The Anaheim Ducks just couldn’t hang on in this one, as they allow a late game comeback and an eventual defeat to the Chicago Blackhawks at a score of 4-3. After a scoreless 1st period, the Ducks and Hawks put up two goals each in the second period. The Ducks claimed the lead in the third after a nice setup play by Derek Grant.
However, the tandem scoring of Alex Debrincat and Patrick Kane proved to be too much for the Ducks as both players scored in the final 5 minutes to give the Blackhawks the victory. With the loss the Ducks remain 2nd to last in the West, ahead of only LA.
On the first shift of the period Rickard Rakell delivers a risky hit to Drake Cagguila, crushing him into the boards. Cagguila had to be helped off the ice while Rakell got called for a 5-minute major and tossed from the game.
Not even 20 seconds into the power play Alex Debrincat sniped it from above the left dot for his 35th of the season, making it 1-0.
Ducks did a great job of limiting the chances during the remainder of the penalty. With a little over a minute remaining on the penalty, the Ducks generated a 2-on-1 short-handed opportunity. Devin Shore came down the right side and tried a pass across to Derek Grant. The pass was blocked by a sliding Blackhawk, but Shore quickly retrieved the puck and finished it off.
Ducks go down a man once again after getting called for too many men on the ice. They do an excellent job of controlling the puck and maintained possession for almost the entire penalty. Not long after Jakob Silfverberg would get his best chance. Ducks caught the Hawks changing and Silfverberg received a stretch pass for a breakaway. He went with his classic wrister but Crawford, who’s had a heck of a game at this point, made a great glove save.
Anaheim would finally get their first power play of the night after Corey Perry got tripped. It didn’t go as planned however. The Hawks cleared the puck down to Artem Anisimov who had some space to skate into the offensive zone. He took a shot and roofed it from a sharp angle.
Fortunately, seconds after the power play expired, Carter Rowney would tie it back up once again with a nice deflection.
Troy Terry gave the Ducks their first lead of the night early into the third period. Crawford went behind the net to play the puck but was quickly met by Derek Grant on the forecheck. Grant was able to take the puck and send it into the middle. Terry was the first to it and had a wide open net to bury it in.
The Hawks wouldn’t get into the grave however as they began to pressure the Ducks quite a bit and it paid off with 5 minutes remaining. Jonathan Toews wrapped around the net and found Debrincat in front with a pass across that Debrincat was able to finish off.
All signs were pointing some overtime play. But then Patrick Kane had to go and be Patrick Kane. With 16 seconds remaining in the game, Kane received a pass from Saad for a clear lane to shoot and he rifled it past Miller. Ducks couldn’t respond and drop this one late 4-3.
Best and Worst
Best - The forecheck. The Ducks actually had a good looking forecheck tonight. Normally it revolves around a dump-and-chase followed by the defense recovering possession or a coin toss of a puck battle. Tonight they had pressure on the Hawks though, forcing them to make quicker pass and make mistakes that turned into scoring chances.
Worst - Giving away the game in the final 5 minutes. By most measures the Ducks were getting the better scoring chances against the Blackhawks. They were winning puck battles and it got them a 3-2 lead with not a lot of time left. But they just couldn’t keep the foot on the pedal, the Hawks got some life, and it resulted in the Ducks getting zero points on the night (good news for the tank-supporters I suppose).
Three Stars of the Night
1. Troy Terry
2. Patrick Kane - for being a bastard that’s really good at hockey
3. Devin Shore
The Ducks have now lost 4 games in a row. They’ll look to get back on track Friday when they host the Vegas Golden Knights. Puck drops at 7pm PST.