In a matchup of Western Conference heavyweights, the Anaheim Ducks came out victourious by defeating the Chicago Blackhawks by the score 3-2. It was the third straight shootout for the Ducks, who finally won after dropping the first two to the San Jose Sharks and Los Angeles Kings.
It was a great game from start to finish, and both teams showed why they are two of the best in the league.
Defense wins you championships, and watching both teams played, they realized that one mistake could cost them a chance at two points in the standings. While it wasn’t a defensive borefest (a la the 1990s New Jersey Devils), but it was clear that the team that was better defensively was likely to win the game.
Which makes the fact that they went to a shootout a true testament to how good they were playing. Any hiccup in the defense was quickly patched up with a great stickcheck or great positional support from their teammates.
And when all else failed, the goaltenders played a great game that bailed their teams out when needed. Jonas Hiller stopped 23-of-25 shots for the Ducks, as his counterpart Antii Raanta stopped one more with 24 saves.
The crowd wasn’t quite into it was one, but the style of play and overall level of play from the two teams gave it the feel of a playoff like game, and with both teams likely to fight for the top of the standings all season, getting that extra point here was all the more crucical.
Chicago has now lost three games in a row, the first time that has happened in quite some time.
Anaheim won in a shootout for the first time since October 18 against the Phoenix Coyotes.
The announcers (Blackhawks feed) made a point of giving credit to the Perry-Penner-Getzlaf line as one of the best in the league, only to point out their own of Sharp-Toews-Hossa. The Ducks will get another taste of one of the better lines in hockey against the St. Louis Blues when they play the Steen-Backes-Oshie line.
Anthony Murphy is the Editor at Pucks of A Feather. You can reach him by email [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @AMurphyTFC.
Tags: Anaheim Ducks