By: Matthew Garcia
The Anaheim Ducks were in the big apple to take on the New York Rangers. This was the third stop on Anaheim’s six-game road trip, and the first meeting between these two teams this season. The Ducks will be in search of their first win on this road trip as they dropped their first game against Florida by a final score of 2-1, and lost to Tampa Bay 3-2 in the shootout. If the Ducks are to be successful tonight against the Rangers they will need to have a lot of discipline as they have been shorthanded 12 times in the past 2 games, however, they have only given up 1 power play goal in those 12 opportunities. The Rangers rank ninth in the league on the power play at 21.3% with Anaheim right behind them at 21.2%, however, the Rangers are 15th in the league on the penalty kill at 82% while Anaheim is fifth in the league at 84.3%. Special teams could be the deciding factor in tonight’s match-up. John Gibson gets the nod in net tonight for the Ducks while Henrik Lundqvist starts for the Rangers.
As the puck dropped to begin the game, Anaheim was quick to get in on the attack getting the game’s first 5 shots of the game, getting some very good looks on Lundqvist, but a quick counter-attack by the Rangers would see Oscar Lindberg pot the first goal on the very first shot of the game for New York. Following the goal, Anaheim would get a few more looks against Lundqvist but would be unsuccessful in putting one past him despite several rebound opportunities. The Rangers 4th line would once again prove to be a thorn in the Ducks’ side as they would draw a penalty against Logan Shaw for hooking to give the Rangers the first power play of the game. Anaheim would get a great opportunity shorthanded as Getzlaf would go in alone on Lundqvist, but the back check from Ryan McDonagh would break the play up. Anaheim would be successful in killing off the penalty while allowing just a single shot on goal. The Ducks would be unable to solve Lundqvist in the opening period despite putting 16 shots on net. New York would take a 1-0 lead going into the first intermission.
The Rangers were very quick to strike in the second period as Mats Zuccarello would beat a sprawling Gibson to make it 2-0 just 01:06 into the second period. New York came close to making it 3-0 as Michael Grabner would be in on a breakaway, but Gibson would rob him with the glove hand. A little more than 2 minutes later the Rangers would find themselves 3-1 against Gibson, Jimmy Vesey would rip a one-timer, but Gibson would come up huge yet again sprawling across the crease and get the blocker on the Vesey bid. The Ducks would finally be able to answer the Rangers’ two goals as Jakob Silfverberg would receive a pass from Andrew Cogliano right inside the face-off circle and fire it past Lundqvist to make it 2-1. The Ducks would receive their first power play opportunity of the game with less than four minutes remaining in the second period, and it would be a four-minute double-minor as Brady Skjei would head to the penalty box for high-sticking on Antoine Vermette. The Ducks would get some good looks on the power play but would be unable to get any of them past Lundqvist, Gibson would have to be sharp as well as the Rangers would get a 2-1 break that Gibson would get a piece of to send it into the corner. The second period horn would sound, the Rangers would take a 2-1 lead into the intermission and carry over 38 seconds of power play time into the third period.
The Ducks would begin the period with the 38 seconds left over from the double minor that Skjei received in the final five minutes of the second, and would be unable to convert on the opportunity. The Rangers would continue the trend of scoring early in periods as Grabner would put one past Gibson, off the post, and in just 03:45 into the final frame of play to give New York a 3-1 lead. Anaheim would get a great opportunity to draw themselves to within one just over a minute after the Rangers took a two-goal lead as Chris Kreider would get the gate for holding on Shea Theodore. Anaheim would register five shots on goal during the power play chance but would be unsuccessful in getting one past Lundqvist. just over 2 minutes later the Rangers would yet again take a trip to the penalty box as Kevin Hayes would sit for delay of game. (puck over glass) The Ducks would continue to throw everything they have at Lundqvist, but would again be unable to solve him as he would turn aside 6 more power play shots to keep the Rangers up by two. With a little more than two minutes remaining in the game, the Ducks would pull Gibson for the extra attacker. The Rangers would pot an empty net goal with just over 20 seconds left in the game to make it 4-1.
Final Score: Ducks-1 Rangers-4
Despite stellar play from Gibson, the Ducks were unable to solve Lundqvist more than once in this game even though they set a season high 44 shots on goal. The big story in the game were the odd-man rushes and breakaways, the Ducks got caught multiple times pinching in their own zone and coming up empty which resulted in numerous odd-man counter-attacks by the Rangers who would make Anaheim pay as all four goals the Rangers scored were direct results of the odd-man rushes. Gibson really stood tall a majority of the game as he shut down several of those odd-man breaks to keep the game close, and within reach. Another takeaway from the game was the goose egg on the power play. Anaheim received four power plays this game and failed to convert on all of their opportunities. The positives that came out of this game were the shots. Anaheim recorded 44 shots on goal which is now the season high, that is especially good considering that they entered the contest having only recorded 19 shots on goal in their last four periods of play. Discipline was another huge plus tonight as Anaheim only went short-handed once after being short-handed 12 times in their past two games. The Ducks will look to get into the win column on Thursday as they head to Buffalo to take on Kyle Okposo and the Sabres.
Anaheim (28-17-10) are at Buffalo (22-21-10) Thursday night at 4 PM PT.
Want to be an Editor or Writer? Join The Puck Network!
DucksNPucks is part of The Puck Network, which covers the entire NHL. There are openings to cover your favorite team(s) and earn school credits! If you are interested, then apply by filling out the form here: Join Our Team
February 8, 2017