By Michael Walters
The Anaheim Ducks headed out for a four game road with the first stop in Carolina. Nick Ritchie made his NHL debut on the second line with Ryan Kesler and Chris Stewart. The bigger story would be Carl Hagelin, who would factor in on three of the Ducks goals in route to a 4-1 victory.
The Ducks would start strong in the first period and get rewarded with a bounce. The puck would go behind the net and Carl Hagelin would pressure Eddie Lack to hurry a pass, which Andrew Cogliano would intercept along the boards. Cogliano would then pass it to Hagelin, who in turn passed to Shawn Horcoff. The puck bounced off Horcoff’s skate and in. After being reviewed the play would stand as a good goal as no distinct kicking motion was made by Horcoff. Ducks led 1-0 after the first period.
The beginning of the second period started slow for the Ducks as they didn’t register a shot for half the period. Carolina put on the pressure and tied the game on Noah Hanifin‘s first career NHL goal. The Ducks did respond and started to get several shots on net. Sami Vatanen faked out a Carolina defender and buried a shot over Lack’s shoulder to give the Ducks a 2-1 lead. Ryan Getzlaf and Hagelin would get the assists. Ducks took the 2-1 lead to the locker room.
The Ducks took over the game in the final frame. Hagelin would come from behind the Carolina goal and squeeze a shot between Lack’s pads to give the Ducks a 3-1 lead. Carolina would pull their goalie for the extra attacker in the final minutes of the game. Kesler would get the puck and instead of shooting at the empty net, he passed to Getzlaf so he could get his first goal. A very unselfish play by Kesler. Ducks prevail 4-1.
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