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VIDEO: Anaheim’s Tailspin Continues In Montreal
By: Stephanie Mazzuca
The Ducks were off to a slow start with a major lack of speed in their offensive zone entries. Eight minutes into the opening period, Anaheim’s defense fumbled the puck in their zone and allowed Brendan Gallagher (19-11-30) to score. The Ducks still didn’t have a shot on goal at this point. Two minutes later, Jesperi Kotkaniemi (8-17-25) found the back of the net from an easy rebound and brought the score to 0-2 in favor of Montreal. Ducks’ forward Daniel Sprong (9-8-17) continued to make strong defensive plays and create scoring chances with Nick Ritchie (7-16-23). This momentum was disrupted when Brendan Gallagher made his second goal of the night. With less than a minute remaining, Brian Gibbons (2-3-5) received a tripping penalty. The Canadiens couldn’t convert but their power play would continue into the second period. This period ended at a score of 0-3, with 7-11 shots on goal, all in favor of Montreal. It is worth noting that the Ducks at least won 68% of the faceoffs.
The second period at Bell Centre began with Montreal on the power play, but Brian Gibbons’ penalty expired before they could convert. The Canadiens then made a quick offensive push and created 3 consecutive shots on goal. Chad Johnson (0.886 SV%) stood tall and prevented another Montreal goal. As the period progressed, Anaheim managed to build some momentum with their fourth line. Hampus Lindholm (4-16-20) then received a slashing penalty as he prevented a dangerous scoring chance from the Canadiens near the 9-minute mark. Luckily, Montreal couldn’t find the back of the net. Twelve minutes into the period, Ryan Getzlaf (10-23-33) scored on a wrap-around shot and brought the score to 1-3. Jakob Silfverberg (12-8-20) was high-sticked by Brett Kulak (3-3-6) soon afterward, giving Anaheim their first power play of the night. The Ducks possessed the puck for half of their power play but were unable to convert. Also, this was their 5th power play opportunity in the last 5 games. The second period ended at a score of 1-3, with 17-26 shots on goal in favor of the Canadiens.
Within the first 3 minutes of this period, a pileup in front of Anaheim’s goal caused the puck to slide behind the goal line. An official review gave the goal to Montreal’s Phillip Danault (9-26-35). At the period’s halfway mark, Brandon Montour (5-19-24) received a minor penalty for high-sticking Max Domi (17-30-47). This eliminated what little remained of Anaheim’s offensive pressure and they couldn’t make up the 3-goal deficit. The game ended at a score of 1-4, with 25-32 shots on goal.
Tonight’s loss marks Anaheim’s fifth straight defeat. Though they significantly improved upon yesterday’s performance, the Ducks failed to generate scoring opportunities, mostly due to their ineffective zone entries. The Ducks’ lack of speed and passing finesse allowed the Canadiens to dominate play. Anaheim will look to end this skid in their next game against the Ottowa Senators and, hopefully, stay out of the Western Conference’s bottom ranking.
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