Sorry I haven't posted a game recap for a while. A combination of a busy life combined with most of the last several games starting early means that I haven't watched as much Ducks hockey as I would like. Having lost 5 in a row (including to Tampa last week), the Ducks were looking to get back in the win column and avenge the prior loss. Also, an injury update and a trade with Calgary.
First of all, a quick recap of the losing streak. In those 5 games, the Ducks lost to Florida (looked beyond this team and let the game get away from them), Tampa (decimated by the flu, the Ducks played absolutely terrible), Carolina (a hard fought game that was lost in the shootout, could have gone either way), Pittsburgh (the Pens broke out of their offensive slump with 3 quick goals), and NJ (didn't show up for the 3rd, let the Devils tie the game with a minute left and then lost on an unlucky own goal). Of those 5 losses, 2 of them could have gone either way (Carolina and NJ), they should have beat Florida (blowing a 2 goal lead to one of the worst teams in the league), and deserved to lose to Pittsburgh and Tampa (the Ducks will lose games and should lose games, that's part of sports). So, despite the 5 game losing streak, things weren't as dire as they appeared to be. And, despite the losing streak, the Ducks remained near the top of the NHL standings, credit to their amazing start to the season.
And now, to the game. But I'm going to do things a little different this time. Instead of going through the negative and positive, I'm just going to focus on what made that game so damn exciting to watch. Even though only 1 goal was scored, that was the most exciting game that I have seen all season. Hiller and Bishop were absolutely phenomenal in net, giving us fans a great goaltending duel. One of the best that I have seen in a long time.
Before the game even started things were tense. Viktor Fasth was supposed to start, but he went down with an injury during warmups, meaning Jonas Hiller would man the pipes for Anaheim. And early on, he had to be good. Just moments into the game, one of the Tampa players was left alone in front of the net and Hiller made a great save. It was the 1st of several amazing saves by both goalies.
1:30 into the game Luca Sbisa committed an interference penalty, leaving the Ducks shorthanded. Victor Headman had the puck at the point, Getzlaf made a great play (his 1st of many) to poke the puck away, and race in alone on the breakaway, only to be stoned by Ben Bishop. During that same powerplay, Hiller had to make a great save against Tampa. Shortly after the penalty was killed off, Fowler jumped up in the rush and made a great shot from the slot, but Bishop was equal to the task. The game wasn't even 5 minutes old and both goalies had already made 2 fantastic saves.
And that's how the game would go. The Ducks would have a great chance, then the Bolts would have a great chance, and Hiller and Bishop were just perfect. Cogliano had 2 shorthanded breakaways, and Bishop stopped him both times.
Both goalies stood tall, stopping shot after shot, not letting anything through. As the 3rd period began, it quickly began to seem like the 1st goal would win this game. Both teams continued to pressure, and both goalies continued to even better.
Finally, regulation ended and overtime began. As had been the case in regulation, both goalies made good saves and the play went back and forth. Then with 30 seconds left, the Ducks sent Getzlaf and Perry out, trying to score before the shootout began. With about 10 seconds left, Getzlaf had the puck, exiting Anaheim's zone. He skated into the offensive zone, it was a 1 on 3. He shot, Bishop made another save, but left a rebound. Getzlaf drove forward and batted the puck forward, it squirted between Bishop's arm and body, it moved along the goal line, and as the Bolts dove back trying to knock the puck away, it was knocked in. Getzlaf had won the game for the Ducks with 5 seconds left!
The 2 best players of the game were the goalies. Both played out of their minds, both deserved to win this game. After them, Getzlaf had a monster of a night. The other 2 standout players for the Ducks were Cam Fowler and Hampus Lindholm. Francois Beauchemin missed his 1st game of the season, and those 2 stepped up to fill that void. They both made some great defensive plays and were involved offensively. Lindholm had 5 shots on goal, I believe a career high for him. If not for Bishop, both of them would have scored a goal tonight.
Beauchemin was injured against NJ and this was the 1st game of the season that he missed. He has been placed on IR and the Ducks have recalled Sami Vatanen from Norfolk. Fistric played in his spot this game. Jakob Silfverberg had his cast removed, but that was the only good news for him. For some reason, his injury timeline has doubled from 4-6 weeks to 8-10 weeks, so he isn't expected back until sometime in late December at the earliest. Saku Koivu is still dealing with his concussion and has suffered another setback. He has no timetable to return. As stated above, Fasth was injured in warm ups. There has yet to be an update on his status, but the Ducks have recalled goalie Frederik Andersen from Norfolk. He will probably play against Phoenix tonight.
On Thursday, the Ducks traded a 6th round pick in the 2014 Draft to Calgary for forward Tim Jackman. He's a grinder and got into a fight in his 1st game with the Ducks. He will give the Ducks more of a physical edge, but I'm not a fan of him playing in place of Devante Smith-Pelly. If he is used sparringly and only in certain games, then I'm ok with this move. But if he becomes a mainstay on the team, I'm not a fan of this move. So I guess I'll have to wait and see if I like this move or not. Giving up the 6th round pick isn't a big deal, so the Ducks didn't give up much to land him. So in terms of what was given up, I'm happy with what the Ducks got back. An NHL player for a pick that has the odds against it of ever becoming an NHL player.