By Adam Tenenbaum (Summary) and Mike Walters (Stats & Analysis)
The Ducks faced off against the Colorado Avalanche at Pepsi Center in their second to last game of the season. The Avalanche are 2-0 against the Ducks and looked to play spoiler with them already being eliminated from playoff contention with 82 points. The Ducks came in 44-25-11, good for 99 points and still in the hunt for the Pacific Division title. The starting goaltenders were John Gibson for the Ducks against Semyon Varlamov for the Avalanche.
In the first, the Ducks would get called for an early penalty as Ryan Kesler was sent to the box for hooking. The Ducks would kill off the penalty keeping the game scoreless. Later in the period, Andreas Martinsen took a shot at Ryan Garbutt and received a game misconduct and five minute major for interference, giving the Ducks a five minute power play. On the power play, Cam Fowler would break the scoreless tie as he fired a shot past Varlamov into the back of net, as the Ducks led 1-0. Then late in the period, Jakob Silfverberg would add on to the lead as he fired a shot past Varlamov for a 2-0 Ducks lead. Following the goal, Ryan Garbutt was sent to the box for four minutes as the Avalanche would get a late four minute power play chance. They would not score as the Ducks led 2-0 after one period of play. Shots in the first were even at 11 a piece.
The Ducks killed off the remaining three minutes of the power play to hold on to their 2-0 lead. Then minutes later, Ryan Garbutt from the slide beats Varlomov short side as the Ducks take a 3-0 lead. The Avalanche would not go away easy as they scored two goals in 32 seconds to cut the lead to 3-2. The first goal was by Nick Holden and later Jarome Iginla as the Avalanche were back in the game. Following the goal, Jakob Silfverberg would called for tripping, giving the Avs a power play down a goal. The Avalanche would not score and then during after their power play, Tyson Barrie was called for interference as they game was played four on four before the Avs went shorthanded. The Ducks would not score on their man advantage as the game remained a one goal deficit. Later in the period, Jakob Silfverberg was sent to the box again, this time for holding. The Avalanche did not score as the Ducks held their one goal lead into the third as it was 3-2 Ducks after two periods. Shots in the second were 14 to 9 in favor of Anaheim.
The game remained 3-2 until midway through the third as the Ducks received a power play chance because John Mitchell was called for slashing. On the power play, Ducks captain, Ryan Getzlaf would make it 4-2 as he beat Varlamov in close giving the Ducks a 4-2 lead. Then just over a minute later, Jakob Silfverberg would score his second goal of the game as he fired a slap shot past Varlamov giving the Ducks a 5-2 lead. Late in the period, Hampus Lindholm was called for high-sticking as the Avalanche received a four minute power play down 5-2. On the power play, Zach Redmond would score as the Avalanche cut the Ducks lead to 5-3. However, the comeback would stop there as the Ducks would hold on to win 5-3 over the Avalanche and secure the two points. Shots in the third were 12 to 6 in favor of the Avalanche.
Key Moment of the Game:
Ryan Getzlaf’s goal at the beginning of the third period. Colorado had scored two goals to pull within one. Getzlaf’s goal stopped the momentum of the Avalanche and ended up being the game winner.
Player of the Game:
Jakob Silfverberg. He scored two goals in this game and now has 20 on the season for the first time in his career.
Key Stat of the Game:
7 turnovers by Anaheim. The Ducks took care of the puck in this game. When the Ducks limit their mistakes, then they make it difficult for their opponents to beat them.
The Ducks finally broke through against the Avalanche after being shutout in the two previous meetings. The Ducks got off to a quick start building a 3-0 lead. They did have a minor lapse as Colorado scored two to pull within one, but Anaheim turned up their game a notch in the third period to build the lead up to three goals again in route to a 5-3 win.
With the win, the Ducks had to wait and see the outcome of the Winnipeg Jets and Los Angeles Kings contest to see if the game tomorrow against Washington would matter. It looked like the Ducks would face the San Jose Sharks as the Kings jumped out to a 3-0 lead on the Jets. The Jets rallied and tied the game at three apiece. The game went to overtime and then a shootout. The Jets won in the shootout, which means the Ducks need a win to clinch the division tomorrow against Washington.
The Ducks have a chance to clinch the division tomorrow against the Washington Capitals at 4:30 PM PT.
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