By Michael Walters
Throughout a hockey season there are defining moments that build the character of a team. Tonight’s game was a huge momentum builder for the Anaheim Ducks as they robbed Florida of a victory when Corey Perry scored with 5.1 seconds left. The Ducks went on to win in the shootout 3-2.
The Ducks came out strong in the first period out shooting Florida 14 to 6. The Ducks would get a power play about halfway into the period as Roberto Luongo was called for tripping on Rickard Rakell. The Ducks didn’t convert on the power play. Later in the period Florida had a power chance as well, but the Ducks shut that down. Teams headed to the locker room tied 0-0.
Florida would get on the board first as Rocco Grimaldi scored after his shot deflected off Cam Fowler‘s skate past Frederik Andersen. The Ducks responded as Chris Stewart scored a goal from the side of that net that beat Luongo just instead the post. It appeared to be a power play goal, but was scored one second after the penalty expired. Florida would take the lead again as Erik Gudbranson threw a shot on net that handcuffed Andersen on his glove side. Rickard Rakell did leave the game with an upper body injury this period and did not return. There hasn’t been an update yet on the injury. You can watch the video of the hit below. After two, Florida led 2 to 1.
The Ducks had an early power play and another one later in the period, but couldn’t tie the game. The Ducks kept putting on pressure, but looked like they might lose by one goal. With a little over a minute left to go, the Ducks pulled Andersen for the extra attacker. With the Ducks applying pressure, Corey Perry was high sticked in front of the Florida net by Brian Campbell. The Ducks had a 6 on 4 power play with 39.9 seconds to go. With time running out, Ryan Kesler took a slap shot that hit two Florida defenders and deflected right to Perry at the side of the net. Perry shot it high over Luongo’s shoulder to tie the game with 5.1 seconds left. The building erupted in excitement! Click below to watch all the emotions. Teams headed to overtime tied at two.
Florida had the better scoring chances during the 3 on 3. Andersen had to come up huge making saves on a 2-on-0 and 2-on-1 rushes. He made five saves total extending the game to the shootout.
The Ducks elected to go first and here is the summary of the shootout. You can also watch the video below for all the attempts.
Corey Perry: Blocked, leg pad save.
Brandon Pirri: Score, Florida up 1-0
Jakob Silfverberg: Score top corner, tied 1-1 (Can you say automatic?)
Vincent Trocheck: Shot wide.
Ryan Kesler: Blocked, blocker save.
Nick Bjugstad: Leg pad save.
Chris Stewart: Score, sweet back hand. Ducks up 2-1
Jonathan Huberdeau: Blocker save, Ducks win shootout and game.
Ducks’ Three Stars
For this game these are the three Ducks’ players that stood out.
Stewart has two goals and two assists in the last two games. He has factored into four of the Ducks last six regulation goals. Tonight he had a nice snipe to get the Ducks on the board in the second period. He also had the shootout winner to seal the victory for the Ducks.
After a slow start, Perry had chances in several of the last contests. What a sigh of relief for him to get a goal last night and in dramatic fashion. Hopefully he breaks out offensively from this point on.
Andersen made many great saves tonight. A game changer was stopping the two on zero rush that Florida had in overtime. He also stopped three out of four of the shootout attempts he faced.
Jakob Silfverberg is 16 for 25 in career shootouts. He has a 64.0% efficiency which ranks 1st in the NHL (minimum 15 shootout attempts by player).
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