Previous Game: Ducks Outlasted in the Shootout in an Intense Battle with Pittsburgh

Saturday, 03.8.2014 / 9:00 AM PT / News
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Previous Game: Ducks Outlasted in the Shootout in an Intense Battle with Pittsburgh
ANAHEIM \u2013 If the Ducks and Penguins do indeed meet in the Stanley Cup Final three months from now, they gave a heck of a preview tonight at Honda Center. A standing-room-only crowd of 17,518 witnessed an intense, playoff-like battle between the NHL-best Ducks and Eastern Conference-leading Penguins, in which Pittsburgh outlasted Anaheim in a six-round shootout, 3-2.
ANAHEIM – If the Ducks and Penguins do indeed meet in the Stanley Cup Final three months from now, they gave a heck of a preview tonight at Honda Center.

A standing-room-only crowd of 17,518 witnessed an intense, playoff-like battle between the NHL-best Ducks and Eastern Conference-leading Penguins, in which Pittsburgh outlasted Anaheim in a six-round shootout, 3-2.

"I thought we played a great game," said Ducks head coach Bruce Boudreau. "Take away their power play, and I think they had 10 or 11 shots, which is great. We followed our game plan to a tee. We just lost in a shootout."

It was the second straight six-round shootout loss for the Ducks, who fell to Montreal the same way two nights ago.

"Our last two games are very different," said Ducks defenseman (and former Penguin) Ben Lovejoy. "The Montreal game, we probably didn’t deserve. They took it to us and we weren’t ready right away. Tonight, both teams were ready from the get-go, and they were able to come out with a win."

In this one, Brandon Sutter put Pittsburgh ahead with a backhand past Ducks goalie Jonas Hiller, and Ryan Getzlaf backhanded a shot wide of the net trying to extend the tiebreaker.

Corey Perry, who had two goals in regulation, also converted in the shootout, as did Teemu Selanne when he kept the Ducks alive with a low wrister in the fifth round. Sidney Crosby and former Duck Chris Kunitz each cashed in their shootout chances for Pittsburgh.

"That’s a very good team over there," Lovejoy said. "I thought both teams played really good hockey. They wanted to get into a transition game, and we wanted to play a physical game down low. It went in waves where they carried the play and we carried the play."

On a night where space on the ice was limited, the Ducks controlled play for most of the first two periods, outshooting the Pens 23-7. And while Pittsburgh picked it up in the third, Perry gave the Ducks a 2-1 lead on his second of the game 1:10 into the period, taking in a pretty backhand pass from Getzlaf near the crease and roofing it from in deep.

But Pittsburgh evened things up nearly halfway through the frame on a power play stemming from a dubious Kyle Palmieri tripping call, as Evgeni Malkin beat Jonas Hiller gloveside from the slot. That made it 2-2, where it remained until the end of regulation.

"I thought we played pretty well," Palmieri said. "There were a couple opportunities we had that might’ve been able to put the game away. Hillsy played a great game. When he was tested, he came up big for us. Overall, it was a good test for us, but falling in a shootout is disappointing."

Pittsburgh looked poised to slam the door a minute into overtime when a Cam Fowler giveaway led to a Crosby breakaway, but Hiller made a huge stop on Crosby’s wrist shot. Later in the extra frame, Pens goalie Marc-Andre Fleury made consecutive saves on Hampus Lindholm and Getzlaf with the game on the line.

Fleury had 29 saves on the night, and made key stops in the shootout on Nick Bonino to lead things off and Jakob Silfverberg, who had a chance to win it. Kyle Palmieri, whose shootout goal two nights ago was overturned via replay, fired wide on his attempt in the second round.

One of Fleury’s few missteps came on the game’s first goal 3:54 into the first, as he left a rebound off a Getzlaf shot for Perry, who punched it in for his 33rd of the year.

Pittsburgh evened things up almost four minutes later when Deryk Engelland slung a shot from the slot that got between the wickets of Hiller (15 saves).

The Ducks, who ran their points streak to five games, still remain at the top of the NHL standings with a 43-14-7 record. They conclude their five-game homestand Monday night vs. Toronto.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 x - ANA 78 49 22 7 227 216 105
2 x - NSH 77 47 22 8 220 188 102
3 STL 75 46 22 7 228 186 99
4 CHI 75 45 24 6 213 175 96
5 MIN 76 44 25 7 219 186 95
6 VAN 75 43 27 5 215 203 91
7 WPG 76 39 25 12 215 201 90
8 CGY 76 41 28 7 224 201 89
9 LAK 75 37 24 14 200 188 88
10 DAL 76 37 29 10 236 243 84
11 SJS 76 37 30 9 212 215 83
12 COL 75 35 28 12 205 209 82
13 EDM 75 22 40 13 181 254 57
14 ARI 76 23 45 8 160 252 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
R. Getzlaf 75 24 44 13 68
C. Perry 63 32 20 15 52
R. Kesler 78 20 27 -2 47
S. Vatanen 63 12 25 6 37
J. Silfverberg 77 12 23 12 35
P. Maroon 69 9 25 -4 34
J. Wisniewski 66 8 26 -14 34
C. Fowler 76 7 27 5 34
H. Lindholm 74 7 26 23 33
M. Beleskey 63 22 10 15 32
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
F. Andersen 33 11 5 .914 2.40
J. Gibson 13 7 0 .916 2.58

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