By: Matthew Garcia
The Anaheim Ducks are back at home beginning a five-game homestand looking to ring in the new year with a victory after finishing off the 2016 calendar year on a western Canadian road trip with a 3-2 OT loss to Vancouver. Last night’s matchup was against the visiting Philadelphia Flyers, this was the last meeting of the regular season between the two teams. Anaheim took the first game against Philadelphia by a final score of 3-2 back on October 20th. The Ducks are looking to continue their winning ways against Philadelphia as they are 10-0-2 in the last 12 games while also riding a seven-game win streak against the Flyers. Steve Mason is getting the start for the Flyers, and John Gibson getting the start for the Ducks.
The action didn’t take long to begin in the first period as Wayne Simmonds and Kevin Bieksa squared off just 01:35 into the game. The Ducks power play didn’t take long to hit the ice either as Roman Lyubimov would get a tripping minor against Josh Manson at the 02:39 mark of the opening period. The Ducks would not be able to convert on their first opportunity of the night but would be gifted with another chance just a minute after the penalty expired. This time is would be Claude Giroux who gets the gate on a holding penalty after a battle against Ryan Kesler. The Ducks would not be able to convert on their second chance, but Kesler would find the back of the net just 16 seconds after the penalty expires off a very nice pass from Korbinian Holzer who jumped up into the play and created the opportunity. However, the lead would not last long as Travis Konecny would tie the game up 19 seconds after the Kesler goal. Next, it would be Anaheim’s turn to take a trip to the box as Ryan Getzlaf would get the gate for tripping against Ivan Provorov at the 12:04 mark of the period. The Ducks would successfully kill the penalty off and regain the lead as Kesler would pot a rebound for his second of the night. Ducks would take the lead 2-1 going into the first intermission, but trailing on the shot clock 14-8.
Period number two would begin very quickly again as the Ducks would jump out to the 3-1 lead as Kesler would pot his third of the game on his third shot for the natural hat-trick. But, on a failed clearing attempt Sean Couturier would get the Flyers to within one as he would go top shelf on a sprawled out Gibson to make it a 3-2 contest. About a minute later the Ducks would get into more penalty trouble as Hampus Lindholm found himself on the wrong side of a Flyers attacker and a holding call would be the result. It would prove to be a costly mistake as Brayden Schenn would slam home a rebound 21 seconds into the powerplay to make it a 3-3 tie. The Ducks would pull Gibson and put in Jonathan Bernier, the goaltending change did not last very long as Bernier would only play a total of 3:48 and see only one shot directed towards him before Gibson took back over in net. The Flyers really dominated most of the second period as they were winning every puck battle, and getting second and third opportunities, but Gibson would be up for the test turning away everything he saw after the tying goal. The best opportunity the Ducks had after Kesler’s third goal would be a breakaway bid from Andrew Cogliano who would get stuffed going five-hole on Mason. Philadelphia would outshoot Anaheim in the second period 24-5.
Anaheim would be looking to come into the third period putting pressure on Philadelphia’s defense as they have not been able to do much of that in tonight’s match. Anaheim would be unable to do that as Logan Shaw would be on the receiving end of a 4-minute double minor for high-sticking against Michael Del Zotto. Gibson would have to come up huge in the first minute of the penalty kill making big saves on players like Simmonds and Giroux. Anaheim would get a great opportunity short-handed as Jakob Silfverberg, and Cogliano would get a 2-on-1 break that would see Mason stone Silfverberg who was trying to go five-hole. The Ducks would be successful in killing off the double-minor levied against Shaw while receiving some short-handed attempts in the process. The Flyers would continue their shot onslaught getting 14 more shots on net against Gibson who would turn all of them aside helping keep the Ducks in the game. The third period horn would sound at a 3-3 tie. Overtime would be necessary to determine the victor. The third period shots on net would favor Philadelphia 14-10.
Heading into the Overtime period the Ducks are 0-7 while the Flyers are 4-1. Kesler, Silfverberg, and Fowler will begin the extra session on the ice for Anaheim. Giroux, Voracek, Gostisbehere starting for Philadelphia. Gibson would be the first goaltender to see rubber as Giroux would fire a shot that would be saved. A mishap from Schenn would see Rickard Rakell go in on a breakaway against Mason who would be up for the test turning him away, and then a follow-up opportunity from Lindholm. A lot of helter-skelter play would see huge opportunities for both teams, neither team would be able to pot the game-winner though. Overtime shots on goal would favor Philadelphia who had three shots for a game total of 55 and Anaheim with two for a game total of 25.
Rickard Rakell (ANA) – GOAL
Shayne Gostisbehere (PHI) – NO GOAL
Ondrej Kase (ANA) – NO GOAL
Claude Giroux (PHI) – NO GOAL
Cam Fowler(ANA) – NO GOAL
Jakub Voracek (PHI) – GOAL
Jakob Silfverberg (ANA) – NO GOAL
Wayne Simmonds (PHI) – NO GOAL
Corey Perry (ANA) – GOAL
Sean Couturier (PHI) – NO GOAL
Final Score: Ducks-4 Flyers-3
The Ducks and Flyers would need extra time, and five rounds of a shootout to determine the outcome of this game. A game in which we saw plenty of action in as the Ducks would ring in the new year as victors in the shootout to secure the much-needed extra point. With the win tonight Anaheim leap-frogged Edmonton for second in the division with 46 points, just one ahead of the Oilers, but distancing themselves from teams like Calgary with 42, and Los Angeles with 40. The Ducks started their home stand off right, with a win against Philadelphia before taking on the Detroit Red Wings Wednesday night in which they will be looking to avenge a 6-4 loss back in the motor city on December 17th.
Three Stars of the Game:
1st Star: (ANA) Ryan Kesler 3G / 0A
2nd Star: (ANA) John Gibson 51SV / 54SA
3rd Star: (PHI) Sean Couturier 1G / 0A
Ryan Kesler earned his fourth career hat-trick and now has 15th goals on the season.
The 55 shots on goal would be the 2nd most surrendered in Anaheim team history.
With his 51 saves, John Gibson becomes 4th goalie in team history to make at least 50 saves.
The Ducks host the Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday at 7:30 PM PT.
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January 2, 2017