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VIDEO: Ducks Rally Late, But Lose 4-3
By Michael Walters
The game started out as a back-and-forth contest with each team scoring twice in the opening period. Ondrej Palat would get on the board first for Tampa Bay. Cirelli would get to the puck behind the Anaheim net and find Palat alone at the side of the net. The Ducks would answer with a spin-o-rama goal by Rickard Rakell. After missing the puck on his initial shot, Rakell would regain control of the puck, then turn and fire it all in one motion past a screened Vasilevskiy.
The Lightning would retake the lead as Erik Cernak would score five-hole after getting a pass from Brayden Point. Carter Rowney intercepted the pass, but it went off of his stick and rolled in front of Cernak at the side of the net. The Ducks would tie the game up before the end of the period on a great play by Michael Del Zotto. He would strip the puck at the blue line, then skate into the slot and beat Vasilevskiy low, who was again screened on the play.
In the middle frame, the teams exchanged a few power plays, but no one converted. It appeared the game would remain tied until the final moments of the period. Jan Rutta ripped a slapshot that hit Anthony Cirelli in the legs and deflected past Gibson. Tampa Bay led 3-2 going into the third period.
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The Lightning extended their lead to two when Nikita Kucherov beat Gibson with a backhand shot. Josh Manson had delivered a check, but Kucherov was able to maintain control of the puck and score. The Ducks tried to rally late in the period by pulling Gibson with several minutes to go. Troy Terry scored, but with only about 11.9 seconds to go in the game. The Ducks came up short losing 4-3.
The Ducks didn’t play poorly, but mistakes cost them in this game. Anaheim had two players get beat to the puck on the opening goal by Tampa Bay. And the final goal by Tampa Bay could have been prevented but Manson wasn’t able to check Kucherov effectively to stop the play. Anaheim also had three power play opportunities, but couldn’t cash in.
Despite some of the mistakes, Anaheim still had chances to win the game. Anaheim did outshoot the Lightning and created several high scoring chances. Ondrej Kase almost scored twice in this contest. He had one shot go off the post and on another chance, Vasilevskiy barely stopped the shot with his blocker. Early in the second period, Ryan Getzlaf was alone at the side of the Tampa Bay net and just shot it wide. Erik Gudbranson had a blast from the point go off the post during one of the power plays. If the Ducks converted on just one of those opportunities, this game probably could have gone to overtime.
The Ducks are back in action against the Los Angeles Kings in Staples center tonight at 7:30 PM.
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January 31st, 2020