Last night the Anaheim Ducks came out sluggish and slow. They got a couple of lucky bounces their way and they were able to seal the deal in the third period. The Ducks defeated the Nashville Predators by a score of 5-2.
The first period was absolutely abysmal for about 18 of the 20 minutes of game time. The Predators beat the Ducks to every loose puck and they beat the Ducks in every battle. Jonas Hiller held them off for a while until Viktor Stalberg crashed the net with the puck. It happened to roll up onto Hiller’s left arm and in an attempt to bat the puck away, Hiller put the puck behind him and into the net. Of course the Preds get a dirty, gritty goal by crashing the net. However, late in the opening frame, Ryan Getzlaf would get the first lucky bounce as a pass intended to cross the front of the net was batted into the Preds net by Nashville defenseman Roman Josi. Then, the Ducks would get the only goal in the second period off another lucky bounce. Corey Perry would send the puck into the front of the net and it would hit off Nashville defenseman Victor Bartley this time and by the goaltender.
Luca Sbisa would get called for hooking late in the second period and the Preds took advantage of the power play early in the third period. Veteran Mike Fisher would get some space in the slot and he one-timed a snap shot by Hiller to tie the game at 2. He found the soft spot in the coverage just inside the near circle. That would be it for Nashville though. Emerson Etem gave the Ducks the lead back after he got just a little piece of a Hampus Lindholm wrist shot from the point. Then, just a little more than three minutes later, Mathieu Perreault would extend the lead to two. A Nashville turnover lead to a Daniel Winnik pass from the goal line out in front to Perreault who chipped it over Carter Hutton. The Preds would kick up the pressure a little bit and with some better defensive play and solid goaltending from Hiller, the Ducks capped the game off with a Getzlaf empy-netter from his own goal line.
I made a note in my pre game that Getzy had to step it up and get his team going before the Olympic break and he did. He was the best player on the ice last night. Also, sometimes you’d rather be lucky than good and the Ducks were quite lucky in the first period and a bit in the second as well. Some lucky is a perfect thing to break up that offensive drought. The first period was not a good sign. It looked like they were all mentally on their break already. Bruce Boudreau said the right things during the 1st intermission because they were a changed team in the second and third periods. They did get outplayed for some of those two periods though, I’m not saying they were or weren’t the better team, but a win is a win at this point in the season.
Scoring Breakdown by Period:
Shot Breakdown by Period
|C Ryan Getzlaf||2 G, A, +2, 6 S|
|D Hampus Lindholm||2 A, +2, 3 Hits|
|LW Viktor Stalberg ||G, -1, 4 S|
Up next are the St. Louis Blues on February 28th from Honda Center. Enjoy the Olympics and we’ll have plenty of coverage for you!
Follow me on twitter @ducks_sean!