In the back end of a back-to-back against two of the best teams in the NHL, the Anaheim Ducks got out to a lead and held on late in the third to finish the Chicago-St. Louis nightmare with a win. In Chicago, the Ducks didn’t have a good effort and they knew it. They came out last night in St. Louis and took charge early. An early goal from captain Ryan Getzlaf certainly got the Ducks off hot. Right off a faceoff to the left of Blues goalie Brian Elliott, Corey Perry skated with puck into the corner and then cut towards the front of the net and the puck found its way to Getzy and he potted it up over Elliott. The Ducks had two more real good chances in the first period from a Saku Koivu breakaway, which Elliott stopped, and when Perry beat Elliott but pinged the post. The first period would end with the Ducks controlling the majority of the play and outshooting the Blues. However, the Blues would pick it up in the second.
The Ducks caught a bit of a break early in the second when after a bad Blues turnover, a Matt Beleskey shot would just barely get through Elliott and crawl over the goal line to give the Ducks a 2-0 lead. Halfway through the second, an interference penalty against Alexander Steen would lead to a Cam Fowler power play goal. Fowler blasted one by Elliott who was screened in front by a helmet-less Beleskey. Getzlaf would get an assist, his 14th point in the last nine games. The Ducks would enter the 3rd with a 3-0 lead but the Blues amped up the pressure. The Blues had long periods of sustained possession and offensive pressure. Andersen had been a wall until Blues defenseman Barret Jackman put a point shot by Andersen. At this point, the crowd at Scottrade Center awoke for the first time in a long time. The Ducks were already laying back and playing a defensive game in the period, but the Blues fed off the crowd and amped up the pressure even more. Andersen made some big stops, but it was a small mistake on his part that turned a 3-1 game into a madhouse. Jaden Schwartz had the puck to the right off Andersen along the goal line and Andersen left the post for a split second and Schwartz spotted it and beat Freddie. From this point on, it really felt as if there was no way that the Blues were not going to tie it up. The Ducks and Andersen were up against it in the last few minutes. Nick Bonino and Saku Koivu made some HUGE faceoff wins in their own zone. Freddie made more big stops and arguably the biggest on T.J. Oshie with just a second left on the clock. Oshie dangled around a defenseman and had a clean shot on goal from around the faceoff dot but Andersen shutdown the five-hole and effectively ended the game.
I never like to see a team of mine just sit back and let the opposing team control play. You always should have your foot on the gas, but with the tough game the previous night, I don’t know if the Ducks could’ve done that. they weren’t happy with the Chicago game and you could see how, when the final horn sounded, relieved and pumped the team was to close this one out. It was an extremely tough game in an extremely tough setting against an extremely tough team. This is the second time this season that the Ducks have traveled to the Midwest and played in Chicago and in St. Louis on back-to-back nights. In those four games, they are 3-1. Simply put, that is damn good.
Scoring Breakdown by Period:
Shot Breakdown by Period
|C Ryan Getzlaf||G, A, +1|
|G Frederik Andersen||W, 34 SV, .944 SV%|
|RW Vladimir Tarasenko||A, +1, 5 S|
Up next are the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday night from Honda Center.
Follow me on twitter @ducks_sean!
Topics: Anaheim Ducks, Barret Jackman, Brian Elliott, Cam Fowler, Corey Perry, Frederik Andersen, Jaden Schwartz, Matt Beleskey, NHL, Nick Bonino, Ryan Getzlaf, Saku Koivu, St. Louis Blues, T.J. Oshie, Vladimir Tarasenko, Winnipeg Jets