The Anahiem Ducks squared off against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday night. The Ducks came into this one fresh off of a Sunday night, overtime victory against the Nashville Predators. The Blue Jackets headed in on the second night of a back-to-back as they defeated the Los Angeles Kings on Monday in regulation. Let’s check in on how this one went down.
The Ducks came out with another strong first period and were able to take the lead fairly quickly. Ryan Getzlaf would tip in a Michal Del Zotto point shot to give him his 11th goal on the season. Ducks up 1-0 with 16:54 to go.
Columbus would get the equalizer at the 8:13 mark, as a player named Eric Robinson (insert Snoop Dog “Who?” gif) was able to whip a wrister over the blocker of Ducks goalie Ryan Miller. All tied up 1-1 at the end of the first.
More importantly, Jakob Silfverberg left the game in the first period after catching an elbow up high. Post game notes did not reveal any update on his status. Silfverberg has been the Ducks best player this season, so it goes without saying (but I will anyways) that him losing any time would be a big lose for this team.
Ondrej Kase decided to score quickly in the second period. Just 24 seconds in, the young Czech had a vintage Kase shift where he was able to pick the pocket of Jackets forward Pierre-Luc Dubois deep in Columbus’ zone. He flicked a wrist shot short side over Blue Jacket goalie Elvis Merzlikins’ right shoulder. This was Kase’s fourth goal on the year and gave the Ducks a 2-1 lead. Everything is awesome.
With 1:23 left in the period, things would get weird as the Blue Jackets tied it up off a Nathan Gerbe goal. It all started when Gerbe lost the puck while entering the Anaheim zone. Gerbe appeared to be offside as he was fully in the Ducks’ zone. As Gerbe attempted to play the puck, Hampus Lindholm appeared to simultaneously deflect the puck back into his own zone. The Ducks seemed to think it was offside as they somewhat stopped playing for a second and Pierre-Luc Dubois picked up the the loose puck, drove around Josh Manson, and fed the it to Gerbe in the slot for a tap-in goal.
Anaheim coach Dallas Eakins would challenge whether or not the play was offside but lost which would lead to a delay of game penalty against the Ducks. My take is that it was the right call to challenge this play. It was bizarre from a rules standpoint as the NHL deemed that Hampus pushed the puck back into his own zone thus nullifying the offside. However, NHL rules also state that a deflected puck back into one’s own zone cannot nullify on offside, so this became a technicality on whether Hampus actually controlled the puck back into his own zone or whether it was deflected back. Either way, when hairs are being split in a review, the call on the ice will more than likely stand. Good goal. All tied up at 2-2 with Columbus heading to the powerplay.
Columbus would take advantage of their opportunity as Zach Werenski gave them a 3-2 lead with his 14th goal of the season. This goal came with just 10 seconds left in the period. There was a bit of a scramble in front of Ryan Miller and the puck leaked out to Columbus forward Gustav Nyquist. He then passed it over to Pierre-Luc Dubois who was able to slide it to the slot to an open Werenski who ripped on net and did not miss. Not the best penalty kill effort by the Ducks. Period over.
The third was a bit flat from a Ducks standpoint. They were only down one goal, but really only turned up the pressure in the second half. In the final two minutes, Ryan Miller would be pulled for the extra attacker. With 1:33 left to go, Zach Werenski picked up the puck in his zone and launched it down the ice for his second goal of the game. Ducks down 4-2.
This seemed like the dagger (ultimately it was), but the Ducks made it interesting with less than a minute to go. Ondrej Kase got his second goal of the game and fifth of the season with 43 seconds left in regulation. With the net still empty, Ryan Getzlaf fed a beautiful pass to Cam Fowler at the point. Cam would then use a shot pass direct to Kase in the slot. Kase’s stick blade perfectly tipped the puck into the top corner of the net. 4-3 Blue Jackets.
Anaheim was unable to tie this one up with the final score of 4-3.
- I am not pro-tank nor do I want the Ducks to lose any game, ever, but given this entire re-build/re-tool process, this game is exactly what Ducks fans should want. They were competitive down to the wire. The game was entertaining. The “kids” are gaining experience in competitive hockey games vs being terrible like most “tank” type teams have to be thus instilling a losing culture that all tanking organizations should fear. Basically, these losses have a lot of positives for a team that is not playoff bound.
- Silf being out for any period time is a big blow for this team. He plays in all situations and is very good in all situations. Maybe the Silf-ver lining in Silf missing some time, is that Daniel Sprong may get a more extended look. He has looked good in the past two games and with Troy Terry returning soon, there was going to be an odd man out on the right wing.
BY THE NUMBERS
Total Shots on Goal – DUCKS: 40 BLUE JACKETS: 27
5v5 CF% – DUCKS: 62.8% BLUE JACKETS: 37.8%
5v5 High Danger Chances For – DUCKS: 12 BLUE JACKETS: 6
5v5 xGF – DUCKS: 2.11 BLUE JACKETS: 1.21
**All stats courtesy of naturalstattrick.com
**Score card courtesy of hockeystatcards.com
1) Zach Werenski - Two goals for the stand out defenseman. Also had 24:31 TOI. No big deal.
2) Elvis Merzlikins - 37 saves on the night gave the young net-minder wins on back to back nights as well.
3) Ondrej Kase - Two goals for Kase in this one. First goal was a vintage Kase shift. Nice to see him getting rewarded considering he has been a bit snake bitten this season.
The Ducks will play the Dallas Stars on Thursday night at 7PM at Ponda Center. It will be Andrew Cogliano and Corey Perry tribute night, so get your tissues ready.