Category Archives: Anaheim Ducks Shirts

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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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First of all, have to give full credit to our friends at Blueshirt Banter for the concept. The best ten trades of the team in a decade. So let’s apply it to the Penguins!

Over the last ten years, the Penguins have made a ton of trades. Between two general managers in Ray Shero and Jim Rutherford, Pittsburgh has had some bold GM’s willing to move all kinds of pieces around to upgrade the team and contend for Stanley Cup championships. It worked since the team made the playoffs each and every year from 2010-19.

Here’s the qualifications, taken straight from BSB with the appropriate Pens’ related notes shoehorned in. By attempting the rankings of the best trades, I considered a few areas of evaluation. They are:
Immediate Face Value Appraisal

Sometimes, you know it’s a win, right from the time you see the Bob McKenzie tweet announcing the trade. (Think of the Kessel from Toronto deal — with salary retained!). Hindsight is always a factor when looking back on these trades, but sometimes right from Jump St. you can just tell that the Pens made a good move. If so, it’s probably appearing in this article and not the next one about the ten WORST trades of the decade.
Hindsight Analysis

But, knowing what we know now matters too. Carolina trading Pittsburgh in the eight overall pick in the 2012 draft seemed great at the time, but didn’t really mean very much now at the end of 2019. Dallas throwing in a seemingly random 2013 third round pick ended up being a very big deal right now. That’s hindsight and unknowable at the time of the trade, but ends up at this point being a big, big factor!
Impact on Team’s Success

Shedding a bad player for a serviceable player (like, say, Daley for Scuderi) means a lot more right now than trading a second round pick for a rental that didn’t add up to much. That kind of makes sense at face value, so let’s stay there.
Butterfly Effect… To a Degree

The Guentzel trade comes into play here. Who would have known at the time? No one, but that was a good move. On the other end, the Pens traded the draft pick that was Ryan Dzingel to Ottawa for Alex Kovalev. That one is probably going to show up in the other article for worst trades of the decade. In a big sense, this is part luck but any trade involving picks and prospects can end up meandering to a way different path eventually then what it looks like at the time of the trade, for better or worse.
#10: Feburary 1, 2019: Pittsburgh trades Riley Sheahan, Derick Brassard, a 2019 second round pick, and two 2019 fourth round picks to Florida in exchange for Jared McCann and Nick Bjugstad

Jim Rutherford made this trade as a part of his patented “correcting a mistake” type of deal, adding a 22-year old former first round pick in McCann in exchange for a disappointment in Brassard and a second round pick. The Pens got a third line center in Bjugstad who may pay off more later on with his size and skill, but the major prize was undoubtedly McCann.

McCann has scored 21 goals and 38 points in his first 66 games with Pittsburgh, living up to his pedigree as a talented young player. And he’s done that on a $1.25 million salary cap hit, a huge boost to a team like Pittsburgh that really needs a boost of youth, fresh legs, energy and at a bargain rate against the cap. This trade isn’t even that old, but it’s already paid off to add what the Pens thought they were going to get from Brassard but actually ended up needing to flip into McCann to make it happen.
9 – December 3, 2018: Pittsburgh trades Daniel Sprong to Anaheim for Marcus Pettersson

Sprong was a polarizing prospect but never found a way to find his way into the good graces with the Pens. Rutherford was boxed into a corner here and found a way to trade this unestablished player to get a needed defenseman. Pettersson was a 13-14 minute a night player in Anaheim just trying to find his way, when he got to the Pens he has become a 18-19 minute important defender for the Pens that has blossomed into a good NHL level player. And that wasn’t something they were going to get out of Sprong.
8- June 22, 2012: Pittsburgh trades Jordan Staal to Carolina for Brandon Sutter, Brian Dumoulin and the No. 8 overall pick in 2012 (used to select Derrick Pouliot)

This is a bittersweet trade, to be sure. It could have been much higher, had the Pens drafted a player like Filip Forsberg or Teuvo Teravainen who were both very much in the range of this pick. But, they didn’t.

Still, former GM Ray Shero was also boxed in a bit back in 2012. Staal rejected a long-term contract with Pittsburgh and would have been entering a “walk year” of his contract with the Pens. So they flipped him and got a replacement (if lesser) NHL center in Brandon Sutter and that high pick.

And, with hindsight, Brian Dumoulin ended up being the most important piece of this trade for the Pens. Dumoulin wasn’t at the time of the trade, and as we saw with several high defenseman draft picks of that era (Pouliot, Joe Morrow, Scott Harrington, Simon Despres), sometimes via development or injury a prospect doesn’t always pan out. Dumoulin did though, exceeding all reasonable expectations to turn into a rock-steady top pair NHL dman.
8 – February 22, 2016: Pittsburgh trades a third round pick to Edmonton for Justin Schultz

Before Justin Schultz came to Pittsburgh he was a punchline. A perceived terrible defenseman who could defend and had very little appreciable value to an NHL team. This was mostly due to a bad Edmonton team that threw Schultz into deep waters and tough assignments that didn’t fit him. And, to be fair, he performed very poorly there.

But in Pittsburgh, first as a 6/7 type of defender in the 2016 Stanley Cup run, he was insulated and put in favorable situations. Schultz’s confidence grew and by 2016-17 he was a 51 point player (12G+39A) and a key player for the 2017 Stanley Cup run.

It took a little faith, patience and projection but the Pens found a talented player in a bad situation and helped build him up into a vital piece of the puzzle that continues through the end of the decade.
6- July 28, 2015: Pittsburgh trades Brandon Sutter and a third round pick (used to select William Lockwood) to Vancouver for Nick Bonino, Adam Clendening and a second round pick (used to select Filip Gustavsson)

After Sutter stuttered in his role with the Pens, Rutherford used him to flip for Nick Bonino who was cheaper against the salary cap and ended up being an instrumental piece of the 2016 Stanley Cup run in the H-B-K line that gave Pittsburgh a huge advantage in the playoffs against teams like Washington, Tampa and San Jose. Bonino also was a key player in the 2017 Stanley Cup run up until an injury.

The Pens also got a boost in the draft swap that ended up netting them a premier goalie prospect who was used in a future trade. But that trade won’t show up here. This one was all about the boost that Bonino provided compared to Sutter.
5- July 26, 2019: Pittsburgh trades a conditional sixth round pick in 2021 to Edmonton for John Marino

A master stroke in scouting and situational awareness, the Pens plucked Marino out of Edmonton. Marino was not going to sign with the Oilers, so they were willing to deal him for a conditional pick. If the Pens didn’t sign Marino, they wouldn’t have to give up the pick making this a total “no risk, all reward” type of trade. But they did convince him to forego his senior year in Harvard and he’s instantly become a 19 minute-a-game player at the NHL level with excellent instincts, calmness. And he adds a right handed shot on an entry level contract that will pay off into the early years of the next decade.
4- December 14, 2015: Pittsburgh trades Rob Scuderi (retaining $1.1 million of salary) to Chicago for Trevor Daley

Another situationally smart trade, the Pens used Chicago’s salary cap crunch against them in order to steal a serviceable player in Daley for a used up Scuderi by buying the Blackhawks a little over $1 million on the cap for 1.5 seasons. It turned out great for Pittsburgh, since Daley somehow didn’t fit with the scheme/coaching of Chicago, but ended up being a viable second pair player in the 2016 Stanley Cup run, a big upgrade from the slow-footed and bad hands of Scuderi who wasn’t going to be able to fit in with the new Mike Sullivan era.
3- March 24, 2013: Pittsburgh trades Joseph Morrow and a fifth round pick in 2013 (used to select Matej Paulovic) to Dallas for Brendan Morrow and a third round pick in 2013 (used to select Jake Guentzel)

This uses hindsight, but that still counts in the long-run. Dallas dealt their captain in Morrow to the Pens for their 2013 ill-fated playoff run. Morrow gets a bad rap for his time in Pittsburgh, mostly by people who forget he dislocated his kneecap and still played through it.

But this trade ended up having long-term ramifications in the seemingly meaningless swap of draft picks. Ray Shero managed to upgrade a fifth for a third. No big deal on the surface. However that third rounder ended up being Jake Guentzel and has had a monumental impact on the Pens’ future from there on out.
2- Feb 12, 2011: Pittsburgh trades Alex Goligoski to Dallas for James Neal and Matt Niskanen

With an excess of defensemen (including the emerging Kris Letang) the Pens could afford to ship out Goligoski, who was a very good player in his own right. But Pittsburgh got incredible value in that trade by landing a future 40-goal scorer in Neal and a throw-in of Niskanen who ended up being a top-four defender for as long as Goligoski has. If this trade was one-for-one in either direction, it might have been a fair one (or a modest Pittsburgh win). But that Shero pulled two key players out of this one meant a huge win for the Pens.
1- July 1, 2015: Pittsburgh trades Nick Spaling, Scott Harrington, Kasperi Kapanen, 2016 first round pick (eventually used to select Sam Steel) and a 2016 third round pick to Toronto for Phil Kessel ($1.25m retained), Tyler Biggs, Tim Erixon and a 2016 second round pick (used to select Kasper Bjorkqvist)

Simply put, this was the trade that re-started the Pens’ dynasty. After things had grown stale in the middle of the decade, Rutherford swung for the fences and hit an absolute home run by acquiring Phil Kessel. And he got Toronto to retain salary AND take a player in Spaling that was filler to help balance the salaries. AND the Pens were able to make the deal without sending then top youngsters in Derick Pouliot and Olli Maatta to Toronto.

Kapanen and the first round pick were decent pieces to surrender, but paled in comparison to the immediate impact that Kessel made as one of the top players in the league for the 2016 and 2017 Stanley Cup runs and then scored 174 points in the 2018 and 2019 seasons that followed.

The 2010’s were such a crazy time for trades for the Pens. There wasn’t a lot of time for inactivity. Trades were the most major way for the team to re-shape itself and eventually become the only team in the salary cap era to win back-to-back Stanley Cups.

Of course, with good trades also comes bad trades. But we’ll save that for not Christmas to look into

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UNIONDALE, N.Y. — 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’ defenceman 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 defenceman 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 defenceman 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 defenceman slipped behind a Ducks defenceman 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.”

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Rangers coach David Quinn isn’t happy with the way referees have treated Brendan Lemieux lately.

At the conclusion of Sunday’s second period, Lemieux was handed a 10-minute misconduct for a scuffle with Ducks forward Carter Rowney. It wasn’t the first tussle Lemieux experienced in the Rangers’ 5-1 win at the Garden, and it certainly wasn’t the first this season.

But Quinn made a point to say he didn’t think referees have been calling physical plays involving Lemieux fairly.

“I would like for him to avoid putting himself in that position,” Quinn said when he was asked about the 10-minute misconduct. “He’s a very important player for us, he plays a hard game, he plays with an edge and we miss him when he’s not out there. I just wish he would’ve avoided that situation.

“With that being said, I know officiating is difficult, but I just wish he’d get treated a little bit differently than he has lately. I just want all of our players to be treated equal. Sometimes it doesn’t seem that way with him.”

It was a physical game, with both teams combining for 17 penalties. Lemieux even turned down a fight in the second period, when Erik Gudbranson dropped his gloves only to have the gritty winger skate away from him. Both teams were still penalized.

The hard-nosed Lemieux, who finished with an assist and three shots on goal, has collected a team-high 95 penalty minutes through 34 games this season.

Quinn said he hadn’t made a decision on who will start in net against the Flyers, but admitted he was tempted to give Lundqvist the nod given how he performed Sunday and his history with back-to-back starts.

The Rangers have gone 16 straight power plays without a goal.

An 0-for-5 performance on the man-advantage Sunday kept that streak alive, dropping the Rangers’ power-play percentage to 18.5 percent. But Chris Kreider didn’t seem too concerned with the drought.

“Power play comes in flows, we did the right things today,” Kreider said. “I thought we did a better job of getting pucks to the net. [We need to] continue to do that, results might not be there but it doesn’t mean that we’ll change what we’re doing.”

The Rangers recalled forward Phillip Di Giuseppe from AHL Hartford following the win.

Di Giuseppe skated in a combined 24 games last season with the Hurricanes and Predators. The Rangers signed Di Giuseppe, who was drafted No. 38 overall by the Hurricanes in 2012, as a free agent this offseason.

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A 3-2 loss during Friday night’s game against the Washington Capitals was not the ideal outcome for the Anaheim Ducks. However, despite dropping the game, they would suffer an even bigger loss with the early exit of Nick Ritchie. After a hip check from Radko Gudas late in the first period, the night would end for the 24-year-old power forward. Unable to put any weight on his left leg, he would head to the locker room, in visible pain.

Classified as a lower-body injury, we can only assume from what we witnessed that Ritchie has sustained an injury to his knee. While Dallas Eakins didn’t give the specifics, according to Eric Stephens of The Athletic, the head coach stated that “it does not look very good.” No further details were provided, but the outcome doesn’t seem to be a positive one.

Ritchie’s absence from the team is yet another big blow to the Anaheim Ducks struggling lineup. Losing Josh Manson for an extended period of time has caused enough problems of its own. While Manson’s impending return seems to be right around the corner, what happens now that one of Anaheim’s best forwards could be out of the lineup for the foreseeable future?

Did I just say Nick Ritchie is one of the Anaheim Ducks best forwards this season? Why yes, I did! At the beginning of the season, it was questionable whether Ritchie’s style of game would fit well under the Dallas Eakins system. He certainly struggled in his first few games, but he found his groove, blossoming into one of the Ducks best play drivers and showing signs he’s maturing into a decent power forward.

While most fans lament at the sight of Ritchie due to his league-leading penalty minutes, his time on ice has been crucial for the Ducks this season. In 27 games, he has been a solid point producer for the team, keeping a solid stat line of 3 goals, 7 assists, and 10 points overall. While 10 points in 27 games aren’t going to earn him any accolades, it’s pretty decent for a power forward playing for a team who is struggling at both ends of the ice.

He is staying true to his style of hockey, with 9 blocks and 34 hits on the season, leading the way for his team with his physicality and big body. His 49 shots on goal also prove that he can generate offensive capabilities for the struggling Ducks. Despite the gruff exterior, the young forward is truly passionate about the game of hockey, and this season, more than ever, it shows.

His presence on the ice will be missed for whatever length of time he is out. While some may not believe Ritchie is a true asset to this team, time will only prove what the evidence clearly manifests. It would be no surprise for the Ducks to recall Max Jones, or even Daniel Sprong, in his absence. However, neither of them will be able to fill the void that will be felt in the absence of Nick Ritchie.

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ANAHEIM — Josh Manson hammered the puck into the right-hand corner from his station just inside the blue line on Monday morning at Honda Center. He skated purposefully from one end of the ice to the other. He followed along with his Ducks teammates as they went through a number of drills.

When it came time for special teams work that called for more physical contact with his teammates, Manson took a seat on the bench. Manson, a veteran defenseman, wasn’t ready for that level of competition, although his first full-speed, full-contact practice could come later this week.

It’s been nearly six weeks since Manson sprained his knee during the Ducks’ loss to the Stars on Oct. 24 at Dallas. Barring a setback, he’s likely to return to their lineup sooner than later. Certainly, he’s right in the window of their original layoff estimate of between five and 10 weeks.

Manson’s return to the lineup can’t come soon enough, as far as the Ducks are concerned. They were mired in seventh place in the Pacific Division with an 11-12-4 record going into Monday night’s game against the eighth-place Kings (11-14-2).

“We’re getting there because I saw him skating around out there with us,” Ducks coach Dallas Eakins said of anticipating Manson’s return to full-time duty. “When you see those steps that means all that stuff, medically, physically, fitness-wise are progressing well.

“So, him popping out there is a good step. Our fingers are crossed, but there are no guarantees.”

The Ducks have practices scheduled for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday in preparation for Friday’s game against the Washington Capitals. The Capitals won a Nov. 18 game marred by a spitting incident that resulted in a three-game NHL-imposed suspension to Garnet Hathaway of Washington.

Manson’s return would give the Ducks a physical element that’s been lacking since he was injured while attempting to throw a check against the Stars’ Jason Dickinson. Manson’s injury was met with relief by the Ducks, who feared he had torn a ligament. It turned out to be just a sprain.

“All you have to do is look at our goals-against with him in the lineup and without,” Eakins said, referring to the Ducks’ 2.18 goals-against average before Manson was sidelined and their 3.63 goals-against average while he’s been out. “I think that tells a story right away.”

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Over the past few seasons, the Anaheim Ducks have had horrible luck when it comes to the health of their roster. Most years, the injury bug strikes quite early. However, aside from Josh Manson‘s lengthy stint on the sidelines and a few other short-lived injuries, the roster has remained relatively healthy. That is, until recently.

In the span of just a few games, the Ducks have lost four players to injury, three of them predicted to spend the next 4-10 weeks on the sidelines. The first domino to fall was Nick Ritchie. A hip check from Washington Capitals defenseman Radko Gudas would force Ritchie out of the game with an MCL sprain. His predicted timetable for return is 6-10 weeks.

Troy Terry, Derek Grant, and Jacob Larsson were the next three to fall victim to the second wave of the injury bug during the game against the Philadelphia Flyers. Terry has been placed on injured reserve and is predicted to miss the next 10 weeks with a broken bone below his knee cap. Derek Grant has suffered an AC sprain to his shoulder, the time table for his return is 4-6 weeks. Lastly, Jacob Larsson, who is listed as day to day, suffered an undisclosed upper-body injury.

Larsson and Terry’s absence, while unfortunate, will not necessarily hurt the team as much as Grant and Ritchie’s absence. It seems as though Larsson has taken steps back in his development this season, struggling significantly to grasp the offensive aspects, as well as other areas, of the game. It earned him a ticket to San Diego a few weeks ago, and the decision to call him back up and send Josh Mahura back down the 5 was a puzzling decision.

Troy Terry has struggled to produce as expected this season as well. While some of that may be in part to the hype that has surrounded the 22-year-old 2015 5th round draft pick, he seems like he’s still on the path to finding himself as an NHL player, which, at his age, is still perfectly acceptable. After a broken bone ended his season last year, this injury will prove to be just another setback in his development as an NHL player.

Derek Grant has surprisingly been one of the Anaheim Ducks top 5 goal scorers this season, with 9 goals credited to his name. The team has struggled to produce offense, and losing one of their top goal scorers for the next 4-6 weeks is going to hurt, most likely leaving the Ducks floundering near the bottom of the Pacific Divison and Western Conference.

Finally, Nick Ritchie’s injury is going to cause more struggles than anyone realizes. While a lot of fans detest him and his constant penalties, he has been an important factor for the Ducks this season. He hasn’t shown up on the score sheet as often as we’d like to see, but he drives play and adds a physical flare to the lineup the Ducks don’t necessarily have in spades.

Injuries are never good news. However, if there are any positives we can take from this situation it would be this: having four injured players on the sidelines gives our AHL prospects valuable time in the NHL without the added stress of being playoff contenders. With the position the Anaheim Ducks currently hold in the standings, the playoffs at this point are highly unlikely. Isac Lundestrom, Max Jones, Sam Carrick, and others, now have the opportunity to hone their skills at the next level without being make or break players in the lineup.

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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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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.