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VIDEO: Frustration Reaches Boiling Point For Anaheim
By Julius Choi
The Anaheim Ducks have lost five games in a row and are winless on the Canada road trip (three games), being outscored 19-5. They took on the Ottawa Senators on Thursday night.
Like Anaheim, the Ottawa Senators have been nursing a five-game losing streak of their own. In this sense, this played to the Ducks advantage. This year’s Anaheim squad has been known to be severely outshot by opponents. So to see them outshoot the Senators 17-8 after the first twenty minutes was out of character. Many of the shots were high danger scoring chances but they were just not able to solve goaltender Anders Nilsson. It was the Senators that broke the ice with the first tally just seven minutes in. With the Ducks defense deep in their own zone after a breakaway scoring chance by Mark Stone, Brady Tkachuk zoomed past defenders that had their back turned against him to put the puck past Gibson on the rebound.
The Senators kept the Ducks on their toes as they drew a penalty against them to start the middle frame with the man advantage. They almost doubled their lead while on the power play but Anaheim defenseman Brandon Montour swooped behind Gibson to prevent a puck from trickling in with a stick save. Ottawa remained persistent, however, and kept the pressure on the Anaheim netminder. Producing 16 shots on goal while limiting Anaheim to nine. With under two minutes to play, Matt Duchene would secure that second goal when he beat three Ducks players to a footrace. He gathered the puck on his backhand before swiftly moving it to his forehand for an elevated quick snipe.
A lot has changed about this team in the past couple of years. It seems only a short time ago that the Ducks possessed the “Comeback Kids” moniker but that no longer is relevant. Mark Stone popped the tires off the Ducks chances of winning with a wrister from the right face-off circle. While Duchene added onto his goal total with an empty netter for Ottawa to skate away with a 4-0 win.
After allowing five goals in a 5-3 loss to Pittsburgh in his last outing, Nilsson bounced back in a big way. With 45 saves against the Ducks, Nilsson recorded his fifth career shutout. In terms of shots generated, Anaheim could not have had a better night. They had a few shots in the slot but it just was not their night. It is only a matter of time that changes to the roster are coming. This losing streak also doesn’t keep head coach Randy Carlyle off of the hot seat either. Gibson being injured after a collision with his own teammate perfectly illustrates Anaheim’s season in a nutshell. If the injury isn’t serious, the Ducks still should play him knowing that they are still in playoff contention.
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