By Michael Walters
The Anaheim Ducks(0-2-1) took on the New Jersey Devils(0-1-1). Both teams were looking for their first win of the season.
The game started with a fight in the opening minute. Ryan Kesler and Vernon Fiddler drop the gloves and exchanged punches before being separated by the referees. Later in the period the Devils took two penalties and the Ducks made them pay on the second one. Sami Vatanen scored his first goal of the season and the Ducks led 1-0 after 20 minutes of play. Devils outshot the Ducks 11 to 10.
In this period Anaheim got into penalty trouble and at one point New Jersey had five power plays in a row. Taylor Hall made Anaheim pay as he scored two power-play goals to give the Devils a 2-1 lead. Chris Wagner made a great play, splitting the defense and nearly scoring, but Adam Henrique hooked Wagner the moment of truth preventing a shot on net. The referees awarded Wagner a penalty shot, in which he made a great play getting Cory Schneider out of position, but the puck rolled off Wagner’s stick as he attempted his shot. Devils led 2-1, outshooting the Ducks 15 to 5 in the period.
After killing off a penalty to Corey Perry, the Ducks made a push to tie the game. The Ducks created some chances but still couldn’t find the tying goal. With just over three minutes to go, the Ducks were awarded a power play. Anaheim also pulled John Gibson during the power play, but the Ducks were unable to score. Devils prevailed 2-1.
The Ducks got off to a decent start and even scored first. It was the first time Anaheim had a lead in a game. The second period was Anaheim’s undoing in this game as they took five penalties. Hall scored twice on the power play, single-handedly putting New Jersey in control of the game. In the third period, the Devils played shutdown defense and limited most of Anaheim’s chances in the period.
With Anaheim going 0-3-1 so far this season, it’s evident they miss Hampus Lindholm. The Ducks did a better job of not letting players camp out in front of their net during even strength play, but the penalty kill suffered. Again the Ducks weren’t able to play a complete game with the second period being the deciding frame in this contest.
Sami Vatanen‘s goal was his 100th career point(30G + 70A) in 198 games.
The Ducks are 0-3-1 for the second straight season.
The Ducks take on the Philadelphia Flyers on October 20th at 4 PM PT.
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