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VIDEO: Ducks Double Up Yotes; Honor Crash Victims
By Kyle Miller
ANAHEIM — The Ducks returned to Honda Center Wednesday night, and never surrendered the lead in a 4-2 victory against Arizona. Adam Henrique scored twice in the first period, and nearly converted a hat trick in the game. John Gibson stopped 25 of 27 en route to the victory.
Prior to the game, the Anaheim Ducks honored Kobe Byrant and all the victims in the tragic helicopter crash. It was also Angels night at Honda Center. There was a 24-second moment of silence followed by chants of “Kobe”.
In a return to winning fashion, the Ducks appeared to shake off some of the rust they seem to have accumulated since returning from the All-Star break. In their first game back, the Ducks struggled to string together passes, turned over a lot of pucks in their own end, and ultimately conceded a lot of great opportunities to San Jose.
Wednesday, on the flip side, showed us a Ducks team that seemed a lot more confident with the puck, and as a result, created a lot more opportunities to break out and create good scoring chances of their own. When given enough opportunities, this team will find a way to produce some goals.
Additionally, the defense really found a way to step up. They clogged up the passing lanes in the neutral and defensive zone and forced the puck carriers off the puck. They made life difficult for Coyotes forwards and didn’t allow very many good chances against John Gibson.
When Arizona was presented with a good opportunity, Gibson was there to shut things down. He made multiple outstanding saves and had Coyotes forwards looking skyward in disbelief that they hadn’t converted those opportunities.
Adam Henrique opened up the scoring with a deflection goal that slipped through the five-hole of Antti Raanta putting the Ducks up 1-0.
Vinnie Hinostroza answered back with a quick wrister and tied the contest at one. Both teams traded chances, but neither gained any sustained pressure or momentum in the minutes following the Arizona goal.
Late in the first, Adam Henrique scored his second goal of the night thanks to an amazing spin-o-rama pass off the stick of Ondrej Kase. The Ducks carried a 2-1 lead into the first intermission.
Derek Stepan nearly converted early in the second on a breakaway opportunity but was denied by the outstretched glove of Gibson.
Hampus Lindholm stretched the Ducks lead to two with a slap-shot from the point at the 5:25 mark in the second.
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The Ducks carried the momentum and maintained a lot of possession for the majority of the second, and it appeared that they would carry that 3-1 lead into the third frame.
However, a brief lapse in judgment by John Gibson would allow Lawson Crouse to sneak in a backhanded goal and bring the Coyotes back within one goal.
In response, a costly turnover in their own defensive end led directly to a Carter Rowney goal which put the Ducks up for good 4-2.
Jakob Silfverberg returned to the lineup for the first time since the birth of his second child.
With his two-goal performance, Adam Henrique now is the Ducks team leader in goals (17).
On a night where Kobe Bryant was honored, Rowney, who wears number 24 scored on Anaheim’s 24th shot. The game was also Anaheim’s 24th home game and it made the score 2-4.
The Ducks finish off their two-game homestand against Tampa Bay Friday night at 7:00 pm
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January 30th, 2020