It’s not often that low scoring games are relatively entertaining, but that was exactly the case in last night’s matchup against the Philadelphia Flyers headed into overtime tied at one goal apiece.
Unfortunately for the Anaheim Ducks, their incompetence at three-on-three ruined it all for the fans in Honda Center.
The game started off well enough for the Ducks, as Erik Gudbranson continued his surprising season by giving his team a 1-0 lead just 35 seconds into the first period. Gudbranson got the puck at the point and knuckled it on net. Fortunately, both Sam Carrick and Ivan Provorov provided screens in front of Brian Elliot, who didn’t see the puck float past him and into the back of the net. Unfortunately for Anaheim, Elliott would shut down everything else for the rest of the game.
A good Anaheim start quickly turned into a Flyer-dominated game later in the opening period when John Gibson began working hard in a flashback to the horrors of being worked over by opposing offenses and continually having to bail out his team’s mistakes.
The Flyers broke through halfway through the first period when Sam Carrick turned the puck over easily to Jakub Voracek at the point. He put a slapshot on net where two-way hulk Sean Couturier was left relatively uncontested right in front of Gibson. Josh Manson, on the other side of his goalie, neglected to tie up his stick or play the body and gave a half-hearted swipe at the puck as Couturier was allowed to jam home the rebound through Gibson’s pads to tie the game.
The Ducks had multiple power play opportunities to get the lead, including an extended five on three chance as well as a short-handed breakaway by Jakob Silfverberg, but their lack of finishing talent continued to haunt them. All this despite a good push in the final 10 minutes of the regulation where Elliott saved the game for the Flyers.
Overtime saw John Gibson and shaky defense just barely hold on to the game with the Flyers looking like the most dangerous of the two teams in extra time. So it’s only fitting that with 1:07 to go when the Ducks executed a poor line change, that new Flyers center Kevin Hayes took advantage and put the puck past Gibson on a breakaway to give Philadelphia a 2-1 win.
Multiple coaches and significant roster turnover apparently can’t make this team any better at three-on-three overtime. Time to ritually sacrifice Wild Wing to the hockey gods for better luck.
By The Numbers
3. John Gibson
2. Brian Elliott
1. Kevin Hayes