The Anaheim Ducks traveled to Vancouver to take on the Canucks Monday night in a matchup of two struggling teams. Although both squads have had their struggles, Vancouver is still in the playoff hunt, and it showed as they were able to shutout Anaheim 4-0 to snap a three-game losing streak and earn their first regulation win in 11 games. For Anaheim, it marked their third straight loss resulting in a 3-11 record in their last 14 games.
Nikolay Goldobin would get the Canucks first goal as he would take a slap shot from the left face-off circle that would carom off the far post to beat Ducks goaltender Kevin Boyle. Alex Biega would give Vancouver a 2-0 lead at 16:40 of the first when his point shot squeezed under Boyle’s pads. Both teams would have an opportunity with a man-advantage each in the period, yet neither were able to convert. The Ducks would end the period with a 14-6 shot advantage and the edge in scoring chances, but were unable to solve goalie Jacob Markstrom.
Bo Hovart would cash in a sharp angled tap-in shot on a Canucks power play at the 2:22 mark to extend the lead to 3-0. To add insult to injury for the struggling Ducks, this would mark the fifth power-play goal in 59 chances over the span of 20 games for Vancouver who came into the game tied with Anaheim for 27th overall in the NHL with the man-advantage.
Hovart would find the back of the net again at the 7:12 mark of the third period with a nice wrist shot to make it a 4-0 advantage and put the game out of reach for good. The Ducks would finish the night with 29 shots and zero goals and plenty of misses opportunities.
Best & Worst
Brendan Guhle - Guhle made his Ducks debut after being acquired earlier in the week from the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for Brandon Montour. Guhle led the Ducks with five shots on goal and came very close to scoring his first career NHL goal off a one-timer. If he continues to be aggressive, the goals will eventually come.
Game 63 In The Books - It’s been a very disappointing season for Ducks fans. Having 63 games wrapped up means there’s only 19 more left to suffer through. It’s been a long frustrating season, but the end is near.
Kesler Boos - Feel free to agree or disagree, but I enjoyed the boos from Vancouver fans anytime Kesler touched the puck. Love or hate him, his play in Anaheim has soured many fans this season so I take no offense to Vancouver fans expressing their displeasure with Kesler.
The Inability To Finish - Terrible coaching and injuries aside, the common theme of this season has been Anaheim’s inability to finish. Whether it be finishing a drive, or finishing a period or an entire game, the Ducks have left a lot to be desired. Tonight was no exception. The Ducks had their chances and opportunities to put goals on the board, but they just could not finish drives. Time and time again they would let rushes stall or would come up short during the man-advantage. For this younger core to find success, they will need to learn how to capitalize on their scoring chances. To only have scored six goals on a four-game road trip and to have four of those goals occur in one game is a travesty. Simply put, you can’t win if you can’t score.
3 Stars of the Game
3. Vancouver fans who booed Kesler as he played the puck
2. Vancouver fans who continued to boo Kesler even when he wasn’t on the ice
1. Brendan Guhle
The Anaheim Ducks will travel back home to host the Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday, February 27th, at 7PM PST.