By Michael Walters
The Anaheim Ducks continued their road trip against the Edmonton Oilers for their second set of back-to-back games. The Ducks went with the same lineup as they had against Calgary. Frederik Andersen started in net again.
Both teams came out in the first period creating chances and getting shots on goal. A few minutes in and Nick Ritchie was called for holding against Nail Yakupov. The Ducks killed the penalty and then got a power play chance when Darnell Nurse was called for cross checking against Andrew Cogliano. The Ducks didn’t score, but got another late power play when Benoit Pouliot slashed Ryan Kesler. David Perron scored on the power play, but the play had to be reviewed twice. First, Toronto reviewed the play and determined that Perron did not kick the puck in the net. Then Edmonton decided to challenge for goalie interference, but the call stood on the ice. Perron was pushed from behind into Cam Talbot. To watch the goal click the video below. Ducks led 1-0 after the first period.
Just 39 seconds into the period and Mike Santorelli was called hooking against Taylor Hall. Oilers cashed in on the man advantage, tying the game on a Leon Draisaitl goal. Later in the period the Ducks would go up 2-1 when Jakob Silfverberg beat Talbot glove side. Silfverberg made a great play to keep the puck in the zone. He got the puck to Ryan Kesler, who did a return pass for the open score. Before the period would end, Taylor Hall would tie the game up at two when Frederik Andersen couldn’t hold on to a rebound. Hall was able to push the puck in the net tying the game. The score was 2-2 after two periods.
Hampus Lindholm would give the a Ducks a 3-2 advantage on a nice give and go play with Rickard Rakell. Lindholm deflected the return pass just over Talbot’s leg and into the net. The Ducks held the Oilers at bay, but Kevin Bieksa was called for high sticking with 3:05 left in the game. Halfway through the power play, Edmonton pulled Talbot, but Andrew Cogliano made them pay with a short-handed empty net goal. It looked like the Ducks would cruise to victory, but Benoit Pouliot would score on the power play just 24 seconds later making it a 4-3 deficit and things got intense for the final minute of the game. On the next face-off Talbot was in net, but then quickly headed to the bench. Oilers pressured trying to tie the game again, but Corey Perry scored an empty net goal with just 13 seconds left in the game to make it 5-3 Ducks. Anaheim prevailed by that score.
Player of the Game
Kesler had an assist on the Silfverberg goal, but it was his defensive play of Connor McDavid that was stellar. McDavid didn’t record one shot on goal and had just one assist in the game. Edmonton’s coach Todd McLellan said he wouldn’t avoid the matchup of Kesler against McDavid and it helped Anaheim in this game. McLellan used it as a learning experience for the rookie knowing the Oilers don’t have much to play for the rest of the season.
Key Moment of the Game
Cogliano’s empty net goal. At the time it didn’t seem like a big deal, but the Oilers never gave up and came back to score again. His goal ended up being the game-winner.
The teams both came out creating chances with the Oilers using their speed and the Ducks establishing the forecheck. The Ducks broke through first after a 10 minute delay and double review by Toronto and the on-ice officials. Anaheim played a back and forth second period scoring a goal, but gave up two goals. The Ducks played a much better third period defensively despite giving up the late goal on the power play. Anaheim has been winning and scoring goals in bunches, but the penalty kill has softened as of late. The Ducks have given up a power play goal in five consecutive games and two in each of the last two games. This will be a topic of discussion for Bruce Boudreau at practice.
The Ducks are rolling offensively where it seems like every other shot is going in the back of the net. Anaheim got goals from all their lines except for the fourth line, but it wasn’t for lack of effort by that line. With Chris Stewart out, Boudreau’s new fourth line is Patrick Maroon, Nate Thompson, and Ryan Garbutt. They had some good forechecking shifts in this game and have been hustling in general. The Ducks have already won the week, winning two of their three games, but you know they want more as they find themselves only three points behind Los Angeles.
The Ducks are now 17-4-2 since the Holiday break dating back to December 27. Anaheim is also 28-12-6 since the month of October.
Since January 3, the Ducks have scored 66 goals. Only the Washington Capitals have scored as many goals in that time span.
The Ducks are 10-1-1 in their last 12 games and have averaged 4 goals per game.
David Perron scored a goal in this game and now has 13 points(6G + 7A) in 13 games in Anaheim.
Cogliano had a short-handed goal and leads the team with two on the season.
The Ducks take on the Vancouver Canucks this Thursday at 7PM. Join us for a watch party at Avila’s El Ranchito in Orange!
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