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Buffaloed in Anaheim

Thursday, 03.01.2012 / 10:58 AM
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Ducks Off the Ice by Adam Brady
Buffaloed in Anaheim

This pretty much sums up last night for the Ducks.
When you've won as much as the Ducks have won lately, when you have the league's best record since January 1, it just feels like you're not supposed to lose. When you throw 43 shots on net -- 20 in the third period alone -- it really feels like you're not supposed to lose.

But thanks to the work of Sabres goalie Ryan Miller, the Ducks suffered a loss they could ill afford, a 2-0 defeat at Honda Center that cost them a chance to make up precious ground in the Western Conference standings. Miller saved all 43 Anaheim shots on net, earning his 26th career shutout and his first in five appearances against the Ducks. 

And the Ducks showed their frustration in the final minute, as both Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry got in fights during play, and several members of the Ducks and Sabres engaged in a brawl after the horn.

It was an ugly way to end a night in which Anaheim could have gotten to within five points of the eighth spot in the West, as Dallas lost 4-3 in a shootout in a game that ended just after we dropped the puck at Honda Center. The Ducks could have moved into 12th place and been just a point shy of Calgary in 11th. (Right now it's not just about getting close to that eighth spot, but passing the cluster to other teams also fighting for it.) 

“We were really counting on tonight because we could have jumped over a team,” Boudreau said. “And then Friday, if things went well, we could have jumped over another team. And then Saturday, we could have tied a team (the Kings).”

Now we can only move on from this one and focus on those games, and try not to engage in the agonizing scoreboard watching in the meantime. For example, three games on the NHL docket tonight involve teams fighting with Anaheim for that playoff spot: Calgary at Phoenix, Minnesota at Montreal and Columbus at Colorado. (For the sanity's sake, it's best to avoid watching those games, and just wake up in the morning to see where the Ducks stand.)

That extra day of February marked the end of an interesting month for the Ducks, as they suffered consecutive losses to Dallas and Columbus at home to start it, then went on a  8-1-2 tear before dropping two in a row to finish it. Now the Ducks have 18 games left in March and April, where they desperately need to go on another torrid run.

“It’s a little bit of a heartbreaker,” Boudreau said of last night's defeat. “But this team hasn’t quit in two and a half months, so I don’t expect them to quit now.”

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 z - ANA 82 54 20 8 266 209 116
2 y - COL 82 52 22 8 250 220 112
3 x - STL 82 52 23 7 248 191 111
4 x - SJS 82 51 22 9 249 200 111
5 x - CHI 82 46 21 15 267 220 107
6 x - LAK 82 46 28 8 206 174 100
7 x - MIN 82 43 27 12 207 206 98
8 x - DAL 82 40 31 11 235 228 91
9 PHX 82 37 30 15 216 231 89
10 NSH 82 38 32 12 216 242 88
11 WPG 82 37 35 10 227 237 84
12 VAN 82 36 35 11 196 223 83
13 CGY 82 35 40 7 209 241 77
14 EDM 82 29 44 9 203 270 67

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
R. Getzlaf 77 31 56 28 87
C. Perry 81 43 39 32 82
N. Bonino 77 22 27 14 49
M. Perreault 69 18 25 13 43
A. Cogliano 82 21 21 13 42
C. Fowler 70 6 30 15 36
K. Palmieri 71 14 17 9 31
D. Winnik 76 6 24 6 30
H. Lindholm 78 6 24 29 30
S. Koivu 65 11 18 3 29
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
F. Andersen 20 5 0 .923 2.29
J. Hiller 29 13 7 .911 2.48

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