By Michael Walters
The Anaheim Ducks looked to extend their winning streak against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Unfortunately for Anaheim, the Penguins came out strong early and never looked back, beating the Ducks 6 to 2.
The Penguins got out to a fast start building a 2-0 lead off two redirection goals. First, Chris Kunitz would score just over three minutes into the game and then Conor Sheary would extend the lead to 2-0 halfway through the period. The Ducks would respond as Ryan Getzlaf would get an open shot past Marc-Andre Fleury to close the gap to 2-1. Unfortunately, 33 seconds later Carl Hagelin would score his first goal as a Penguin and naturally against his former team. Penguins lead 3-1 after the first period.
The Ducks came out in the second and made a push to try to get within one goal. They didn’t convert on the power early. Corey Perry had numerous chances, but couldn’t find the back of the net. Later in the period Sidney Crosby would get a breakaway and burn John Gibson down low making it a 4-1 lead. The Ducks did answer with a late goal by Patrick Maroon to make it 4-2 at the end of the period.
Anaheim again came out to start the period creating chances, but was still not able to score. At one moment it looked like the Ducks were going to score, but hit the crossbar, which the Penguins then transitioned into another breakaway for Crosby. He was hooked and held a few times and still was able to get the shot off to beat Gibson. The Ducks trailed 5-2. Olli Maatta scored for good measure and Gibson was pulled. Frederik Andersen finished the final minutes of the game and the Ducks lost 6-2.
Key Moment Of The Game
When Corey Perry beat Fleury, but hit the crossbar in the 3rd period. The Ducks could have been down 4-3, but instead Crosby went the other way for the score making it 5-2, putting the game out of reach.
Stat Of The Game
Ducks face-off winning percentage was 38%. Anaheim routinely was beat in the face-off circle all night and the speedy start to the game by the Penguins didn’t help.
The Penguins took control of this game early and never looked back. Gibson didn’t have his best game, but neither did the Ducks defense. With Evgeni Malkin out, the Ducks talked about slowing down Crosby before that game. That just didn’t happen as he rolled tonight with two goals and two assists. Both of his goals were on breakaways, which didn’t help the situation.
Pittsburgh dominated the face-off circle winning 62% tonight. Their speed burned the Ducks defense and Gibson in the first period for three goals. So far the trade of Carl Hagelin for David Perron has worked more in Anaheim’s favor, but not tonight. Hagelin had a goal against his former team and Perron didn’t register a point. The Ducks have to shake this game off as they turn around and play the Philadelphia Flyers tomorrow.
The Ducks longest winning streak of the season ends at six games.
Maroon was able to score tonight and has a two game goal streak.
Ryan Getzlaf scored another even strength goal as he appears to be shooting the puck more.
Crosby extended his goal scoring streak to seven games.
Tomorrow the Ducks face the Flyers at 4PM PT.
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