By: Matthew Garcia
Last night the Chicago Blackhawks were in town for a date with the Ducks at Honda Center. The Blackhawks have had some pretty good success in this building as they have won their previous four meetings and would be looking to extend that winning streak in Anaheim to five. Anaheim received some pretty bad news on the injury front as Cam Fowler has been put on the shelf for 2-6 weeks, depending on the severity of the injury Anaheim could possibly see him back in the first round of play. The Ducks tonight would be without the services of Hampus Lindholm, Cam Fowler, and Korbinian Holzer. While the Blackhawks would not be dressing Jonathan Toews, Marian Hossa, Duncan Keith, or Brent Seabrook. The starting goalies would be Corey Crawford for Chicago and John Gibson for Anaheim.
The Ducks would get into penalty trouble very early as fan favorite of Anaheim Josh Manson would send the puck over the glass and as a result a delay of game penalty just five seconds into the game. The Ducks would be up for the task as they would kill off the games’ first penalty, seven seconds after the Anaheim penalty expired the Blackhawks would head to the penalty box as Nick Schmaltz would receive a hooking minor to give Anaheim their first power play of the night. The Hawks would be successful in killing off their first penalty of the night but would find themselves in more penalty trouble just two minutes after their first penalty. This time it would be Michal Rozsival who would take a seat for Chicago as he would be guilty of tripping, this time Anaheim would make Chicago pay for their mistake as Corey Perry would be found by Rickard Rakell in front of the net to give the Ducks an early 1-0 lead. Chicago would use their coaches challenge in reference to a possible offsides call, upon further review it was determined that defenseman Brandon Montour held the zone and the goal would stand. The Ducks would find themselves in more penalty trouble late in the period as Perry would take a seat for slashing with less than two minutes left in the opening period. The first period horn would sound and the Ducks would take a 1-0 lead into the first intermission.
The Blackhawks would begin the second period with 20 seconds of power play time. Anaheim would kill off the remaining time and move to 2/2 on the penalty kill. Chicago would once again find themselves on the receiving end of a penalty, this time it would be deemed as a bench minor for too many men on the ice which would be served by Tomas Jurco. Chicago would be successful in killing off this penalty to game the game at 1-0. The Ducks would make it 2-0 late in the middle frame as Chris Wagner would find the back of the net for his second goal in as many games while recently recalled Ondrej Kase would get in the scoring column by notching an assist, along with Logan Shaw. The second period horn would sound and Anaheim would find themselves up by a pair heading into the second intermission.
The Ducks head into the final period of play with a 2-0 lead. Anaheim is 32-2-2 when leading after two periods of play this season, and they would waste no time in helping to bolster that stat as Ryan Kesler would deposit one past Crawford off a feed from Andrew Cogliano behind the goal line to give the Ducks a 3-0 just four minutes into the final frame. A little bit of the rough stuff would begin as Rozsival would give Perry a cross-check behind the Anaheim net that would spark a reaction from Nick Ritchie who would drop the gloves and give Rozsival a few punches, which in turn would see Jordin Tootoo drop his gloves and go after Ritchie. Rozsival would be the recipient of a cross-checking penalty while Ritchie would be given a match penalty for his actions giving the Blackhawks a three-minute power play after a two-minute session of four-on-four play. The Ducks would be up for the task as they would kill off the penalty, but not before Patrick Kane would rip a shot past Gibson, but would drill the crossbar. Five minutes later Montour for the Ducks and John Hayden for the Hawks would drop the gloves, but both combatants would fall to the ice without nay punches being thrown. Each player would receive roughing minors. The Ducks would add to their lead as Rakell would tip a point shot from Getzlaf to make it 4-0 with a little more than five minutes to play. The third period horn would sound and Anaheim would take down the Blackhawks by a final score of 4-0.
Final Score: Chicago-0 Anaheim-4
John Gibson would be the big story tonight as he would turn away 37 shots that the Blackhawks put on net, and made some key saves to help preserve the victory for the Ducks. Perry would find the back of the net for his 19th goal of the season. Perry who has been snakebitten for the better part of the regular season is starting to find his groove just in time for the playoffs which is great news for the Anaheim faithful. Wagner recorded his sixth goal of the season, while Kesler notched his 22nd, and Rakell continues to add to his career high as he recorded his 33rd goal of the year.
The Ducks will finish the season Sunday against the Los Angeles Kings at 5:30 PM PT. If Edmonton loses in any fashion on Saturday, then the Ducks will clinch the division and could rest some players on Sunday.
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April 7th, 2017