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Ducks @ Senators RECAP: Winning is Fun!

The Ducks continue their road trip looking for another win away from Honda Center.

NHL: FEB 04 Ducks at Senators Photo by Steven Kingsman/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Anaheim Ducks traveled north to face the Ottawa Senators, kicking off their journey through Canada. After a win at Staples Center against the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday, the Ducks came in to tonight’s game on a high note, continuing to ice a healthy roster. Let’s see what happened!

First Period

Both teams took a couple of minutes to feel each other out leading to some rushes, but nothing too dangerous for either team. A few minutes in, Sam Steel got a high stick on Mike Reilly. It was initially called a 2-minute minor, but quickly changed to a double minor as it drew some blood. The Ducks were able to get a few timely clears in the beginning of the penalty kill, but eventually things started to break down with an Ottawa player always right in front of John Gibson. Brady Tkachuk got a redirect on net from a pass by Tyler Ennis, but not quite enough to get past Gibson. After the ensuing face-off, a point shot from Reilly was tipped by Tkachuk and off the crossbar, giving the Ducks their first break of the game.

With the penalty expired, Anaheim got back on track. Rickard Rakell beat Ron Hainsey to a dumped puck, quickly sent it to the blue line on the opposite wall where Hampus Lindholm took a quick shot toward the net. Nick Ritchie was waiting right in front of Marcus Hogberg to redirect the shot giving the Ducks the 1-0 lead. Aside from this goal, Anaheim did not look good in the opening frame, but Hogberg didn’t look great in Ottawa’s net either, giving up plenty of big rebounds in every direction. Their play would soon improve over the rest of the game.

Second Period

Ryan Getzlaf was sent off for tripping Jean-Gabriel Pageau early in the second period. The Senators got set up early, applying pressure throughout. Cam Fowler and Ondrej Kase were a little too aggressive trying to regain control of a puck and a mad scramble ensued. Drake Batherson receives the puck at the top of the right circle, tucks it in, and snaps a perfect shot past Gibson. Tied game, 1-1.

Ottawa would go on the penalty kill thanks to a slash on the hands of Troy Terry by Mark Borowiecki. The only notable opportunity came from Ritchie as he made a great pass to Kase, but he missed the net. The Ducks’ power play continues to be a terrible aspect of their game. Go figure.

A little over halfway through the game, Steel sends a perfect cross-ice pass to Kase, who decides to pass it to Max Jones. Jones had a wide open net, but the puck went just wide. On the rebound from behind the net, Kase grabbed the puck and snuck a quick backhand over the leg pad of Hogberg. Ducks lead 2-1.

Soon after, the Ducks went back on the power play because of trip/knee by Dylan DeMelo on Max Jones. Anaheim decided that their power play is bad, so they sent too many skaters on the ice to nullify the man advantage. The game went to 4-on-4 until the end of the period. After trading goals, Ducks still lead 2-1 and managed to hit double-digit shots on goal. Yay.

Third Period

A couple minutes into the third period, Erik Gudbranson stuck his knee out on Tyler Ennis, sending him to the box. Ducks were able to get a couple clears early, but for the second time, the Senators got on the board on with the man-advantage. Colin White walked in from the blue line and sends a quick pass to Artem Anisimov for an easy tap-in goal. Tie game 2-2.

Not much happened until the last 5 seconds of the game. Brady Tkachuk won a puck battle behind Gibson and sent a puck to DeMelo right in front of the Ducks’ net. Thankfully, Derek Grant knocked him down before he could gain control of the puck, sending the game to overtime.

Overtime / Shootout

Both teams traded chances back and forth. John Gibson did John Gibson things and sent this game to a shootout.

In the shootout, Kase scored with his classic backhand and Rickard Rakell was able to slip the puck five-hole past Hogberg. Ducks win!

Overall, the Ducks played a decent game after the first period. There were a few things that stuck out:

  • Erik Gudbranson continues to exceed expectations. There was a point when Erik was chasing a puck in the defensive zone with two Senators on his tail and he was able to use his body to fight them both off to gain control of the puck. While fans can go back and forth about him, he’s been solid and is showing that he can be a serviceable defenseman for this team. Just make sure he has a head-start in any footrace.
  • Max Jones hustles and works hard every shift, but the small things still stick out. Midway through overtime, he tried to stickhandle his way through two defenders and gave up the puck. Possession is everything in overtime and he needs to recognize that. I don’t think he went back out after that.
  • Nick Ritchie has been a great asset since returning. He drives play continues to put his teammates in position to score. Always a welcomed sight for this team.

By The Numbers

Shots on Goal - ANA: 27 OTT: 31

5v5 CF% - ANA: 58.44% OTT: 41.56%

High Danger Chances - ANA: 5 OTT: 5

Heat Map and Stat Card Below:

**All stats courtesy of naturalstattrick.com

**Stat Card courtesy of hockeystatcards.com

Three Stars (as voted by the media)

  1. Ondrej Kase - Kase has elevated elements of his game this year and still surprises me with his ability to finish, dangle defenders, and use his speed to gain the advantage. He was all over the place tonight and was the best player by far.
  2. John Gibson - Gibson didn’t need to make tons of Vezina-worthy saves in this one, but he kept his team in the game and even rewarded us with his patented pad-stacking, poke check save in the shootout.
  3. Drake Batherson - Batherson had a perfect shot to beat Gibson in this one.

Next Up

The Ducks continue their trek through Canada with a stop in Montreal to play the Canadians on Thursday, February 6th at 4:00 PM Pacific Time.