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Ducks Rally Falls Short Against Canucks
By Michael Walters
The Anaheim Ducks hosted the Vancouver Canucks in their second to last game of the season. Lukas Dostal the start in net against Thatcher Demko. Jackson LaCombe, who just signed his entry level deal, made his NHL debut.
The Ducks got into penalty trouble halfway through the first period and the Canucks took advantage. Brock Boeser scored on Vancouver’s first power play. In a tic-tac-toe fashion, Miller passed the puck from the left face-off circle to Peterson in the right face-off circle. Pettersson then quickly fired the puck to Boeser, who was at the left side of the net, for the easy tap in goal.
About four minutes later, the Canucks scored again with the man advantage. Andrei Kuzmenko. Akito Hirose found Andrei Kuzmenko sneaking behind the Ducks defenders and sprung on a breakaway. He broke in alone and shot low glove side beating Dotal to make it 2-0.
The Ducks answered back with a power play goal of their own about a minute later. Cam Fowler found Mason McTavish in his office in the right face-off circle. McTavish one timed the pass into the net before Demo would could slide over to make the save. Anaheim trailed by one after the opening period.
In the second period, Anaheim was able to tie up the game. Drew Helleson took a shot from the blue line that beat Demo high through some traffic in first. It was Helleson’s first NHL career goal. The teams remained tied at two to start the third period.
Vancouver took the lead again just over a minute in the third period. Phillip Di Giuseppe took a shot from the right face-off, which Dostal blocked, but Miller was alone in front for clean up duty. The puck came right to Miller and had an easy tap in goal.
The Ducks had several chances to tie the game in the third, but they couldn’t get the equalizer. They pulled Dostal in the final moments of the contest, but still ended up losing 3-2.
The Ducks lineup was loaded with several young players for this contest. BO Groulx, Jackson LaCombe, Nikita Nesterenko, and Drew Helleson all played in this one. LaCombe looked solid in his debut as he appeared to be keen to his defense responsibilities. He did a solid job of breaking up passes and getting into shooting lanes. He had three blocks and one hit in the game.
It was nice to see Helleson get his first NHL goal. He has been solid in the two games he has played thus far. Nesterenko looked very quick in person last night. He played over 13 minutes last night and had five shots on goal. He could have easily had a goal last night.
In terms of the draft lottery, the Ducks are now in the 2nd overall position. Columbus earned a point in overtime and Chicago somehow beat Pittsburgh in regulation. There are some things that still need to be sorted out in the next couple of days, but the Ducks can finish no lower than in the 3rd draft lottery position. As a result, they are guaranteed a top five overall pick.
Anaheim could still end up in the 1st lottery draft position in a few scenarios. If the Ducks lose to the Kings in regulation, then the Blue Jackets just need to pick up one point in their last two games. If the Ducks lose in overtime or a shootout, then the Blue Jackets need to earn two points in their last two games and the Blackhawks need to earn one point in their final game. If the Ducks beat Kings in regulation or overtime/shootout, then the Blue Jackets need to earn three points in their last two games and the Blackhawks need to win their final game.
Drew Helleson scored his first NHL goal.
Troy Terry earned his 100th assist.
The Ducks close out the season against the Kings Thursday at home.
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April 12th, 2023