Pucks of a Feather Awards: Anaheim Ducks Game of the Year

The Anaheim Ducks didn’t play very many memorable games this season, but the ones that do stand out deserve a little recognition.

A majority of the Anaheim Ducks 2018-19 season is one we want to forget. There were very few memorable games, and most of the games that were memorable are memorable for all the wrong reasons. However, there are a handful of games that sparked excitement in the fans and made us forget just how unfortunate the season turned out.

Game of the Year— Honorable Mentions

10/08/18 vs Detroit Red Wings (6% of the vote): The October 8th home opener against the Detroit Red Wings kicked off the Anaheim Ducks 25th Anniversary celebration. It was a rematch that was 25 years in the making, and instead of a crippling defeat, the established Anaheim Ducks were looking for a win.

Although at this point the Anaheim Ducks had shown cracks in their system, they forced the game into overtime and eventually a shootout. Troy Terry, American Hero, won the game for the Anaheim Ducks with his classic five-hole shootout goal.

02/13/19 vs Vancouver Canucks (9% of the vote): The February 13th game between the Anaheim Ducks and the Vancouver Canucks was significant for several reasons. First of all, this was Bob Murray‘s first game behind the bench, and with no previous experience, we did not know what to expect.

It was also Kevin Boyle‘s first career NHL start, and he performed flawlessly. The game ended in a shutout, the Anaheim Ducks winning 2-0 and finally breaking their third and final losing streak of the 2018-19 season.

03/12/19 vs Nashville Predators (22% of the vote): The rivalry between the Anaheim Ducks and the Nashville Predators, at least the rivalry between our fanbases, has increased seven-fold over the past two seasons. Nashville holds their Stanley Cup Playoff wins against the Anaheim Ducks over our heads, but we’re always ready and willing to chirp back.

On March 12, 2019, the Anaheim Ducks and Nashville Predators met for their final contest of the 2018-19 season. The Anaheim Ducks won the game, 3-2, with the game-winning goal coming from Daniel Sprong. This gave Ducks Nation bragging rights, as their team won their regular season series 2-1 with both Randy Carlyle and Bob Murray behind the bench.

Game of the Year— 12/02/18 vs Washington Capitals (63% of the vote)

This was the game everyone was expecting the Anaheim Ducks to lose. The Washington Capitals played on the Anaheim Ducks weakness’ and scored 5 goals in the first 34 minutes of the hockey game. Ryan Getzlaf‘s lone goal in the first period didn’t seem to give his team any momentum.

After the third goal from the Capitals, John Gibson was pulled from the net, and Ryan Miller came to his team’s aid. He let in two more goals, and the deficit grew to 4 goals. There was no salvaging this game, or so it seemed.

That is until Andrew Cogliano positioned himself perfectly in front of the Washington net and slammed home a beautiful rebound. Less than one minute later, with five minutes left to play in the middle period, Rickard Rakell flipped his own rebound past Brayden Holtby. While there was still 25 minutes of hockey left to play and the Capitals held the 5-3 advantage, things were starting to get really interesting.

With only 2 goals separating the two teams, the Anaheim Ducks came into the third period with a new attitude and something to prove. Neither team made any headway during the first few minutes of the third until a power-play goal at 7:16 from Pontus Aberg put the Ducks within one.

Washington’s Dmitry Orlov sent the Ducks back on the power play less than a minute later and a smart move from Ryan Kesler put Hampus Lindholm in the perfect position to rip home their second power-play goal of the night, tieing the game.

It was anyone’s game at this point and a mistake by Holtby gave the Ducks the perfect chance to win it. Kiefer Sherwood took a shot, and in an attempt to sweep the puck away from the crease, Holtby found himself out of position and out of the net. Pontus Aberg found himself in the perfect position to receive the rebound and wire it home. Unable to capitalize on any of their opportunities with Ryan Miller standing tall in the net, the Anaheim Ducks came back from a 5-1 deficit to win one of their greatest comebacks of the season.

Unfortunately, this game had no bearing on how the rest of the season would go. However, it is a game we will likely remember and one for the Ducks history books. It’s not often that a team in the Ducks position can pull a stunt like that against the defending Stanely Cup Champions.

Next: The Anaheim Ducks Should Consider Trading for Nikita Zaitsev

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Which game was your favorite from the 2018-19 season? Did it make the list or is it a game we didn’t mention? Let us know by leaving us a comment down below!