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By Aaron Francis
The Anaheim Ducks played their first home game of the 2018-2019 season against the Detroit Red Wings. It Was 25 years ago to the day that the then Mighty Ducks played their inaugural game against Detroit in a 7-2 defeat. Now 25 years later the two teams met in a rematch that went Anaheim’s way. John Gibson was in goal for the Ducks and Jimmy Howard started for the Red Wings.
The start of this game was slow as both teams hadn’t quite settled in. Each team received one power play opportunity and neither of them could break through. Detroit outshot Anaheim 8-6 in the period and came away with the lone goal of the first. Tyler Bertuzzi received the puck below the circle and pulled a spin-o-rama move to get the puck past Gibson. The period would end 1-0 Detroit.
Anaheim would get two chances with the extra man this period but wouldn’t be able to convert in part due to some large saves by Howard. They would, however, find a way to tie the game at 1-1 as Hampus Lindholm wired the puck up and over Howard. Detroit had a power play of their own but their next goal would come at even strength. Darren Helm held the puck on a rush and had his initial shot blocked by an Anaheim defenseman. He followed up on the play by backhanding the puck past Gibson, 2-1 Detroit. The period came to an end with both teams registering 8 shots apiece.
Nothing would be solved in regulation as the Ducks would tie the game up at 2-2 this period. This was by far the best period of the night for Anaheim as they held the puck in the Red Wings zone a majority of the time. They outshot the Red Wings 10-5 in the final period and had several opportunities to take the game. Halfway through the period, Max Comtois was able to feed Adam Henrique a pass that he took straight to the goal mouth. The initial shot was saved but Jakob Silfverberg cleaned up the rebound to tie the game.
The Ducks strong play continued through the first half of 3-on-3 overtime. Several times the Ducks were able to set up in the Detroit zone and wheel the puck around to find a shot at Howard. But as the play wore on the order began to break and the final minutes of extra time were up and down chances for both teams. Shots in overtime were 3-0 Anaheim.
With nothing solved the game came down to the shootout. Anaheim shooters were Rickard Rakell, Troy Terry, and Sam Steel. Detroit went with Thomas Vanek, Frans Nielsen, and Gustav Nyquist. In the end, the only shooter to break through was Terry who fired the puck 5-hole on Howard. Gibson made the final save on Nyquist and the game went the way of the Ducks 3-2.
Isac Lundestrom made his NHL debut playing 14 minutes and 23 seconds.
Max Comtois has a point in each of the Ducks first 3 games.
Jakob Silfverberg leads the Ducks through the first three games with five points.
The Ducks will host the Arizona Coyotes on Wednesday 10/10 at 7pm PST
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