By Adam Brady (firstname.lastname@example.org)
ANAHEIM – Even a four-day rest couldn’t get the Ducks back to their winning ways.
Despite clawing back twice from one-goal deficits – including one halfway through the third period – the Ducks couldn’t parlay it into victory as they fell 4-3 in overtime to the visiting Nashville Predators. It was the third straight loss for Anaheim, who prior to that string had won eight of nine.
|Anaheim had several chances go awry, as they fell to Nashville 4-3 in overtime for their third straight defeat.
Dan Hamhuis took a Jason Arnott feed and hammered it from the slot past Ducks goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere to clinch the victory. The goal came mere seconds after Rob Niedermayer nearly won it for the Ducks with a shot from between the circles that Preds goalie Dan Ellis barely deflected away.
It was the story of the night for Ellis, who thwarted the Ducks on several occasions on his way to 32 saves. He had 54 stops three nights prior in a 4-3 win in San Jose.
It was the first loss for the Ducks in the last seven games at Honda Center against Nashville, and just the fourth in 19 all-time meetings between the teams in Anaheim. Home struggles have been the unexpected tendency this season the Ducks, who fell to 4-5-2 at Honda Center.
"We had a few little breakdowns in our end that led to some of their chances," said Ducks captain Scott Niedermayer, who tried to flip the puck out of the corner in the OT, only to see it land on Arnott's stick to set up the winning goal. "When you’re playing a team that plays well like they did tonight, you can’t do that. I think it was a bit better effort than the last two games, but still not enough to get two points, which is what we set out to do tonight, so it’s disappointing."
On that final play, Niedermayer said, "I got the puck and probably should have kept it going as opposed to putting it back where everybody was. That led us into some trouble there."
Nashville broke a 2-2 tie 4:35 into the third on the power play, seconds after Bret Hedican headed to the box with a holding penalty. Shea Weber fired a one-timer from the top of the circle that Joel Ward tipped through.
But the Ducks fought back midway through the session as Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf both stabbed at the puck after an Ellis save and Getzlaf got enough stick on it to poke it home.
That made it 3-3, where it remained until the end of regulation, as Ellis made several big stops to keep the Ducks at bay. He made three more in the overtime period to pave the way for the Hamhuis game-winner.
The Ducks and Preds gave the scoreboard some work in the first period, scoring four combined to make it 2-2 after 1. Anaheim continued a trend of scoring early on this homestand, as Brendan Morrison broke through just 1:59 into the first period.
Morrison took a nice feed on the right wing from Selanne and redirected the puck off Ellis. The rebound came right back toward Morrison, and he batted it out of the air and through. It was just the second goal of the season for the struggling Morrison, but the second in the last three games.
"It’s coming," Morrison said. "For the past week, I’ve been saying that now. My legs are starting to feel better. It’s a step in the right direction. Really, in the big picture it means nothing because we lost. But it’s a work in progress."
The Ducks have scored in the opening two minutes in four of their last five home games.
Nashville got even 5:54 into the period on a power play following a Samuel Pahlsson hooking penalty. Dan Hamuis took a shot from a low angle that Giguere couldn’t conrol, and Ryan Jones was right in front of him to chip it over his shoulder.
|Morrison got his second goal of the year 1:59 into the first, continuing a Ducks trend of getting on the board early.
The Preds jumped in front 2-1 midway through the period, as Giguere was slow to recover on a shot that flew off the back wall. J.P. Dumont scooped it up near the left post and easily deposited it in the wide open net.
But Anaheim fought back with 4:55 remaining, as Teemu Selanne got little of the puck trying to one-time it from low in the left wing circle on the power play. Still, the puck rolled right to Chris Kunitz, who quickly sent it under Ellis.
That was a relative scoring binge compared to the second period, as the Ducks and Preds skated scoreless despite combining for 20 shots on net.
The Ducks will try to right the ship Sunday when they take on the rival Kings at Honda Center.
"The power play goal gave them the lead and then we had to do everything we could possibly do to get ours at the end," said Ducks coach Randy Carlyle. "It was a see-saw battle and a good compete game. I liked our effort. We lost a point in overtime. We’re not going to get down. We’ll correct some mistakes and work on that tomorrow."
2:17 - NASHVILLE GOAL - DAN HAMHUIS - Seconds after Rob Niedermayer nearly gets one through, the Preds head the other way with it. Jason Arnott picks up the puck in the corner off Scott Niedermayer's stick and backhand feeds it in the slot to Hamhuis, who hammers it past Giguere. Tough loss for the Ducks, as they fall 4-3 in OT.
1:26 - Scott Niedermayer tries a backhand from the right circle that Ellis has a little trouble with but holds. That shot looked a lot like another Niedermayer on this team.
0:00 - Here we go in OT.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - Nothing going and we're going to overtime. The Ducks and Preds score a goal apiece in the third to make it 3-3.
19:31 - We've got 28.4 left and a draw in the Nashville zone.
18:12 - Hedican's soft backhand on the run is the 30th of the game for Anaheim. Feels like they had more. Ellis faced 57 a few nights ago in San Jose and won.
According to the video board, one of Ryan Carter's favorite TV shows is "The Hills." I wish I could make fun.
14:38 - Selanne comes agonizingly close, as his redirect try is saved and he tries to whip the rebound through but is denied.
13:30 - Giguere stands tall as Arnott gets loose on the right wing. Nice save, though he might have gotten some help from the post.
12:23 - Huge kill for the Ducks, and the crowd knows it.
Kent French is getting some FSN time as a rinkside reporter. Love it.
10:23 - ANA Penalty - Travis Moen, 2 min. boarding. Moen throws Ryan Jones into the wall, and he's very slow to rise.
9:33 - ANAHEIM GOAL (POWER PLAY) - RYAN GETZLAF - Selanne turns and takes a shot from the slot that Ellis saves, but the loose puck rolls off his leg pad into the crease. Both Getzlaf and Perry jab at the loose puck, and it turns out to be Getzlaf who gets his stick on it and pokes it home.
9:20 - Ellis is keeping the Preds in this game, making several big saves on near Ducks goals.
7:42 - NSH Penalty - Radek Bonk, 2 min. hooking. After a Scott Niedermayer knuckleball wrister is saved, Perry picks up the loose puck and is looking at an open net, but can't get good control on it as Bonk hooks him from behind. The whistle blows a few seconds later.
7:17 - On the rush, Perry makes a great feed to a charging Kunitz, and it redirects it just wide. Missed opportunity for the black and gold.
4:35 - Just before the draw, May and Tootoo are jawing at each other and both start to take the gloves off. But something from the officials convinces them to put them back on and they don't go after each other after the drop.
4:35 - NASHVILLE GOAL (POWER PLAY) - JOEL WARD - On the power play, Weber takes a pass at the top of the circle and one-times it toward the net, where Ward deflects it through.
4:16 - ANA Penalty - Bret Hedican, 2 min. holding. Not what the Ducks need right now. They're living on the edge as it is.
4:10 - Radek Bonk takes a feed behind the D, where he's one-on-one with Giguere, but Jiggy kicks it away.
Greg de Vries's name makes me want French Fries. Not sure why.
0:00 - Off and running in the third.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - After scoring four combined in the first, the Ducks and Preds skate scoreless in the second. We're still deadlocked at 2. Tootoo.
19:35 - Pronger loses his head briefly and accidentlaly sends a bouncing puck into his own bench. Not a good way to make friends.
17:50 - Morrison again almost gets another one, as Niedermayer drops him a pass as Morrison is charging through the slot and it caroms off him just wide.
Whoever came up with the idea of having cute girls clean the ice during timeouts should be in the Hockey Hall of Fame.
14:26 - Giguere makes a heck of a stop as Arnott is all alone right in front of him.
12:39 - ANA Penalty - Kent Huskins, 2 min. high sticking.
12:31 - The puck is deflected and rockets into the crowd, where a woman gets his in the hand. She's seen bravely shaking it off and apparently is okay. Plus, she got the puck.
9:27 - NSH Penalty - Jordin Tootoo, 2 min. intereference. Tootoo, who wears 2-2, gets 2 for interfering with No. 20.
9:00 - The Ducks do a nice job to kill the penalty, with a little help from a Nashville unit that didn't have much clue what they were doing.
7:00 - ANA Penalty - Ryan Carter
, 2 min. slashing. Not sure where they got that.
Two power players are shown on the video board fake-texting "Ducks" to 81812 on their phones, while a third stands between them with her back to the camera, shaking it a little while pointing to the "Text Ducks to 81812" message on her back. If you're in the arena, you're excused if you didn't even notice the other two.
6:15 - Morrison has a chance at his second goal after a nice feed from Beauchemin, but misses it high.
5:45 - Selanne gets the crowd excited as he speeds up the left wing past de Vries, but de Vries dives out and knocks the puck away from behind.
4:10 - Jordin Tootoo fires a shot that gets behind Giguere and settles in the blue paint before Moen sweeps it away. It's karma for Tootoo, who tripped the linesman with his stick on the way up the wing.
0:00 - And away we go.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - It's a barn-burner, as the Ducks and Preds both dent the net twice and we have a heck of a memorable fight at center ice. We're tied 2-2.
It's Travel Alberta trivia time and the dude is asked who's the first goalie credited with a goal. He's given Hextall, Brodeur and Billy Smith as choices. He guesses Hextall and he's wrong. It's Smith. Even worse, the answer says that it happened in 1979 against the Colorado Avalanche. Unfortunately, the Avs didn't exist in 1979. It was the Colorado Rockies, actually. (Okay, I had to look that up.)
15:05 - ANAHEIM GOAL - CHRIS KUNITZ - Selanne attempts a one-timer from his favorite spot low in the left wing circle, but fans on it and barely gets a piece. Luckily for Anaheim, it rolls toward Kunitz, who quickly bats it under Ellis and through. Kunitz gets justice after probably earning a goal a few seconds before. We're tied 2-2.
14:41 - After a Pronger shot is saved, Kunitz tries to punch in the rebound just before getting pushed down. It eventually slips through, drawing a loud cheer, but the official whistles it dead. Probably a bad call, since Ellis never seemed to have it.
13:35 - NSH Penalty - Jordin Tootoo, 2 min. tripping and Greg Zanon, 2 min. kneeing. Tootoo takes down Corey Perry
, and just before the whistle, Zanon sticks his knee out and sends Kunitz flying. Huge opportunity for Anaheim.
12:37 - It's a free for all as several Ducks get into it after a hard hit against the glass, but the main event is new returnee May and Nick Tarnasky. They circle for awhile without landing much until May wrestles Tarnasky to his knees. Then, unadvisedly, May drills Tarnasky in the face with a straight right and almost immediately feels bad about it, clearly asking Tarnasky several times if he's okay. Tarnasky heads to the dressing room bleeding, while May is on the bench with ice on his hand.
11:26 - NASHVILLE GOAL - J.P. DUMONT - Shea Weber takes a shot that goes off the boards behind the net, and Giguere is very slow to recover and close a wide open gap in the left side of the net. Dumont takes full advantage, scooping the puck up from near the post and punching it in.
As Power Player Laura comes down the aisle in the Ruby's uniform to deliver a shake for that promotion we do each game, a dude in an old school Mighty Ducks jersey is caught creepily checking her out. He looks up and realizes he's on screen and STILL goes back to staring at her behind.
9:30 - Brad May on the ice. Forgot to mention he's in there tonight for the first time in six games.
The Power Players are wearing shirts urging fans to vote for the Ducks to the All-Star Game by texting "Ducks" to 81812. Do it now. Seriously, do it now.
5:54 - NASHVILLE GOAL (POWER PLAY) - RYAN JONES - On the man advantage, Dan Hamuis takes a relatively tame shot from a low angle, which Giguere saves, but he can't hold it. Jones is right in front of him to chip the loose puck over him. We're tied 1-1.
5:02 - Giguere sprawls out to make a nice save.
4:28 - ANA Penalty - Samuel Pahlsson, 2 min. hooking.
Three tennis balls tonight (a full can, if you will) sitting on the complete other site of the arena. Apparently, they brought their son. I'm not big on change, but since the Ducks have dropped two straight here, anything helps.
1:59 - ANAHEIM GOAL - BRENDAN MORRISON - Morrison, back on the second line, takes a great feed from Selanne on the right wing and redirects it high off Ellis. But just before he skates by the net, Morrison reaches up and bats the rebound through. Pretty goal for a guy who can't seem to buy them this season. It's the second of the year and second in the last three games for the center. Ducks lead 1-0.
0:00 - And we're underway at Honda Center, in the first game of the Bob Murray era.
7:08 p.m. - A lovely rendition of the anthem by Air Force person (I didn't hear her rank) Erin McPherson.
Starting Goaltenders - ANA Jean-Sebastien Giguere; NSH Dan Ellis
Starting Skaters - ANA Bret Hedican, Chris Pronger, Corey Perry
, Chris Kunitz, Ryan Getzlaf
; NSH Dan Hanhuis, Greg Zanon, Jason Arnott, Joel Ward, Vernon Fiddler
Scratches - ANA Nathan McIver, Brian Sutherby; NSH Kevin Klein, Martin Erat, Patric Hornqvist