himself open, and he was never going to miss from that distance. 3-2 Ducks!
Next up in the UFC octagon was Corey Perry and Justin Abdelkader. That was an anger fight and they were throwing vicious punches at each other. Luckily, neither player landed any devastating blows and the bout ended with a takedown from Corey Perry.
Following that fight, introducing first....FIGHTING in the blue corner, you get the idea. Another fight. Ryan Kesler vs Anthony Mantha. More punches thrown, more faces punched, same ole same ole in Detroit vs Anaheim.
Aptly put below
This game pic.twitter.com/qtNgAdyjrZ— Olympic Apathy Kyle (@LCH_Kyle) March 17, 2018
The 3rd period started with a very bizarre incident just a few minutes into the frame. The net came dislodged behind John Gibson, and the refs seemed to either not notice or not care for at least 30 seconds while Gibby tried to get their attention however he could. He did everything short of throwing his actual water bottle in the direction of the officiating crew, and finally, the referees blew the whistle, giving Tim Peel and John Gibson a chance to have a conversation about what had happened.
But then....REVENGE! SWEET GLORIOUS REVENGE!
Ryan Kesler got loose in front of Jimmy Howard and banged his first shot off the leg pads of Howard, but elevated the second chance shot into the top corner to double the Anaheim lead and stick it to the Red Wings fresh out of the box from a fighting major. 4-2 Anaheim!
The Ducks would spend the majority of the middle part of the period doing the Randy Carlyle turtle strategy, but effectively (wait, what?). They weren’t exactly pushing the pace offensively, but they were taking advantage of opportunities where they could find them.
Odd-man rushes and quick zone entries on transitions became frequent for the Ducks, and while they did not score on any of these chances, they were able to wear down the legs of the Red Wings and continue to keep the clock moving.
With just under three minutes remaining in regulation, Ryan Kesler would get called for crosschecking as the Red Wings went with an empty net. A 6-on-4 advantage for the Red Wings followed.
Anaheim killed off the penalty, survived the remaining minute, and held on for a massive 4-2 victory over the Detroit Red Wings.
The Ducks will be back in action on Sunday when they host the New Jersey Devils at Honda Center.