By: Matthew Garcia
The Anaheim Ducks were back home for the last time until after the holidays concluding a three-game homestand, hosting the visiting Ottawa Senators. This is the first of two meetings between the teams. While Anaheim is coming off a huge win over their Northern rivals the San Jose Sharks, the Ottawa Senators are coming off a 4-1 loss to the Los Angeles Kings. John Gibson is starting for the Ducks while Mike Condon is playing his second game in as many nights for the Senators.
The Anaheim Ducks will be starting the line of Antoine Vermette, Ondrej Kase, and Nick Ritchie. The Ducks would come very close to opening the scoring very early as Ritchie had sent a cross-ice pass to Kase who would be unable to get a stick on the attempt. But, it would not phase Anaheim as a little more than a minute and a half later at the 2:58 mark their fourth line would come up big as Joseph Cramarossa would pot the games first goal of the night off a rebound that Josh Manson created with a point shot. Ducks lead 1-0. The Senators would have an opportunity to draw even as the Ducks would receive the game’s first penalty, a hooking call goes against Shea Theodore at the 6:22 mark of the first period. The Ducks penalty kill got a prime opportunity to take a 2-0 lead on a shorthanded 2-1 break but would have it broken up. The Senators would make them pay for not capitalizing as Bobby Ryan would feed Ryan Dzingel cross crease for a slam dunk play. Senators tie the game at one. The Ducks would receive an opportunity at the 10:43 mark as the Senators would take their first trip to the box as Dzingel would get the gate for slashing. Anaheim would take advantage of that opportunity as Corey Perry would pot a rebound for his sixth goal of the season, and very first power play goal of the year. Cam Fowler and Ryan Getzlaf would each be credited with the assists. 2-1 Ducks. The Senators would get themselves into penalty trouble once again, as Dzingel would get the gate for the second time tonight due to another slashing penalty. Anaheim would strike again on the power play, this time the second unit would come up for the Ducks as Vermette would pot it from a severe angle to give Anaheim a 3-1 lead going into the first intermission.
A goaltending change to begin the second period. Andrew Hammond would come in as relief for Mike Condon who allowed 3 goals on 13 shots. The second period picked up right where the first left off, the Ducks continued their offensive prowl as they would outshoot the Senators 5-2 through the first 9 minutes of the period, Anaheim’s sixth shot of the period would give them a 4-1 lead as Ritchie would find the back of the net off a 3-2 rush that would be an eventual 2-0 rush as Kase was on his wing going in all alone against Hammond. Vermette and Kase would get the assists on the play. The Senators through the last 20 minutes to this point have been held to just three shots on goal, as Anaheim has begun to play very tight defensive hockey and really beginning to blanket Erik Karlsson who to this point has only two shots on goal and no points. Late in the period both Anaheim and Ottawa would get coincidental minors as Dion Phaneuf, and Ryan Getzlaf would get the gate. Phaneuf for cross-checking, and Getzlaf for roughing. The Ducks would get a couple of cracks during the 4-4 play but would not be able to beat Hammond. A face-off in the neutral zone with six seconds left would spell a little bit of trouble as Perry would take a slashing call shortly after the puck dropped. Ottawa will begin the third period on the power play.
The Ottawa Senators have a fresh sheet of ice and 1:57 left of power play time to begin the third period. Ducks would once again look dangerous on the penalty kill as Logan Shaw and Andrew Cogliano get a 2-1 break but would be unable to convert as Shaw would fire the puck wide of the net. Ottawa’s most dangerous play came off a shot from Kyle Turris who would ring it off the inside post and wide. Anaheim would kill off the penalty and would be 1/2 on the PK. Even strength play would be short lived once again as Kase would take a skate to the penalty box for delay of game (closing hand on the puck) at the 2:15 mark of the period. But, the power play would also be short lived for the Senators as Derick Brassard would take a tripping penalty 56 seconds into the advantage. Shortly after the penalty ended to Anaheim, the Ducks would take another penalty this time on Rakell who would receive two minutes for hooking. Teams would play 45 seconds of 4-4 before Ottawa would begin their fourth man advantage of the night. Ducks would successfully kill off the penalty improving to 3/4 on the penalty kill. The marching to the penalty box would not end there as Chris Kelly would take a trip to the box on a high-sticking minor. Sami Vatanen and Ryan Kesler would join in on the point parade tonight as Vatanen would give Anaheim a 5-1 lead at the 7:59 mark of the third period with Kesler, and Perry getting the assists and would improve their power play to 3/4 on the night. Dzingel would get so close to making it 5-2 but would ring it off the crossbar above Gibson. All would be academic through the final minutes of the game as Anaheim would go on to defeat the Senators.
Final Score: Anaheim-5 Ottawa-1
Ducks sweep their three-game homestand with their victory here tonight against the Senators. The big key to Anaheim’s success tonight was their power play as they converted on three out of four chances. Thirteen different players appeared on the score sheet tonight. Five different goal scorers, and eight different helpers. Anaheim won’t see the friendly confines of Honda Center again until the 27th of December as they hit the road for a six-game 11-day road trip that will see them start with the Dallas Stars on Tuesday before heading out to the east coast to take on Boston, Detroit, Toronto, Montreal, and Ottawa.
Three Stars of the Game:
1st Star: Hampus Lindholm 0G / 0A (4 blocked shots, 1 hit)
2nd Star: Nick Ritchie 1G / 0A
3rd Star: Cam Fowler 0G / 1A
With an assist tonight Ryan Kesler has a five-game point streak (4 goals, 3 assists).
With a goal tonight Nick Ritchie has a three-game point streak (2 goals, 2 assists).
Corey Perry notched his first PPG of the season and his second goal in three games.
For video highlights click the graphic below!
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