By Adam Tenenbaum (Summary) and Mike Walters (Stats & Analysis)
The Ducks wrapped up their brief two game road trip, as they visited the St. Louis Blues, Friday night at Scottrade Center. They are coming off a loss on Wednesday against the Colorado Avalanche, as they saw their 12 game point streak end in a 3-0 defeat. The Blues come in winners of four in a row, good for 87 points. The Ducks sit 37-20-9, good for 83 points. The starting goaltenders in the contest were Frederik Andersen for the Ducks and Jake Allen for the Blues.
In the first the Ducks would receive a power play chance as Jaden Schwartz was called for hooking. The Blues would kill off the minor and following the power play, the teams would go 4 on 4, as David Perron and Carl Gunnarson were sent to the box for coincidental minors. Neither team would score and the first period would end scoreless. Shots in the first were 12 to 9 in favor of the Blues.
In the second, the Ducks would get an early power play as Jori Lehtera would be called for interference. On the power play, the Ducks captain, Ryan Getzlaf would find the back of the net, as the Ducks took a 1-0 lead. Later in the period, the Blues would get two power plays chances. On the first, Perron would be called for holding the stick. The Ducks would kill of the penalty keeping their one goal lead. Then four minutes later, Josh Manson would be called for interference. Again, the Blues did not score on the power play, as the Ducks killed it off. Then the Blues would finally tie it up, as Paul Stasny tipped in a pass from Gunnarson, to tie up the game at one. The game would remained tied at one through two periods. Shots in the second were 8 to 5 in favor of the Ducks.
In the third, the Blues would take the lead as Jori Lehtera one-timed a pass from Jaden Shwartz past Andersen, as the Blues took a 2-1 lead. Then a minute later, a Ducks turnover found the stick of Patrik Berglund who then scored, giving the Blues a 3-1 lead. Later in the period, Hampus Lindholm would be called for cross-checking, as the Blues went on another power play. The Blues would not score and then following the power play, the Ducks would cut the lead to one, as Rickard Rakell shot went off a Blues’ defender past Allen to cut the lead to 3-2. Then minutes later, another Ducks turnover in the defensive zone led to a wide open goal for Vladamir Tarasenko, giving the Blues a 4-2 lead late in the third. Then with the goalie pulled, Tarasenko would score again, as the Blues now led 5-2. After the goal, the final minute and half ticked off the clock, as the Blues defeated the Ducks 5-2 at Scottrade Center. Shots in the third were 12-6 in favor of the Ducks.
Key Moment of the Game
In the beginning of the third period, the Ducks made two turnovers within amount a minute of each other. The result was two goals for the Blues that built a 3-1 lead that the Ducks could not recover from.
Key Stat of the Game
The Blues won 35 face-offs as opposed to just 17 for the Ducks. Not one Anaheim center had a face-off percentage over 50%.
The Ducks played a much better game against the Blues than they did against the Avalanche, but only for the first 40 minutes of the game. In the first two periods, Getzlaf scored a great goal as he batted the puck out of mid air and into the back of the net. Stastny responded with a nice play himself as redirected a shot-pass in the Ducks net. It looked like this game was going to be decided by one goal like the previous two meetings, but then the third period happened. Back-to-back turnovers by Cam Fowler and Josh Manson doomed the Ducks as the Blues scored on both making it a 3-1 game. Even when the Ducks got a lucky bounce to pull within one, then another turnover happened resulting in the Blues third goal of the period. Anaheim couldn’t recover after that.
The defense which has been pretty solid during the running streak had some breakdowns in the last two games. The defense suffered in the Colorado game because Sami Vatanen was out for the last two periods, but they still gave up too many odd-man rushes in the second period of that game. The defense had a solid effort to start the game last night, but the poor passing killed any hopes the Ducks had of earning at least a point in St. Louis. The Ducks will have the entire weekend to rest up and get focused for Monday’s game against the Devils.
Last night was Frederik Andersen‘s first regulation loss dating all the way back to December 21, 2015. He was 13-0-2 during that time.
Rakell was credited with the second goal of the game and is second on the team with 18 goals.
The Ducks were dominated in the face-off circle only winning 17 of 52 face-offs.
The Ducks committed 15 turnovers, four of which were giveaways leading to three of the Blues goals.
The Ducks return home to face the New Jersey Devils on Monday at 7PM.
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