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By Richard Gonzalez
The Anaheim Ducks played their final game of the season finishing up a back-to-back against the Minnesota Wild. They dropped the first game in overtime 4-3. The Ducks would make a two-goal comeback to force overtime but could not get it done get the win and dropped the game by a score of 4-3…again.
The Ducks came into the series against the Wild being down 6-1 in the season series. The Ducks already solidified their spot as the second worst team in the league. The Wild, already clinched a playoff spot, are now trying to climb the standings to possible clinch a division title. Ryan Miller and Cam Talbot would get the starts for their respective teams.
This was Miller’s final NHL game and he is set to retire. The former Hobey Baker winner, Vezina Trophy winner and 2010 Olympics MVP is the winningest US born goalie in NHL history. He has spent the last four seasons in Anaheim. Miller has played in 795 career games with the Buffalo Sabres, Vancouver Canucks, St. Louis Blues, and the Ducks.
The Wild would dominate in the shot department leading 12-5 after the first, but it would be the Ducks that would get the game’s first lead when Rickard Rakell would score at near the midway point. Troy Terry would get the game’s first penalty (high sticking) and that resulted in the Wild tying the game prior to the end of the first period.
The second period was all the Wild. They lead in shots again 7-2 and scored two unanswered goals in that period. The Ducks got on the stats board with the two minor penalties, but they were able to kill both off. The second period was one that was not worth watching and the only positive thing to come from it was listening to the post-period DucksQ’s segment from Dan Wood and Steve Carrol.
The third period was one all for Miller. The Wild took the game’s first penalty, but the Ducks did not score and have not scored a single power play goal against the Wild this season. The Ducks did do something rare this season and make a comeback with goals coming from Trevor Zegras and Max Comtois. The Ducks controlled the third and rallied to try and get a win for Miller. They outshot the Wild 12-4 and forced overtime for the second night in a row.
The momentum was short lived after the face-off win by Ryan Getzlaf, who is still undecided about his plans about playing next season. The Ducks looked good control wise for a few, but a 2-on-1 one rush would ultimately lead to the Wild scoring and winning the game.
Rakell got his ninth goal of the season and played in his 499th NHL game. He also added an assist (19).
Josh Mahura got an assist in the game. This is his second point in the two games played against the Wild this season.
Josh Manson (6), Max Comtois (17) and Terry (13) each all had assists.
Comtois leads the Ducks in goals (16) and points (33).
Rakell leads in assists (19).
Zegras leads in plus-minus (6).
Getzlaf leads with a measly three power play goals.
Hampus Lindholm leads the team in time on ice with 22:01 despite only playing 18 games due to injury.
The good, the bad and the ugly:
The Good: The Ducks finding the will and fire to climb back into the game and force overtime.
The Bad: Being outshot 19-8 in the first two periods.
The Ugly: The Ducks play in the second period.
The Absolutely F*cking amazing: Ryan Miller’s career.
I expected a lot more from the Ducks this game due to it being Miller’s last game, but they did not. They did management to make a comeback by tying the game up, but a game for a player like Miller should have been motivation enough to play a full and complete game.
The Ducks once again failed on the power play. Enough with that negative. The Ducks showed a lot of fight to comeback against a hot team. The kids, Z and Dry Ice (Drysdale) are really coming together and our something that is bright light for the Ducks.
Miller is the greatest American goalie that I have had the honor of watching throughout all these years. Especially in his Sabres days and almost winning a gold medal for the USA. He has been one of my all-time favorite goalies and I am beyond grateful I got to see him live and play for the Ducks. Thank you, Miller.
I want to take this time to thank all our sponsors, fans, and supporters of DucksNPucks and my work. I am beyond grateful for every interaction and all the friends I have met along the way. All of you make it worth it and I am thankful for each and everyone of you.
What Is Next?
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May 8th, 2021