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Ducks Can’t Hold Off Pens
By Michael Walters
The Anaheim Ducks started their six game road trip in Pittsburgh against the Penguins. John Gibson was in net against Casey DeSmith. Nathan Beaulieu joined the team after being on a conditioning loan in San Diego.
The Peguins struck first in this one about four minutes in. Jason Zucker got the puck behind the Ducks net and converted on a wrap around attempt.
A few moments later the teams met in front of the Anaheim net and tempers flared. Kevin Shattenkirk was the only one called for a penalty and the Pens got a power play. The Ducks were able to kill off the penalty.
The Ducks would get a power play late in the first period and tie the game. Adam Henrique got to a rebound and was able to score with with a partially open net.
The Penguins would retake the lead about nine minutes into the second period. There would be a mad scramble in front of the Anaheim goal and eventually Malkin would score. Gibson almost covered the puck, but couldn’t do so in time.
The Ducks got into penalty trouble with two penalties called against them 20 seconds. Jakob Silfverberg was called for hooking and then Dmitry Kulikov for cross-checking. Anaheim was down two players for one minute and 40 seconds. The Ducks did get bailed out as Jake Guentzel was called for hooking a minute later. The teams played 4-on-4 and then the Ducks had an abbreviated power play. After all was said and done there was no scoring.
Anaheim got a power play at the end of the second period. Mason McTavish had a one time chance at the buzzer, but DeSmith made a great save to keep the puck out. The Penguins led 2-1 after two periods.
The Ducks started the third period on the power play, but couldn’t convert. Anaheim would get another power play halfway through the period and made it count. John Klingberg beat DeSmith glove side to tie things up.
With less than five minutes to go, Zegras would score to make it a 3-2 Anaheim lead. Ryan Strome would bring the puck down to the side of the net and then find Zegras in the slot for the score.
It looked like the Ducks might get a rare regulation win, but Bryan Rust would score with just 24.8 seconds to go to tie things up and force overtime.
In the extra session, Zegras had a breakaway chance. He decided to try to pass the puck to Cam Fowler instead of shooting it and the pass didn’t connect. The Penguins were sprung on a 2-on-1 and Jake Guentzel scored to win the game for Pittsburgh.
After having trouble in the opening period in recent games, the Ducks played a decent first period and found themselves tied at one. Anaheim was then down by only one after two periods, but was able to take the lead late in the game. It looked like the Ducks would win, but a late goal by the Pens sent this game to overtime. Zegras had a chance to win the game, but a missed pass ended up leading to the game winning goal for Pittsburgh.
The ending to this game was extremely frustrating. At one moment the Ducks were poised to get a rare regulation win and instead they had to settle for overtime. Then in the extra session it looked like the Ducks could win again with Zegras on a breakaway, but instead of shooting the puck, he passes it and it backfires as the pass misses with the Pens going the opposite direction and scoring.
On a positive note, the Ducks played better in this game than they had in their past three games. Anaheim was solid on special teams going 2-for-4 on the power play and they were prefect on the penalty kill shutting down the Pens in four opportunities. The Ducks will be back at it tomorrow against the Flyers.
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January 16th, 2023