Ducks Can’t Hold Off Panthers

Photo: AP

By Michael Walters

The Anaheim Ducks started their road trip in Florida against the Panthers. John Gibson was in net against Sergei Bobrovsky.


Midway through the first period, Mason McTavish got the Ducks on the board first. Dmitry Kulikov skated behind the Florida net and passed the puck to McTavish, who was at the side of the net. His first shot was blocked, but he got to the rebound beating Bobrovsky just inside the post.

A few minutes later the Ducks went on the power play and Frank Vatrano made it a 2-0 game. A point shot hit the boards behind the Florida net and came to Vatrano at the side of net. He was able to get the puck and fire it past Bobrovksy before he could get to the post.

The Ducks held a 2-0 lead at the end of the first period, but it didn’t last long. The Panthers scored twice in the second period to tie the game up. First, Radko Gudas took a wrist shot and Eric Staal deflected the puck in front of the net and it tricked past the goal line for the score.

Halfway through the period the Panthers appeared to tie the game on another goal by Staal. The Ducks challenged for goaltender inference and the goal was reversed. Joshua Mahura skated into Gibson pushing him well out of position preventing him from making the save.

With less than three minutes to go, Marc Staal scored and this one would count. Matthew Tkachuk and Staal got in a 2-on-1 and Staal was able to beat Gibson to the far post for the game tying score.

Each team had power play chances in the period, but neither team converted. Kulikov would give the Ducks the lead with just over seven left to go. John Klingberg passed it to him in the slot and he beat Bobrovsky who was screened on the play.

The Panthers answered back about a minute later. A point shot deflected off of Ryan Lomberg and went past Gibson to even things up at three. The scored remained tied at the end of regulation.

Bonus hockey would be needed to decide this contest. Carter Verhaeghe would get a breakaway early in the OT and he beat Gibson high for the game winner.


The Ducks got off to a great start building a 2-0 lead in the opening period. Anaheim then saw that lead disappear in the second period. The shots on goal were close to even through two periods. In third Florida outshot Anaheim 23 to 6, but Gibson was able to keep the Ducks in this one. The only goal Florida scored in the third was off a lucky bounce.

Anaheim held the lead twice in this game and couldn’t close it out in the third period. The Ducks won the special teams battle killing off both Florida power plays and converting on one of their two chances. Klingberg and Kulikov both had multiple point games, which is good to see especially for teams considering to make trade offers for them.

Team Notes/Stats:

The Ducks are now on a five game losing streak.

Gibson leads all goalies in the NHL with 1445 saves this season.

Klingberg played in his 600th NHL game today.

What’s Next?

The Ducks play the Tampa Bay Lightning tomorrow at 4 PM PT.

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February 20th, 2023


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