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UNIONDALE, NY (AP) — The Anaheim Ducks showed their resiliency in a back-and-forth game on the road against the New York Islanders.

Jakob Silfverberg scored in regulation and added the shootout winner in the Ducks’ 6-5 win over the Islanders on Saturday.

Adam Henrique had a goal and an assist, John Gibson made 28 saves as the Ducks snapped a two-game skid. Max Comtois, Sam Carrick and Cam Fowler also scored.

“We made the most of our opportunities,” Fowler said. “We had contributions from everyone up and down the lineup and when you can do that, it helps you win hockey games.”

Anders Lee, Brock Nelson and Mathew Barzal each had a goal and an assist while Semyon Varlamov made 23 saves as the Islanders fell for the second time in three games. Nick Leddy had a goal and two assists, and Jordan Eberle and Derick Brassardd each had two assists.

Ryan Pulock tied the score 5-5 when he blasted a slap shot past Gibson with 6:41 left in the third period. Leddy and Brassard assisted on the Islanders’ second power-play goal of the game.

Fowler scored a go-ahead goal midway through the third when his wrist shot sailed over Varlamov’s glove.

“It just felt like we would have a couple of good plays and then they would get one play and it would be in the back of the net,” Barzal said after the frustrating loss.

Varlamov started his second straight game, which was the first time the Islanders opened with the same goalie in consecutive games this season. It was the ninth longest streak in NHL history of a team alternating goalies.

Henrique scored for the second time in two games when he sneaked in front of Leddy at 5:25 of the middle period to give the Ducks a 3-2 lead. Michael Del Zotto and Korbinian Holzer collected assists on the play.

“We need full team efforts here, up and down the lineup,” Ducks coach Dallas Eakins said. “That’s a damn good hockey team over there. To be able to come into their rink and score five goals against a team that is that stingy, we’ll feel pretty good about that.”

Less than five minutes later, Barzal answered with the most entertaining goal of the high-scoring game at 9:20 of the second. Lee took advantage of Barzal’s speed and floated a perfect lead pass to help his teammate zip past the Ducks’ defenseman to tie the score at 3-3.

Lee ended his three-game goal drought with his 10th of the season to open the scoring. Barzal was able to drag defenseman Erik Gudbranson to his side of the ice before sliding the puck across to Lee at 1:50 of the first period. Eberle also assisted on the play.

Islanders defenseman Scott Mayfield was unable to block out Comtois before he tipped in Isac Lundestrom’s shot at 16:27 of the first period to tie it 1-1.

Carrick gave the Ducks a short-lived one-goal lead when he netted his first of the season at 17:03.

Nelson ended a back-and-forth first period with a power-play goal to even the score 2-2 just 47 seconds after Carrick’s goal. Pulock and Leddy assisted.

Leddy went on to add a goal of his own with 5:45 left in the second to give the Islanders a 4-3 lead. The smooth-skating defenseman slipped behind a Ducks defenseman and Nelson found Leddy all alone in the slot.

Silfverberg responded with a game-tying goal 26 seconds later. Henrique and Hampus Lindholm each recorded their second points of the game with assists.

“We are not thrilled with giving up five but to see five go in should give our guys a little bit of a boost moving forward,” Fowler said. “Then if we can really lock down defensively that’s when things will start to turn for us.”

NOTES: Before the game, Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello said Cal Clutterbuck will be out indefinitely after an operation on his wrist. The alternate captain suffered the injury against Boston this week when Patrice Bergeron’s skate inadvertently cut his wrist. … Barzal and Pulock skated in their 200th NHL game. … Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf missed the game with flu-like symptoms. ,,, Anaheim scratched D Jacob Larsson.

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Ryan Kesler and Kevin Bieksa have entered the world of podcasting.

The “Kes and Juice Podcast” debuted today, promising to talk about “hockey, life, and other stuff.”

Longtime teammates with both the Vancouver Canucks (10 years) and Anaheim Ducks (3), Kesler and Bieksa have a lot more time on their hands these days. Bieksa, 38, is effectively retired, and hasn’t suited up since the Spengler Cup last year. Kesler, 35, is on long term injury reserve with the Anaheim Ducks and may have already played his last game due to a hip injury.

“It’s a chance to show off our personalities,” Kesler explained, before acknowledging the differences between how he and Bieksa are perceived.

“I think people get you (Bieksa) but a lot of people don’t get me,” Kesler added.

“People are going to like you (Kesler) when they get to hear you,” Bieksa said. “You were guarded [with the media in Vancouver]… When people get to actually listen to you talk, they’re going to understand why we’re friends.”

The pair spent a long time talking about their old team, with Bieksa explaining: “[The Canucks] still have a place in both of our hearts. We spent a lot of time there. We want the team to do well and get back to the playoffs.”

“I know it was a tough break up, but they’ll always have a place in my heart,” said Kesler, whose relationship with the fans in Vancouver soured when he forced a trade to Anaheim in 2014.

“When you touch the puck and you get booed every time, it definitely hurt,” said Kesler.

See also:
Sopel speaks out in support of former Canucks coach Marc Crawford
Kesler says he still isn’t over Canucks’ 2011 Stanley Cup loss in revealing interview
Bieksa shares hilarious old stories with former Canucks teammate Burrows

Kesler and Bieksa spoke about a number of things on their first podcast, discussing issues past and present. It may remind fans of the popular hockey podcast Spittin’ Chiclets, with ex-players talking openly about their playing days, with a bit of swearing mixed in.

On the topic of abusive coaches, Kesler shared his own experience from early in his career, without naming anyone in particular.

“I was kicked, I was verbally assaulted, to the point where I needed to start talking to a sports psychologist,” said Kesler.

Todd Bertuzzi was the duo’s first guest, with the ex-Canucks winger sharing an amazing story about the players partying every night during training camp and showing up to practice hungover.

Before signing off, Bertuzzi offered Kesler and Bieksa some lighthearted encouragement with their new venture: “Good luck with this sh*t. I hope you don’t f*ck it up.”

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Ever since the Philadelphia Flyers victory against the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday, the idea of two brothers playing on the same line found its way into my train of thought. The chemistry of having two brothers who have played hockey for most of their life and made it to the professional level worked before. Daniel Sedin and Henrik Sedin were a lethal injection of offense for the Vancouver Canucks. The Flyers have a player who scored his first NHL goal against his own brother’s team. Could acquiring Ondrej Kase via trade work for Philadelphia?

In their final seasons with the Vancouver Canucks, Daniel Sedin and Henrik Sedin both made $7mil a season over their last four seasons. Currently, Ondrej Kase is making $2.6mil a season with the Anaheim Ducks through 2021. David Kase is making $768,333 a season with the Philadelphia Flyers through 2020. The offensive output between the Sedin’s was a sight to behold. From their 1999 draft class, the Sedin brothers accounted for 20% of the scoring.

The trade idea is to replace an aging player on the Philadelphia Flyers with Ondrej Kase. First, I looked into a straightforward trade between the Anaheim Ducks and the Flyers that included Michael Raffl and Ondrej. That trade just wouldn’t make much sense for Philadelphia because it wouldn’t help them get out of a salary cap purgatory. So, the next contestant in this experiment was James van Riemsdyk. Yes, the Ducks would be getting the more productive player out of the gate, but the thesis here is that a younger tandem would out produce in the long run.

We know how much Ondrej and David Kase are making annually. It’s already a big chunk less in total than what James van Riemsdyk makes alone. JvR is making $7mil this season, then $6mil through 2022, followed by his final season at $4mil. Even at his lowest owed in a season, that’s more than both Kase brothers. Already, the Philadelphia Flyers are alleviating cap space.

If this trade happened today, sending Ondrej Kase to the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for James van Riemsdyk to the Anaheim Ducks, the Flyers would open $2.5mil in cap space. If the trade happens at the NHL trade deadline, Philadelphia opens just $1mil. It’s a rash decision to make, but it benefits the team salary cap to make the move sooner rather than later.

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The opening round of the annual Freeway Faceoff got underway at Honda Center last night with the Anaheim Ducks emerging from the Southern California rubble with a 4-2 victory against the Los Angeles Kings on Monday night.

While the game lacked the physicality we’re used to seeing between the two teams (though there was a fight in the lower bowl amongst fans), there was no shortage of skill and exciting hockey as these rebuilding clubs managed to make the game entertaining.

The Ducks opened the scoring a little more than five minutes into the first period, when Nicolas Deslauriers fired a one-timer up high that hit off a Kings defender in front. Derek Grant, battling for position in front, saw the puck first and pushed it past Jack Campbell for the 1-0 lead and an ever exciting Grit Goal™ from the fourth line.

Anaheim would make it 2-0 on a [checks notes] power play goal? Special teams were reportedly a heavy focus over the last two Ducks practices, and it paid off with vastly improved puck movement as well as a newfound penchant to one-time the puck, culminating in Jakob Silfverberg ripping one into the back of the net off a Hampus Lindholm setup. More of that will be needed if the Ducks want to increase scoring moving forward.

The second period saw the Kings cut the Ducks lead in half when Kurtis MacDermid’s point shot got past Ryan Miller who had the sun blocked out by both Michael Amadio and Erik Gudbranson battling in front of the net.

Just 56 seconds later, however, the Ducks answered right back. Hampus Lindholm dropped down low with the puck and made an incredible saucer feed through a Kings defenders legs, over a stick, and right on to the tape of Carter Rowney in the crease for the layup. Another goal for the fourth line, but after a rough game on Friday against the Winnipeg Jets, Lindholm proved that it doesn’t take long for him to shake off a bad start.

Before the period was out, the Kings made things interesting as the Freeway Faceoff continued to live up to its reputation. Nikolai Prokhorkin took a puck right up the middle of the offensive zone and somehow beat both Korbinian Holzer and Brendan Guhle who had let him skate right past without much of a real fight. Prokhorkin deked backhand-forehand and put it past Miller to make it 3-2 and leave Holzer and Guhle wondering why waiving their sticks at a player didn’t end up being a good defensive strategy.

The third period say the Kings playing mostly in the offensive zone as they furiously tried to even the game. Fortunately, Miller had rebounded from his poor performance against the Tampa Bay Lightning and kept the Ducks lead alive with some great saves and great positioning.

After icing the puck and a couple of failed clears with the Kings net empty, Ryan Getzlaf retrieved the puck and fed it to Derek Grant who chipped it into the empty net for his second multi-goal game of the season and another round of supporters preaching the gospel of the Elite 1C.

With the 4-2 win, the Ducks are just three points out of a playoff spot, though they also still sit eighth from the bottom of the league.

Up next: The Ducks host the Washington Capitals on Friday at 7:00 PM.
Best And Worst

Best: Elite 1C for All Star Game – Derek Grant is currently on a 23 goal pace and is ahead of names like Evgenii Malkin and Tyler Seguin in scoring. Let’s be real here: Grant’s overall shot metrics on the season are not anywhere close to good. But he’s putting up points and contributing more than most bottom six player in the league at the current moment. So, who wants to John Scott him into the All Star Game?

Best: Ryan Miller is back – Miller gave up six goals in his last start against a Lightning team that hasn’t been as potent as usual two weeks ago. Fortunately, he was back on his game tonight and was the number one reason why the Ducks were able to hang on for a victory. He stopped 34 of 36 shots and, for the most part, looked calm and poised in net.

Best: Top line domination – The top line of Devin Shore, Ryan Getzlaf, and Troy Terry pretty much had their way with the Kings. Looking at the shot attempt and expected goal differential charts below, Los Angeles barely got any shots off against this line, let alone quality chances. It would be great to see Dallas Eakins keep this line together for a few more games to see if this was a fluke or if there might be some real chemistry here.

Worst: On their heels – The Ducks were outshot heavily. That’s a fact. And while they did a good job getting high quality chances from the shots they did have as evidenced by the heat map below, there’s only so much a team can take as far as volume is concerned. Don’t expect the Ducks to win these kinds of games often.

Worst: Holzer’s struggles – Korbinian Holzer has spent his entire career up until this point as a top AHL defenseman and a good seventh defenseman at the NHL level. This is his first year getting regular playing time, but we’re starting to see why he is best limited in his NHL minutes. This game highlighted how much he struggles with regular playing time at this level, and at this point there might be better options on the blueline like Josh Mahura, Chris Wideman, or Simon Beniot, who have all excelled in San Diego this season.

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Anaheim Ducks center Adam Henrique scored his 11th goal of the season in Saturday’s 6-5 shootout victory over the Islanders, while adding an assist in the contest. Henrique positioned himself nicely in front of the net and got his stick on a deflection for the even-strength goal in the second period, while setting up teammate Jakob Silfverberg with a diving pass to even the game at four goals apiece. Max Comtois, Sam Carrick, Jakob Silfverberg and Cam Fowler each added a goal in the high scoring contest. Henrique has accumulated points in three of the past four contests — and has 11 goals, eight assists and 19 points through 36 games — but the 29-year-old should only be monitored in deep formats at the moment.

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ANAHEIM, CA — The Dallas Eakins Era in Anaheim has gotten through its first growing pain.

The pain arrived in the form of a sprained MCL for Josh Manson on October 24th against the Dallas Stars. Anaheim would only manage four wins in its following 10 games, denting the club’s playoff hopes. To lose is one thing, but the Ducks’ overall game dipped into dark waters during that stretch. With Manson now healthy and back in the lineup, there’s optimism that Eakins’ squad can find its game again.

Until Manson’s MCL injury, Anaheim’s newly-minted head coach had his club playing solid, if unspectacular hockey, to the tune of a 52.23 expected goals-for percentage at five-on-five. The 28-year-old defenseman’s presence allowed for Eakins to deploy his blueline in a very specific way. Manson, alongside Hampus Lindholm on the first pairing, ate up all the tough assignments, making way for the up-tempo tandem of Cam Fowler and Brendan Guhle to play a more offensive style against weaker competition. The synthesis of those two pairings sheltered Anaheim’s third pairing of Jacob Larsson and Korbinian Holzer. Lindholm and Manson did not necessarily dominate in their role, but the ripple effect on the other two pairings was undeniable. Guhle, in particular, looked confident joining the rush and provide that added layer of attack that so many had envisioned under an Eakins-led team. Those visions soon vanished with the fall of a single domino.

Anaheim would see the delicate balance of its blueline construction buckle alongside Manson that fateful night in Dallas. Ducks’ General Manager Bob Murray sought immediate support, plucking physical defenseman Erik Gudbranson out of Pittsburgh by way of trade just a few days later.

Yet, as Gudbranson tried to find his bearings on a new club, Anaheim would suffer another setback in the form of an injury to Lindholm. Any possible solution for Manson’s absence went out the window, as Eakins had to contend with a war on two fronts. Lindholm would eventually return, but the damage was done. The Ducks saw their expected goals-for percentage go from well over 50 percent at the time of Manson’s injury, all the way down to 45 percent by mid-November. Eakins tried just about everything. Larsson got time next to Lindholm on the first pairing, Michael Del Zotto would see big minutes, even Holzer was thrust into critical penalty killing minutes. Nothing seemed to really stick, perhaps hinting at an overall lack of depth. Both Guhle and Larsson badly struggled in Manson’s absence; both have since been sent down to the minors. Eakins tried to minimize their work-loads as best as he could by alternating them on the third pairing, but even that didn’t work.

The passage of time tends to provide solutions. For Eakins, the return of Lindholm brought back a semblance of stability. Fowler and Gudbranson formed a workable second pairing, while Josh Mahura arose as Anaheim’s most polished defensive prospect. Del Zotto, the well-traveled veteran, did well in spot minutes.

Where the Ducks once struggled to control the pace of play, they now have a new-found level of credibility. Although the scoreboard results haven’t been there, strong road performances against the likes of Washington and Winnipeg indicate that the club has left its darkest struggles behind. From a low point of 42.8 percent, Anaheim has clawed its way up to a rolling average of 49.18 percent from an expected goals-for perspective. That’s a considerable spike, showing how the Ducks have both managed to tighten up their own defensive zone work while also transitioning that into greater offensive chances.

Anaheim’s most recent loss against Los Angeles both demonstrated just how far the club has come, and also how much further it has to go. Just as they did against Minnesota earlier in the week, Eakins’ men limited their opposition’s offensive opportunities. Sure, the Kings got their licks in, but gone were the complete defensive breakdowns that had so often marked their long stretch of losses.

The challenge now turns to the offensive zone, where the coaching staff is searching for line combinations to spark its forwards. Jonathan Quick did indeed stand on his head for Los Angeles, turning aside 36 of 37 shots, but the Ducks had plenty of golden opportunities that they simply failed to capitalize on.

Ideally, Eakins would like his team to play a faster attacking style, something that’s a lot harder to accomplish without a stable blueline. With the back end now sorted out, the focus now turns to making sure there won’t be too many more games like the one that happened on Thursday night.

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When the Washington Capitals first met the Anaheim Ducks this season on November 18, the game went off the rails. During an especially spirited second period, Garnet Hathaway spit on Erik Gudbranson after the Ducks defenseman landed a sucker punch as the two were separated by an official. An angry Gudbranson, afterward, said the spitting “was something you just don’t do in a game – and he did it.” Hathaway, who was ejected, expressed regret. The Capitals forward was later suspended three games by the NHL.

Coming into Friday’s rematch, both teams said all the right things and downplayed what happened in November. They were more interested in the “big two points on the line.” But the Ducks later revealed that was bologna after the game was over.

According to a story by The Athletic’s Eric Stephens, Hathaway was approached by Ducks enforcer Nicolas Deslauriers during a first-period faceoff and was asked to fight and pick his poison.

“I just asked him if he was going to respond,” Deslauriers said to Stephens. “He had the option to choose me or [Gudbranson], and he said he was going to choose [Gudbranson].”

Deslauriers later fought Radko Gudas after the Capitals defenseman injured Nick Ritchie with a borderline late hip check.

Deslauriers landed 12 straight punches to Gudas’s head as the Czech d-man crumpled to the ice.

Eventually, Gudbranson and Hathaway had an angry confrontation four minutes and 56 seconds into the second period. Both players dropped their gloves but were separated by two officials. The two combatants each got 10-minute misconducts. Gudbranson got an extra minor for unsportsmanlike conduct which was served by Devin Shore.

In the third period, the two players finally fought after Gudbrandson landed a big hit into Hathaway’s chest. The two players only exchanged a handful of punches before Hathaway fell to the ice. 70 percent of commenters declared Gudbranson the victor.

After the game, Ryan Getzlaf, the Ducks’ captain, called Hathaway “cowardly” for taking so long to respond.

“Hathaway could have done a lot better job at sticking up for himself,” Getzlaf said. “Answering the bell when he should have. I thought it was a cowardly thing to do to sit around and wait and wait and wait and act like he gets to make the decision when he spit on someone.”

Getzlaf added “[t]here used to be a pride and a code in our game that you answer the bell when you do things like that.”

Gudbranson expressed disappointment too but at least appeared to move on.

“Not ideal from my standpoint,” Gudbranson said. “I thought it was a pretty simple thing to deal with but he handled it the way he wanted to handle it, which is certainly not the way I would have, but at the end of the day, it happened and I’m happy it’s over with and I can put it to bed.”

The Capitals and Ducks will not play again this season unless they play each other in the Stanley Cup Final. The Capitals won both games by a combined score of 8-4.

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The Anaheim Ducks announced today that they three skaters will miss time due to injuries.

Troy Terry will miss approximately 10 weeks after suffering a broken bone below his kneecap. He took a knee-to-knee hit during the Flyers game yesterday in the second period and had to be helped off the ice. Terry had eight points (3G, 5A) in 33 games this season. The 22-year-old suffered a broken leg injury late last season that caused him to miss significant time as well.

The club also announced that Derek Grant would miss 4-6 weeks with sprain to his AC (shoulder) joint. No surgery is required, but the injury will force the Ducks to replace Grant on the 4th line as well as on the penalty kill and on the power play. Grant has had a career season so far with nine goals on the year. It is unclear how he suffered the injury.

Finally, Jacob Larsson was announced as day-to-day with an unspecified upper body injury.

To help fill the roster spots, the Ducks earlier today recalled left winger Max Jones and center Isac Lundestrom with the already present Sam Carrick filling in for Grant on the 4th line.

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Heading into the contest with four points out of a possible eight on this four-game road trip, the New York Rangers were hoping to avoid being stymied by yet another bottom feeder in the NHL.

With the Rangers looking to finish a long road trip on a high, Henrik Lundqvist got the start between the pipes while Marc Staal was also in the lineup despite taking a puck to the ankle in the win over the San Jose Sharks on Thursday.

And it was a dream start for the Blueshirts who landed the first blow of the night just seconds in after Mika Zibanejad took full advantage of a horrendous turnover in the Anaheim zone.

It only got better as Artemi Panarin unleashed a wicked snipe minutes later to put the Rangers firmly in the driving seat early.

Anaheim were not going down without a fight, though, as Jakob Silfverberg tipped in a Hampus Lindholm shot on the man advantage, despite the Ducks coming into the game with the second worst power play in the NHL.

A bad read from Lundqvist allowed Anaheim to make it a tied game early in the second period, and it was now on the Rangers to try to muster up a response to that setback.

The game was plagued by mistakes with both teams being riddled by errors, and it made for a crazy, disjointed contest that was dominated by turnovers and odd-man rushes.

However, the Rangers recorded a big goal inside the opening two minutes of the third period as Zibanejad took full advantage of a stellar feed from Tony DeAngelo to put his team back on top again.

Despite dominating large chunks of the final period, the Blueshirts were forced into overtime after Hampus Lindholm got a shot past Lundqvist in the final couple of minutes.

In the overtime, Zibanejad came closest as he pulled off a filthy move only to be denied by Gibson, and that ensured this contest went to a shootout.

And it was Zibanejad who scored the only goal for the Rangers in the shootout, with efforts from Ondrej Kase and Jakob Silfverberg enough to win the game for the Anaheim Ducks.

First Period – We mentioned in our Keys to the game segment in our preview that getting off to a fast, hard start today was going to be key.

Well, it seemed that the New York Rangers were paying attention because they wasted no time in striking first.

With just 10 seconds having passed, Ryan Getzlaf attempted to make a play in his own zone but his pass went straight to Mika Zibanejad who charged in on goal before switching to his backhand in order to beat John Gibson.

Henrik Lundqvist was called into action as he stopped shots from Josh Mahura and Hampus Lindholm, before it got even worse for the home team.

Another sloppy play in their own zone, this time by Gibson, cost the Ducks as Artemi Panarin got hold of the puck before unleashing a wicked wrister past the Anaheim goalie at 3:59.

Lundqvist was being tested a fair amount as he twice denied Cam Fowler, although he was beaten at 8:53 as Jakob Silfverberg converted on the power play to make it a one goal game at 8:53.

The Rangers then had a chance on the power play themselves but couldn’t make this one count after previously going 4-10 on the road trip, while Lundqvist made a big save on Sam Steel.

Anaheim survived another scary moment as the Rangers generated another high-danger chance, before Gibson had to come up big to thwart Brett Howden at the end of the period as the Blueshirts held a slight advantage on the shot board (11-10).

Second Period – Like the Rangers did in the first period, the Anaheim Ducks came out flying in the middle frame.

And it was a mistake by Henrik Lundqvist that presented the Ducks with a chance to make it a tied game at 1:02 as the goalie was overly aggressive in coming out, leaving a wide open net for Erik Gudbranson to stick the puck into an empty net.

It was a sloppy game of hockey with both teams guilty of being careless with the puck, in addition to not executing passes properly.

As a result, the game was up for grabs and Anaheim nearly got on the board next as Ryan Getzlaf chucked the puck on net, only for Lundqvist to make a big stop to keep out the puck with his left pad.

And Lundqvist had to keep coming up big as he kept out a wrister from Erik Gudbranson, before denying Sam Steel on a breakaway.

Marc Staal was given two minutes for slashing in the process, although the Rangers did a good job of killing that power play off.

Another Ducks power play, another turnover and another odd-man rush led to another chance for the home team, but again Lundqvist came up clutch with a glove save on Troy Terry.

The Rangers then had a chance on the rush themselves but Kaapo Kakko put too much power on his dish and Artemi Panarin fanned on the shot.

Panarin then forced a stop from John Gibson with what was a rare Rangers shot as they were outshot 18-3 in a horrible, mistake-riddled second period.

Brendan Lemieux put a shot over the net before Brady Skjei pulled off a brilliant defensive play in his own zone as the second period thankfully came to a close.

Third Period – The Rangers have done a good job of responding well to setbacks this year and they were at it again early in the final period.

At just 1:14, Mika Zibanejad latched onto a sublime pass from Tony DeAngelo before putting the puck through John Gibson for his second goal of the game, in addition to his fifth goal in his last four games.

It was a big goal and the mission for the Blueshirts was to build on it and go and get the job done in the remaining minutes.

Henrik Lundqvist made a flurry of important stops as the Ducks pressed for a way back into the contest, before it was Gibson’s turn to bat away a plethora of shots as the Rangers turned the screw.

Filip Chytil and Pavel Buchnevich were both denied in quick succession, as was Greg McKegg, and the Blueshirts were certainly flexing their attacking muscles.

New York was outshooting the Ducks 12-7 after registering just three shots on goal in the second period, but Gibson was doing his best impression of a brick wall as he stopped another Buchnevich shot.

Lundqvist was atoning for his earlier error by standing on his head down the stretch, although the Rangers didn’t do themselves any favors after gifting the Ducks a power play with 3:11 to play.

However, the Blueshirts couldn’t keep the Ducks at bay and it was a tied game with 1:46 to play after Hampus Lindholm squeezed a shot past Lundqvist.

Overtime – The New York Rangers had the puck for most of overtime, although they couldn’t find a way past John Gibson.

Adam Fox waltzed all the way up the ice as he was left with plenty of open space to attack, but he couldn’t force the puck past Gibson.

Mika Zibanejad pulled off a filthy move to deke a defenseman before unleashing a shot on goal, only to be denied by the Anaheim goalie with the game going to a shootout.

Shootout – Artemi Panarin went first but he couldn’t beat John Gibson, while Henrik Lundqvist executed a pokecheck to prevent his fellow countryman Rickard Rakell from scoring.

It was then Mika Zibanejad’s turn and, as he had done all night, the forward got the job done to give the Rangers the lead in the shootout.

Lundqvist made another save to thwart Max Comtois before Tony DeAngelo was also denied, while Ondrej Kase beat Lundqvist.

The Rangers needed Kaapo Kakko to convert on his effort but he couldn’t, and that allowed Jakob Silfverberg to score the game winner.

Let’s look at some notes from the game…

Ryan Getzlaf Jersey

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There’s been a lot of talk about Ryan Getzlaf and him increasing his shots per game this season under Dallas Eakins. At face value, he’s scored more goals than we fans would expect and is on pace for 30 goals on the year. A mark he’s only hit once (2013-2014) in his career with the Anaheim Ducks. This would naturally seem like a good thing and thus the praise has been forthcoming for the player and the coach who has gotten through to him. More is better right? Maybe. Maybe not.

At a glance, the team, as a group, are getting an average of 28.9 shots on net per game. This can be further broken down to 26.5 shots in games they win, and 30.1 shots in games they lose. It’s almost become a bit of joke that they haven’t won a game in which they’ve outshot their opponent. Although score-effect has a lot to do with that.

The 28.9 average ranks the Ducks 27th in the league for this particular metric. Most fans, whether they’re all about that old school thug life, or they bat off over “advanced statistics,” would recognize that more shots are better than less and that more shots are more likely to result in more goals. Thus, Getzlaf as an individual shooting the puck more is considered an overall boon.
The Anaheim Duck Don’t Win More with Getzlaf Increasing His Shots

At a glance, Getzlaf is shooting at the 4th highest rate of his career, which is the highest since the 2014-2015 season. To put that in perspective, he’s shooting 8.5% more across all situations. A number that can be broken down to a 15% increase at even strength. This season, he’s shooting the puck near enough to 2.5 times per game (2.47 to be precise), subdivided to 1.87 times at even strength and 0.53 on the powerplay. All this is part of the Anaheim Ducks new system of shooting the puck from wherever they can, whenever they can.

However, as mentioned above the Ducks seemingly shoot the puck far less in games they win. This too is true for Getzlaf. In games the Ducks win, Getzlaf is shooting the puck 1.16 times per game at even strength. In fact, the Ducks have only won 2 games in which Getzlaf has shot over his season average. Let that sink in.

The Anaheim Ducks have won 2 games in which Getzlaf has had 3 or more shots per game. However, the Ducks are a team that has lost a lot of games of late, so this may not surprise. What may surprise is that the Ducks score fewer goals as a group in games which Getzlaf has 3 or more shots. Specifically, when Getzlaf has 0-to-2 shot in the game, the Ducks average 3 goals. When Getzlaf has 3 or more shots on net, they score 2.15 goals per game.

All that is to say that Getzlaf shooting the puck more isn’t necessarily better, and it’s incredibly lazy to suggest that it may be the case. However, in some cases, this may actually hold true. This season Getzlaf is shooting 11.9% less on average per game, on the power-play, than his career average. This is also the 4th lowest total of his career to date. The discerning fan will recognize that the Ducks power-play is truly abysmal (10.5% conversion rate) and ranked 2nd last in the league.
Getzlaf Shooting More Has Improved the Power Play

However, while Getzlaf is merely shooting 0.53 times per game while on the power-play, the Ducks have scored power-play goals in 6 of the 13 games in which Getzlaf has registered a shot on net in this facet of the game. This is in stark comparison to the 2 goals in 17 games in which Getzlaf has not had a shot on net during the power-play.

So taken together, we can establish that Getzlaf shooting more at even strength may not necessarily be beneficial to the teams’ success, yet him shooting more on the power play might be. These two phenomena may not necessarily be mutually exclusive things. We know from a very long career, that Getzlaf is one of the best pure passing players in the game. Him looking to shoot the puck more takes away from his greatest strength and limits the abilities of other players to score. At even strength, general play is more fluid, thus threading the needle with a deft pass is likely to result in a shot on net from a dangerous position.

On the power-play, however, and particularly on the Ducks power play, the general flow of play is more stagnant. The puck moves around the outside basically waiting for a defensive lapse to occur. Getzlaf making these types of passes does not really help to get quality scoring chances. However, Getzlaf does possess a heavy shot, and it is a good shot when he uses it. This of course why people want him to shoot the puck more. At even strength, it doesn’t measure up to his ability to pass, but on a stagnant power-play his shot can create rebounds and thus dangerous follow up opportunities to score.

Taken together we can see that the Anaheim Ducks may have the right mindset, but poor application. More shots overall is a positive trend. This should be at a team level however and not necessarily the captain. He is a gifted passer of the puck, and while he is currently scoring at a high percentage, we know passing is more likely to be a reproducible skill as he ages. We can see from above that Getzlaf shooting more at even strength, correlates to others shooting less, and the Ducks, as a team, scoring less. We can also see that he’s doing less on the power-play and that this change too, is hurting the team score overall.

I admire the captain taking more upon himself in certain situations, however, it may be time for the coaching staff to step in and give him a nudge in the right direction once again. Coaches should be placing players in positions to best use their strengths and this should be no different. It may be time to push the captain to utilize all the strengths he’s shown us over the past decade and more.