The Anaheim Ducks and the Vancouver Canucks have met in the playoffs. Tonight was not a playoff game but it certainly felt like it. The atmosphere inside Honda Center was incredible as the Ducks defeated the Canucks by a score of 4-3. The Canucks got on the board first with a power play goal from Ryan Kesler who was set up by a nice cross ice pass from Henrik Sedin. Later in the opening period, after a too many men on the ice penalty on the Ducks, the Canucks potted another power play goal when a Henrik Sedin shot deflected off the stick of Cam Fowler up and over Jonas Hiller. After Zack Kassian hit the post on a breakaway, a fight broke out between Kyle Palmieri and Brad Richardson, which lead to the Ducks having their best shifts right at the end of the period. The Canucks totally dominated the opening frame.
Right off the opening face off of the second period, Andrew Cogliano would go hard on the forecheck, get hooked by Kevin Bieksa, find Jakob Silfverberg at the top of the slot who wristed one towards net that Saku Koivu deflected by Eddie Lack. The Ducks finally asserted themselves early on in the second period and controlled the play during the entire period from the opening face off. At one point there was a nasty collision between Kassian and Tom Sestito, who, when aiming for a Ducks defenseman, kicked Kassian in the face with his skate. Kassian would be down for awhile and be helped off the ice, after the game John Tortorella said that Kassian is day-to-day. Later in the period, Lack would be slow to get up after Palmieri got shoved into Lack, by Dan Hamhuis, and his elbow hit the side of Lack’s mask, but Lack would get up and stay in the game. Shortly after that Palmieri would feed Matt Beleskey some nice backhanded sauce on a 2-on-1 and Matty B would tie the game up. The Ducks absolutely dominated the period and the Canucks didn’t get their first shot on goal in the period until shortly before two minutes left in the period.
Then, much like the Ducks in the second period, the Canucks were able to beat Hiller early in the third period to take a 3-2 lead with a seeing-eye point shot from Bieksa. With the lead, Torts’ team really started to shut it down. However, the Ducks would start an absolutely furious rally. There were huge chunks of time where the Ducks were opposing their will all over the Canucks and would not allow the Canucks to get the puck out of their zone. This is where Lack really started to stand on his head. Lack made some real nice saves on Francois Beauchemin, Dustin Penner and Beleskey again. The crowd was a huge factor late in the period and the Ducks seemed to feed off of it and it became only a matter of time until the Ducks potted the tying goal. After a great play by Daniel Winnik to keep the puck in the zone at the point, he found Nick Bonino at the opposite circle and Bones beat Lack with just 1:27 left in the third period. Time would run out on regulation and the game would head to overtime.
The Canucks would have their first real offensive opportunities in a very long time in overtime. The Sedin twins were extremely dangerous and whenever they were on the ice they seemed to always have the puck. They were unable to generate any real good chances. Eventually, Bones would pick Daniel Sedin‘s pocket and headed in for a breakaway, but Lack would make a stop, but Bones was hooked on the play by Bieksa so the Ducks would get a power play with just over a minute left in overtime. Then, with just five seconds on the clock, after Vancouver cleared the zone, Bonino fired a crisp pass to Ryan Getzlaf at the Canucks blue line who would feed Corey Perry cutting to the net who would beat Lack five-hole with just 1.3 seconds left in the overtime period. Two incredible passes by Bones and Getzy.
Overall, this was an absolutely incredible game. The Canucks dominated the first period, but after that it was all Ducks. They peppered Lack and he stood on his head for two periods and the overtime. He should’ve been one of the top three stars, but was not worthy of it according to the broadcast media. I said in my preview that with the way the last game went between these two teams, it looked like Tort’s style of play may be one that the Ducks couldn’t figure, well they certainly figured it out tonight even though it may have taken them until the first intermission for them to do it. Also, I mentioned how the Ducks went 0-for-8 on the PP against the Oilers. Well, special teams almost doomed the Ducks tonight because the first two Canuck goals came on the PP and the Canucks were always dangerous on the power play and the Ducks went 0-for-2 and would’ve went 0-for-3 if not for the Perry goal in overtime. It’s obvious that the special teams need to improve, but after a game like this, I think there’s cause to celebrate.
Scoring Breakdown by Period:
- : Kesler-PPG (17), H. Sedin-PPG (10), Bieksa (2)
- : Koivu (8), Beleskey (3), Bonino (12), Perry-PPG (23)
Shot Breakdown by Period
|RW Corey Perry||G, 6 S|
|C Nick Bonino||G, A, +2, 6 S|
|RW Kyle Palmieri||A, +2, 3 S, 5 PIM|
Up next are the Boston Bruins on Tuesday night from Honda Center.
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Tags: Anaheim Ducks Andrew Cogliano Brad Richardson Cam Fowler Corey Perry Dan Hamhuis Daniel Sedin Daniel Winnik Dustin Penner Eddie Lack Francois Beauchemin Game Recap Henrik Sedin Jakob Silfverberg John Tortorella Jonas Hiller Kevin Bieksa Kyle Palmieri Matt Beleskey NHL Nick Bonino Ryan Getzlaf Ryan Kesler Saku Koivu Tom Sestito Vancouver Canucks Zack Kassian