By Adam Tenenbaum
The Anaheim Ducks hosted the Montreal Canadiens for the first of two meetings between the clubs this season. The Canadiens come in 16-4-2, good for 34 points and the current leaders of the NHL. The Ducks are 10-8-4, good for 24 points and fourth in the Pacific division. The starting goaltenders for the contest were Carey Price for the Canadiens and John Gibson for the Ducks.
The Canadiens controlled the early play and would get the game’s first power play as Nick Ritchie was called for interference. The Canadiens would not score as the Ducks would kill it off. Following the power play, the Canadiens would go on the power play again as Corey Perry was sent to the box for high-sticking. The Canadiens would come up empty yet again as they failed on their second power play. Later in the period, Corey Perry and Andrew Shaw dropped the gloves near the benches and each would get five-minute majors for fighting. Following the fight, Shea Weber would be called for roughing, as the Ducks would get their first power play of the night. On the power play, Rickard Rakell would get to a loose rebound in the crease and shot it past Price as the Ducks took a 1-0 lead. The Ducks took the 1-0 lead into the locker room after 20 minutes of play. Shots in the first were 17 to 10 in favor of Montreal.
The second period belonged to the Ducks as they controlled the play in the period but were denied several times by the solid play of Carey Price. Midway through the period, the Ducks would get an insurance goal, as Cam Fowler beats Price from the slot to give the Ducks a 2-0 lead. Late in the period, the Ducks would get a two-man advantage as Daniel Carr would get a tripping minor, followed by Alexei Emelin being called for a hook. Those penalties would carry over to the third as the Ducks took a 2-0 lead into the locker room after two periods of play. Shots in the second were 21-13 in favor of Anaheim.
In the third, the Canadiens picked up their play and started laying the body on the Ducks. Midway through the period, they would get their third power play of the night, as Andrew Cogliano was called for hooking. They would not score as they finished 0 for 3 with the extra man and remained down two goals. Late in the period, Montreal would pull their goal for the extra attacker and they would pull within one goal as Andrew Shaw ended the shutout and cut the Ducks lead to 2-1 with just two minutes remaining. Following the goal, Shaw would be sent to the box for hooking and received an additional ten-minute misconduct for his tirade which included breaking his stick in the penalty box and then knocking over Montreal’s entire stick rack as he headed to the locker room. The Ducks would get a power play with 28 second left but it was short lived as Antoine Vermette was called for high-sticking, making it 4 on 4. The Canadiens would pull the goalie to make it 5-on-4 but would run out of time as the horn sounded as the Ducks defeated the Canadiens by the score of 2-1. Shots in the third were 10 to 7 in favor of Montreal.
Player of the Game:
John Gibson – Gibson knew he had to be superb with Price on the other end and he rose to occasion stopping 39 of 40 shots on net and was a rock in the first period where the Canadiens were outplaying the Ducks in the early going.
Key Play of the Game:
The power play goal by Rakell was the key play of the game because up until that point all the momentum in the game was on the Montreal side. From that point, the Ducks had more confidence they could not only play with the league’s top team but beat them as well.
The Ducks won their first game of the season without scoring 3+ goals.
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November 30, 2016