By Bryson Breedlove
For the third time in the past three games, the Anaheim Ducks found themselves tied headed into the third period. And for the third time in three games, they found themselves in the loss column. In what has been an unprecedented start to the season, the Ducks find themselves at the bottom of the Pacific division with a record of 1-7-2.
Tonight’ started similar to the past few, with the Duck’s showing flutters of offense, while still giving up the occasional odd man chance. Corey Perry was able to fire off a few decent shots, looking for his first goal of the season, however none came to fruition. As much as the Duck’s have been struggling, Frederik Andersen has shown that he is still an elite goalie in the NHL. The period saw 2 power plays, one to each of the teams. However neither team was able to capitalize.
The second period started with the Blues getting a minor penalty for a high stick. After a shot into the zone by Bieksa and a pass from Corey Perry, Hampus Linholm was able to lift the puck over Jake Allen’s left pad for a power play goal. Unfortunately the lead did not last long for the Ducks. Less than 4 minutes and 30 seconds later the Ducks were caught in the Blues zone on an attempted 4-2. A zone clearing pass found Jori Lehtera and Vladimir Tarasenko 2 on 0 against Andersen. After a few passes back and forth Tarasenko netted the equalizer.
Shortly after the score was tied both teams were involved in two large skirmishes down below the goal line, both involving the Blues’ Steve Ott. However the Ducks game out on the bad end of both, having been assessed additional minor penalties in both situations. The second period ended in a 1-1 tie.
The third period actually remained rather uneventful until the midway point, when a face off to the right of Andersen proved to be costly. After the Blues’ won the face-off the puck found its way up to the point and Colton Parayko, who attempted what seemed to be an intentional miss of the net, however the puck careened back into the crease and smacked Andersen’s left skate ending up in the back of the net. 2-1 Blues.
The odd goal ended up being the game winner. The Duck’s gave a valiant effort at the end of the game, however it was not enough. The Ducks shot 23 pucks at Jake Allen, while the Blues were able to fire off 34 on Frederik Andersen.
Note: Slow Start
The 2015-16 start to the season ties the 1996-97 season for the worst franchise start in the first 10 games. In 1996-97, the Ducks started 1-7-2 like this years current team with only 4 points. The Ducks did finish that season 2nd in the Pacific Division and as the 4th seed in the Western Conference. They made it to the second round of the playoffs also that year.
So it may not be easy, but the Ducks can still make the playoffs.
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