By: Matthew Garcia
The Anaheim Ducks are on the second of a five-game home stand, hosting the visiting Detroit Red Wings. In the first meeting between the two teams, the Ducks saw a two-goal lead slip away twice in the game (2-0 and 3-1) before falling by a final of 6-4 in their final visit of the regular season to Joe Louis Arena. Anaheim looked to exact their revenge against the team from the motor city without the services of Ryan Getzlaf as he is out with a lower-body injury. Anaheim is 2-0-3 in their last five games following the thrilling 4-3 shootout victory over the Flyers in a game that saw Ryan Kesler notch his first hat-trick as Duck and John Gibson setting a record with his 51 saves in the contest. Gibson started again for Anaheim and Petr Mrazek will get the start for the Red Wings.
The Detroit Red Wings began the game with their 1st line forward pairings of Henrik Zetterberg, Anthony Mantha, and Thomas Tatar. The Ducks being at home, get the last change and will counter with the shutdown line of Ryan Kesler, Andrew Cogliano, and Jakob Silfverberg. The first period started off very defensively for both teams, many of the opportunities that each side received came off of turnovers, Detroit carried most of the play through the first 10 minutes of the period possession wise, but Gibson would be up to the test stopping everything the Red Wings threw his way. Anaheim would be the first team to get up on the board as a waved off icing turned into a Red Wings turnover that would see Nick Ritchie pot the game’s first goal, with assists coming from Antoine Vermette, and Ondrej Kase. The Ducks would also be the first team to receive a power play opportunity as Detroit defenseman Xavier Ouellet would get the gate for tripping, the Ducks, however, would be unable to convert against the struggling Detroit Penalty kill but would get some very good chances. Anaheim came very close to making it 2-0 as Silfverberg would hand off a puck to Cogliano who would skate to the front of the goal only to be stuffed by Mrazek. The first period horn would sound with the score 1-0 Ducks. Anaheim outshot Detroit in the opening frame 10-6.
The Detroit Red Wings started off the 2nd period with a push, activating their defense into the play and crashing the net. Detroit thought that they had notched the game-tying goal early in the period as the puck was deposited into the net off of the post, and off of Gibson. Anaheim elected to use their coaches challenge and was determined that Brendan Smith had shoved Gibson into the net, causing the puck to cross the goal line. No goal Detroit. The Ducks received a prime scoring opportunity near the 10-minute mark of the period as the 4th line of Anaheim got things going beginning with a big hit from Chris Wagner, who would then find a rebound, but would, unfortunately, be unable to settle it quick enough to get it past Mrazek. Detroit would receive their first power play of the game at the 14:44 mark of the period as Cam Fowler would find himself sitting on an Interference call. Dylan Larkin came close to tying the game as he would thread in between the Anaheim defense, but Gibson would be up for the test kicking the pad out stopping the puck. Anaheim would only allow two shots during the power play and successfully kill off their first penalty. Shortly after the penalty expired Riley Sheahan found a loose puck in the faceoff circle as Rickard Rakell overskated the puck but would be unable to convert for his first of the season shooting the puck just wide of the left goal post. The second period would end just as it began with a 1-0 Ducks lead. Anaheim would get nine shots on goal, while Detroit would register eight.
The third period would start with a short Detroit Red Wings bench as Smith, and Niklas Kronwall would both be out for the remainder of the game. A lot of defensive play from Anaheim as they are beginning to shut down Detroit in the neutral zone forcing them to dump the puck. The action would begin to pick up near the halfway mark of the period with a high-sticking call going against Ritchie. The Red Wings power play would be very short lived as Steve Ott would receive a goaltender interference penalty 49 seconds after their power play had begun. However, Anaheim would be unable to convert on the small amount of power play time that they had received, going 0/2 on the power play tonight. Anaheim’s power play wasn’t off the ice for very long as 28 seconds after Ott’s penalty had expired, Zetterberg would be on the receiving end of a tripping call as he upended Brandon Montour. Anaheim would get a few good looks on the power play but would be unable to convert on anything moving to 0/3 on the power play tonight. The 3rd period parade to the box would continue as Hampus Lindholm takes a trip to the box at the 14:35 mark of the period on a tripping minor. Anaheim would limit Detroit to only one shot on the powerplay, successfully killing off their third penalty of the game. The Ducks would ride the momentum of the penalty kill as they would force a turnover in the offensive zone and Vermette would make a pass off his skates up to Kase who would backhand a shot past Mrazek to make it 2-0 with under 3 minutes to play in the game. A late high-sticking penalty against Detroit would seal the deal for Anaheim. The 3rd period shots on goal were Detroit nine for a game total of 23 and Anaheim with five for a game total of 24
Final Score: Anaheim-2 Detroit-0
Led by the 23 save shutout from Gibson, goals coming from Ritchie, and Kase Anaheim would go on to split the regular season series with the Red Wings by defeating them 2-0. Anaheim put up a much better defensive effort than their previous one allowing only 23 shots on net, helping Gibson notch his second shutout of the season. Anaheim has begun the new year, and homestand perfect, and they will look to continue that success Friday night as they play host to the struggling Arizona Coyotes, who have not won in their last eight games. With the victory tonight Anaheim moves into a tie for first place with the San Jose Sharks, each with 48 points.
John Gibson recorded his eighth career shutout behind his 23 save performance tonight.
With the win tonight Anaheim increases their point streak to six games.
The Ducks are tied for first at 48 points with the San Jose Sharks.
Anaheim (20-12-8) will host the Arizona Coyotes (11-22-5) Friday at 7:00 PM PT
Click below to watch highlights from the Ducks win!
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January 5, 2017