By Michael Walters
The Anaheim Ducks looked for redemption against the Philadelphia Flyers after getting dominated 6-2 by the Pittsburgh Penguins the night before. The Ducks did redeem themselves in this contest on the scoreboard and physical play winning 4-1.
The Ducks came out highly motivated outshooting the Flyers 8 to 1 almost half way through the period. Claude Giroux would get called for hooking and Rickard Rakell would convert getting to a loose rebound. Less than five minutes later Rakell would score again and the Ducks would lead 2-0. Both teams would exchange power play chances later in the period, but neither team converted. Flyers looked flat in the first period getting outshot 15 to 5 by the Ducks.
In the middle frame, the Flyers increased their physical play. Just over seven minutes into the period, Corey Perry and Brandon Manning got tangled up in the benches. Both players were pushing and throwing punches, which brought all ten players together in a big melee. The end result was Manning and Perry both got two minute penalties, but Kevin Bieksa did as well giving the Flyers a power play. Ryan Getzlaf was red hot talking to the officials and it paid off as Jakub Voracek was called for a marginal hooking call seconds later making it 4-on-4. Mark Streit then hooked Andrew Cogliano and the Ducks went the power play, but didn’t convert. A few minutes after all penalties expired, Chris Stewart would get a breakaway chance, but get hooked on the play preventing him from getting a shot off. Stewart was awarded a penalty and he made no mistake with his chance cashing in to give the Ducks a 3-0 lead.
After that goal, things just got more nasty. Patrick Maroon and Manning dropped the gloves in a good long bout.
Towards the end of the period, Cogliano got called for a double minor high sticking as his stick deflected off Wayne Simmonds‘ and hit him in the face drawing blood. While on the power play, the Flyers didn’t care about scoring and instead went after Sami Vatanen and Jakob Silfverberg. Simmonds cross checked Vatanen in the back and then another melee ensued around the net. Voracek went after Silfverberg getting a penalty for roughing. Ryan Kesler was ready to drop Voracek, but the refs and net were in the way preventing further penalties.
This was the most entertaining second period of the season by far. (If you are a Ducks fan of course.) Ducks led 3-0.
In the final frame, the Flyers pushed back. Kesler would get a penalty for interference and Simmonds would score to make it a 3-1 deficit. Kevin Bieksa would also get a penalty for delay of game, but the Ducks killed it off. The Flyers pulled their goalie for the extra attacker, but Cogliano got an empty net goal to seal the deal. Ducks won 4-1.
Player of the Game
Rickard Rakell got things going for the Ducks in the first period with two goals. He is second on the team in goals scored with 13.
Key Moment and Stat of the Game
Stewart’s shootout goal made it 3-0 and was a good response to the Flyers physical play in the second period. Stewart is a perfect three for three in his career shootout attempts.
In our game preview, it was mentioned that how the Ducks would respond after getting blown out by the Penguins would be key. The Ducks responded extremely well in the first period, getting the sustained forecheck and building a 2-0 lead. The Ducks out hustled the Flyers and Rakell lead the way.
The Flyers turned to their physical game in the second period, but it backfired on them. The Ducks played even more physical and the scrums by the benches and net fueled the Ducks team play. Stewart cashed in on a penalty shot, which helped put the game out of reach for the Flyers. Despite the late charge by the Flyers, the Ducks played well and were nearly perfect short-handed, killing six of seven Philly power plays.
If you had to pick an opponent for the Ducks to play after the bad loss, then the Flyers would be the team. The Flyers have struggled at times this season and have been known for their physical play. They tried to take it to the Ducks in the second period, but the Ducks rallied themselves together to play a better game by scoring and fighting (Maroon). A win in this fashion against a physical Flyers team is key for the Duck because they responded to a poor performance and they banded together not allowing themselves to get pushed around.
The Ducks blocked 25 shots in the game.
Frederik Andersen made 28 saves against 29 shots.
Corey Perry was cut in the ear during the second period missing a shift, but returned without an issues.
Ducks travel to Columbus to play the Blue Jackets on Thursday February 11th. Game starts at 4PM PT.
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