By Adam Tenenbaum
After not playing since Sunday, the Anaheim Ducks were back in action Friday night, as they wrapped up their home stand against the Carolina Hurricanes. This is the second and final meeting of the season between the clubs, with the Ducks defeating the Hurricanes, 4-1 on November 16th in Carolina.
Early in the period, Ducks center, Nate Thompson was given a five-minute major for elbowing, and a game misconduct. The penalty gave the Hurricanes a five-minute power play, and left the Ducks three center the rest of the game. Then about two minutes into the penalty, Carolina was called for a penalty, as Eric Staal was sent off for slashing, as they teams played 4 on 4. Neither team would score and the game remained scoreless until late in the period, when a costly turnover by Ryan Getzlaf goes to Ron Hainsey, who finds Jeff Skinner on the wing, who wrists one past John Gibson to give the Hurricanes a 1-0 lead. The Canes would take that lead to the locker room, as they led 1-0 after the first two minutes of hockey. Shots were 9-8 in favor of Anaheim in the first period.
In the second, the Ducks got an early power play, as Ron Hainsey was called for hooking, giving the Ducks the extra man. The Hurricanes would kill it off, despite a solid power play by the Ducks but could not get one past Eddie Lack. Later in the period, Victor Rask goes to the front of the net, and Skinner jams it in past Gibson for a 2-0 lead. The Ducks would challenge the goal, but the referees after video review ruled it was a clean goal, and the Canes were up 2-0. Minutes later, Andrew Cogliano is whistled for hi-sticking, as the Ducks went on the penalty kill down a pair. On the power play, the Canes would score as Eric Staal sets up Elias Lindholm, who one-times it past Gibson for a 3-0 lead. After the goal Ducks captain, Ryan Getzlaf drops the gloves following the face, and goes toe-to-toe with Canes defenseman Hainsey. Each receive five-minute majors for fighting. Hurricanes would take 3-0 lead into locker room, as they out shot the Ducks 9-7 in the middle frame.
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In the third, the Ducks came out rolling as they peppered goaltender Eddie Lack with shots, but could not buy a goal. Also in the third, Frederik Andersen was in net, replacing Gibson who had given up three goals on 17 shots. Finally with 5:51 left in the third, the Ducks find the back of the net, as Sami Vatanen finds Jakob Silfverberg in front of the net, who taps it past Lack to pull the Ducks within two as they were down 3-1 with 5:51 remaining. Then minutes later, a turnover by Josh Manson leads to odd man rush for Carolina, where Andrej Nestrasil finds Jordan Staal, who beats Andersen short side for a 4-1 lead. Then with 2:45 left, Ducks pull Andersen for an extra attacker and seconds later Jeff Skinner shoots it into the empty net while being slashed and tripped by two Ducks in the process, to complete the hat-trick and giving the Canes a 5-1 lead. That would be the final score, as the Hurricanes defeated the Ducks 5-1. Shots in the third were 16-7 in favor of the Ducks.
Key Moment of the Game
Victor Rask took the puck to the side of the net and tried to jam it in, but Gibson made the save. Skinner followed up with the tap in goal. It appeared that Rask interfered with Gibson’s left leg pad and Bruce Boudreau challenged the play as a result. The refs disagreed and upheld the goal. The Ducks went down 2-0 at that point and never recovered.
Key Stat of the Game
21 Turnovers. Anaheim’s passing has led to too many turnovers and it has been a major factor for the Ducks inconsistent play. Last night the passing was off and it lead to scoring chances for Carolina. Two of the turnovers resulted in two goals for the Hurricanes.
The Ducks had an opportunity to reach the .500 mark for the first time this season last night. A win last night would have also had the Ducks tied for 3rd with the Sharks at 29 points.
The Ducks will go on another long break until next Thursday December 17th. They will start the road trip in Buffalo at 4PM PST.
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