By Michael Walters
The Anaheim Ducks entered this game riding a two-game winning streak, while the Arizona Coyotes were on an eight-game losing streak. John Gibson went in net for Anaheim and Mike Smith went for Arizona.
In the opening minutes, Nick Ritchie took a penalty and Anaheim went short-handed. The Coyotes nearly scored after hitting the crossbar, but the puck went straight down to the goal crease but never crossed the goal line. A few minutes later Anaheim provided the opening score of the game. Corey Perry took a shot between the circles that got by Smith. At first, it looked like Perry’s goal, but replay showed the puck hit Joseph Cramarossa and deflected in. The Ducks led 1-0 and took that lead to the locker room. Shots favored Anaheim 10-8.
Arizona struck early in the second period. Martin Hanzal received a pass for Anthony Duclair and tipped the puck past Gibson for an easy score. The game was tied up at one. Late in the period Chris Wagner would give the Ducks a one-goal advantage again. He skated to the side of the next and somehow squeezed the puck between Smith’s body and the post into the back of the game. On the replay(click the video below to view), it appeared the puck went under Smith’s arm, against his body and then in. Anaheim took a 2-1 lead in the third period. Shot favored Anaheim 14-8.
Just over three minutes into this period, the Coyotes would tie the game. Cramarossa was called for hooking and on the power play, Oliver Ekman-Larsson would convert to tie the game. The play had to be reviewed briefly, but Ryan Kesler missed on a clearing attempt and slide back into the net. Ekman-Larsson tapped the puck in under Kesler for the tying score. Anaheim did get their own power play in the period but couldn’t convert. The game headed to overtime tied at two.
Anaheim started with Rickard Rakell, Sami Vatanen, and Hampus Lindholm. The teams went back and forth exchanging opportunities, but no one scored. There was only about a minute left and it appeared that the game might be headed to overtime. Then with about 30 seconds, Cam Fowler put two shots on net that were blocked. Smith held the puck after Fowler’s second shot attempt and as he tried to pass the puck, Ondrej Kase hit the puck back into Smith. Smith made the initial save leaving the puck in the crease, which Kase tapped under the goalie and in for the game-winner. It was a great individual effort by Kase. Anaheim finally won a game during the 3-on-3 overtime this season.
Anaheim has now won three games in a row.
The Ducks are 1-7 in overtime and 2-1 in shootouts.
The Ducks have 50 points and are in first place in the Pacific Division.
The Ducks continue the homestand on Sunday, January 9 against the Minnesota Wild.
Click below to watch all the highlights!
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January 7, 2017