Ups and Downs in Vancouver
If the Ducks had snuck into the eighth spot, they would have likely faced the probable No. 1 seed Canucks, a team they seemed to have no trouble keeping up with last night. (They went 2-1-1 against Vancouver for, interestingly enough, the fourth straight season.)
Yes, they ultimately went down in a shootout and yes, they lost the lead three different times. But taking that team to a shootout in their building -- while chasing their go-to goalie in the second period -- showed once again how good this Ducks team can be (and could have been in this postseason).
Anaheim scored four times on 15 shots against Roberto Luongo, who has not enjoyed success against the Ducks in his career. He has a career 3.22 goal-against average against Anaheim, second-worst against any team, and his .894 save percentage vs. the Ducks is his worst career mark against a team. He had a 5.77 GAA in three games against Anaheim this season. And of course, there is this indelible moment in the '07 Playoffs.
Last night Luongo gave up goals to Perry, Smith-Pelly and Pelley (no, that's not confusing at all) and a mildly important one for Mr. Ryan Getzlaf.
The captain's wrist shot between Bobby Lu's wickets late in the first period gave him 10 goals in this mostly frustrating season. It was also the first time he sent the red light spinning since March 2.
“Yeah, I guess it’s gone,” Getzlaf told the OC Register, seemingly talking about a proverbial monkey on a proverbial back. “The other night at home, I felt like I was shooting the puck and couldn’t score if my life depended on it. Tonight was one of those where I kind of missed my shot. I think Lui was pretty [ticked] that I missed it as well.”
“That’s the new gameplan. Take a shot and shoot somewhere else, I guess.”Smith-Pelly's tap-in of a nice Bobby Ryan pass on the doorstep gave the Ducks a 4-2 lead that marked the end for Luongo. But the Ducks couldn't hold the lead and ultimately succumbed in the shootout when the 'Nucks scored on all three attempts against Jonas Hiller (who was reportedly heated afterwards).
The Ducks have a couple more chances to end this thing on a good note when they play the final two games at Edmonton tomorrow and finish 2011-12 on Saturday afternoon in Calgary.