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Ducks Downed By Blues 3-1
By Michael Walters
The Ducks appeared to score first when a shot by Urho Vaakanainen was deflected in front and ended up in the back of the net. The Blues challenged the play as being offside and the replay showed the Ducks were in fact offside.
Moments later the Blues scored to take a 1-0 lead. Alex Killorn turned over the puck in the Anaheim defensive zone and Jake Neighbours beat Gibson in the slot for the opening score about halfway through the opening period.
A few minutes later and Mason McTavish was called for a double minor for high sticking. The Ducks were able to kill off the penalty. Shortly after though Pavel Mintyukov was called for holding and the Blues converted with the extra man. Pavel Buchnevich deflected a pass in the slot past Gibson to give them a 2-0 lead.
The Ducks had a two man advantage for about 42 seconds at the end of the first period, but they couldn’t convert. Blues held a 2-0 lead after the first period.
The Blues extended their lead to 3-0 early in the second period. Justin Faulk tried to make a centering pass and it was deflected in the slot. The puck came to Alexei Toropchenko, who did a spin move and sent the puck into the net. Gibson was screened on the play.
The Ducks then finally got on the board about three minutes later in the game. McTavish jumped on a loose puck in the slot and backhanded it in. Anaheim was down 3-1 at the end of the middle frame.
In the final frame, the Ducks had to kill off an early penalty against Pavel Mintyukov for hooking. Anaheim tried to make a push especially in the final minutes of the game as they pulled Gibson, but they couldn’t get any closer to the Blues. The Ducks ended up losing 3-1.
The Ducks appeared to grab the momentum early in this one, but the called back goal seemed to deflate them as the Blues went on to score twice. Urho Vaakanainen appeared to score his first NHL for the second time and it was taken away. He appeared to also score in the game against Nashville, but it was credited to Adam Henrique instead. A couple of tough breaks for him.
The Ducks found themselves in a familiar place trailing at the start of the third period for the fourth consecutive game. Anaheim was able to rally past Nashville, but couldn’t do it against Colorado, Florida, and now St. Louis. It’s been exciting to watch the Ducks rally so often, but to expect them to do it every night is a tall order.
Overall the Ducks played a fairly even game with both teams registering 31 shots on goal. The puck possession numbers at even strength were also very similar. Anaheim did go shorthanded six times and gave up one power play goal against. The Ducks have been one of the most penalized teams in the league. It’s difficult to get a lead and/or build momentum in a game when you are constantly having to kill off penalties.
Radko Gudas played in his 700th NHL game
Frank Vatrano played in his 500th NHL game.
The Ducks host Montreal Wednesday at 7 PM.
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November 19th, 2023