By Adam Brady (firstname.lastname@example.org)
ANAHEIM – A record crowd of 17,597 at Honda Center saw one of the more thrilling games of the season Friday night.
What they didn’t see was a Ducks win.
|The Ducks took two different leads in a wild second period, but couldn't hang on.
Despite taking leads two different times in a wild second period (including one by two goals), the Ducks ultimately fell to Philadelphia 5-4 in a shootout. Anaheim’s Corey Perry and Bobby Ryan were both unsuccessful in their shootout attempts, and Mike Richards gave Philly the advantage with a wrist shot on Jean-Sebastien Giguere that connected top shelf. Ryan Getzlaf had a chance to extend the tiebreaker, but his attempt went way wide right.
It was the fifth loss in the last six for the Ducks, and their third straight defeat at Honda Center.
"I think this was the most intense game that we’ve played in awhile," said Ducks coach Randy Carlyle. "It was a good hockey game. From our side, we’re taking a positive spin on it because we worked hard."
The standing-room-only crowd beat the previous record the Ducks set in a March 21, 1995 game against the Los Angeles Kings. And while a good amount of tonight’s crowd were rooting on the Flyers, the majority of those at Honda Center left disappointed, despite a tightly fought contest.
Coming off a second period in which the two teams combined for six goals, neither team found the net in the third or overtime, though Philadelphia had plenty of opportunities. The Ducks handed the Flyers four power plays in the third, one of the four-minute variety when Corey Perry took a double minor for high sticking. But each time the Ducks stopped a Philadelphia power play that ranked fourth in the NHL coming into the game.
In that whirlwind second, twice the Flyers bounced back with quick goals after the Ducks took the lead. Anaheim went in front early in the stanza when Rob Niedermayer found the net just 32 seconds into it. Niedermayer led a rush down the right wing, and from the top of the circle sent a wrist shot into the top right corner of the goal. Brother Scott got the second assist on the goal, the 500th assist of his career.
The Ducks made it a two-goal lead on Andrew Ebbett’s first career goal at 6:16, as Ebbett redirected a Chris Pronger point shot on the power play. Ebbett was standing right in front of goalie Martin Biron when he got his stick on the high shot from Pronger and it caromed downward and behind Biron.
"Our unit has been working on getting shots to the net and getting two, three guys to the net for rebounds," said Ebbett, who was called up Dec. 20 when Teemu Selanne went down with an injury. "It just happened to come up about my waist high. I got my stick on it and tipped it in. It was pretty exciting and a good feeling to get that over with. Now, I don’t have to worry about that first one anymore."
But as that goal was being announced and Ebbett still had a smile on his face, the Flyers got one back. Josh Gratton got his first of the season by picking up a loose puck and firing a wrist shot from the circle that sailed under Giguere’s glove.
Philadelphia clawed all the way back with 2:19 left in the period, on a power play following a Samuel Pahlsson holding the stick minor. Mike Knuble followed up a rebound and tried to deposit it into the open net, but he was at a bad angle as he slid the puck behind Giguere and Braydon Coburn punched it in.
|Ebbett got the first of his career in that high-scoring second.
Anaheim got its lead back on a Ryan Getzlaf power play goal with 1:14 left, just a few minutes after Getzlaf had hobbled off the ice when he took a hard hip check from Gratton. But Getzlaf showed he was just fine, as Corey Perry gave him a pretty backhand feed from the right wing boards and Getzlaf hammered it home. The play was made possible by a monster check behind the net by Steve Montador on Andrew Alberts.
Just like they bounced back with a goal 16 seconds after a Ducks score, this time the Flyers did it just 14 seconds later. Just as the cheers from the home fans were dying, Mike Knuble took a Richards feed on the odd-man rush and flipped a shot past Giguere with exactly a minute left in the second. It was the fifth goal in the last three games against the Ducks for Knuble.
The Ducks and Flyers were knotted at a goal apiece after the first period, as Corey Perry tied the game with a wraparound goal with just 35 seconds left. That erased an early Flyers advantage that came courtesy of Ossi Vaananen with 6:07 left in the period. Vaananen fired a slap shot right off the faceoff that dove inside the far post.
It was the first visit to Honda Center for Philadelphia since Nov. 15, 2006, when they trounced the Ducks 7-4 in a season Anaheim would go on to win the Stanley Cup.
The Ducks at least got a standings point out of this one, giving them points in eight of their last 11.
"It’s a good stepping stone," Giguere said. "We need to start building on some positive stuff. The last two, three games we’ve seen a lot of good things. Tonight there were a lot of emotions and the penalty killing did its job. For sure, there are things you’d like to get back, but at the end of the day we gave it our best. But we need more coming up."
The Ducks are back at Honda Center on Sunday, when they take on the Phoenix Coyotes.
Added Carlyle, "For sure, you score four goals you should win the hockey game. But we lost a point. We didn’t lose the hockey game. We’ll just move on. If we can bottle this intensity, this emotion, this energy and continue to play at this level, then we’ll make some great strides."
With a goal and assist tonight, Ryan Getzlaf has earned 2-6=8 points in the last seven games. At HOME, he has earned points in nine of the last 11 games at Honda Center (7-6=13).
Scott Niedermayer has collected points in two of the last three games (1-2=3).
Bobby Ryan has earned points in six of the last seven games (2-7=9).
With his goal tonight, Rob Niedermayer has scored more goals on the season than in each of the last two campaigns (5-11=16 in 2006-07 and 8-8=16 in 2007-08).
With an assist this evening, Brendan Morrison has registered 4-2=6 points in the last five games.
Chris Kunitz has collected points in four of the last five HOME games (3-5=8), including an assist tonight.
ANA Ryan Getzlaf
's attempt is NO GOOD, as he tries a deke move on Biron and shoots it way wide. The Flyers win it 5-4 in the shootout.
PHI Mike Richard's attempt is GOOD, as he wrists it top shelf.
ANA Bobby Ryan
's attempt is NO GOOD, as he attempts a wrist shot that is stopped by Biron with the leg pad.
PHI Claude Gilloux's attempt is NO GOOD, as he tries to deke Giguere, but it's knocked away.
ANA Corey Perry
's attempt is NO GOOD, as he swings wide to the right, but can't fool Biron, who gloves it.
5:00 - END OF OVERTIME - Nothing doing for either team and we're going to a shootout.
4:50 - Festerling takes a shot that goes just wide.
4:25 - Philly is definitely controlling this overtime.
3:45 - Not much time to net the game-winner.
0:55 - Getzlaf is out of gas as he chases Richards down the left wing on the rush, and the Ducks are lucky as Richards gets the puck in front but is stopped by Giguere.
0:00 - We're underway in the extra session. Free hockey for this record crowd.
20:00 - END OF REGULATION - Six goals combined in the second period. None in the third. We're going to overtime.
19:50 - The Flyers ice it, giving the Ducks a faceoff in their zone with 10 seconds left.
19:15 - Perry nicely puts the puck on net to Kunitz, but he can't put it through.
15:52 - Bobby Ryan
gives Morrison a phenomenal 60-foot diagonal pass, and Morrison is able to muscle his way in front of Carle on the breakaway. But Biron stacks the pads as Morrison can't get the puck high enough and puts it in the goalie's gut.
14:27 - The Ducks do it again, as they continue to live on the edge.
Columbus beat Colorado 6-1 in Colorado. So, looks like Steve Mason can give up goals. But just one.
12:27 - ANA Penalty - Bret Hedican, 2 min. hooking. Hedican spins Gratton around with the stick. Not good for the Ducks. They get some rest with the impending timeout.
11:42 - The Ducks kill again. But this won't work for long.
11:00 - ANA Penalty - Chris Pronger, 2 min. roughing and PHI Penalty - Scott Hartnell, 2 min. roughing. Carter takes a shot in front that Giguere slides out to the top of the crease to stop. There's a crowd around Giguere and Pronger starts throwing punches at Hartnell, who fights back as they both get penalties. Not a great move for Pronger, considering he's one of the team's best penalty killers.
10:33 - Richards tries to jam the puck through Giguere, but he's stopped, and Giguere dives on the puck as it's loose in front.
9:42 - ANA Penalty - Steve Montador, 2 min. hooking. Just when they think they're out of the woods, the Ducks get another one, as Montador tries to deny Hartnell on a breakaway.
9:36 - Huge kill for the Ducks, as they deny the Flyers on all four minutes with some help from their goalie.
5:36 - ANA Penalty - Corey Perry
, 4 min. (double minor), high sticking. It's actually an elbow that Perry gives to Claude Giroux's face, but why quibble. Actually, if they had seen it was just an elbow, maybe no double minor.
3:15 - The Ducks put several shots on net, but can't get anything through as Philly clears it the length.
1:26 - PHI Penalty - Kimmo Timonen, 2 min. delay of game. As Getzlaf holds the puck behind the net, Timonen knocks the goal off its supports.
0:00 - Off and running in an intriguing third period.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - It's a whirlwind second period, as the Ducks and Flyers each score three times and we're tied 4-4 going into what promises to be a good third period.
19:00 - PHILADELPHIA GOAL - MIKE KNUBLE - Philly comes right back for the second time tonight, as Richards leads the rush and slides the puck from the right wing to Knuble, who whips it past Giguere. We're tied again.
18:46 - ANAHEIM GOAL (POWER PLAY) - RYAN GETZLAF - On the man advantage, Montador drills Andrew Alberts behind the net, giving the Ducks some more room to operate. Perry grabs the puck along the wall and backhands a gorgeous feed to Getzlaf, who hammers it home. It's 4-3 Ducks.
18:33 - PHI Penalty - Braydon Coburn, 2 min. hooking. Perry gets on the breakaway after a nice feed from Scott Niedermayer and Coburn hooks him from behind just before he takes the shot. Could maybe have been a penalty shot.
17:41 - PHILADELPHIA GOAL (POWER PLAY) - BRAYDON COBURN - On the power play, Mike Richards takes a shot that bounces off Giguere, but leaves half of the net wide open as it bounces to Mike Knuble. He's at a bad angle to put it in, but he is able to slide the puck behind a scrambling Giguere to a waiting Coburn, who punches it through. We're tied 3-3 in what unfortunately has become a tight hockey game.
16:35 - ANA Penalty - Samuel Pahlsson, 2 min. holding the stick. How is that illegal? Okay, that joke is being retired.
Tonight's attendance is 17,597 (including standing room tickets), a Ducks single-game record.
15:12 - Anaheim is leading the faceoffs battle, 27-14. Getzlaf himself has won 14 of 16.
It's Kiss Cam time again, with a couple of highlights. One is where a woman doesn't want to kiss the stranger beside her, so instead kisses her kid on the head. Another is when a dude plants one on his buddy's cheek. And the topper is when a guy not only kisses his girl, but has the boldness to also get to second base with her. Smooth move, my man.
Ebbett gets interviewed by Kent French during the timeout while still standing on the ice. What is this, an All-Star game?
12:05 - Ebbett looks a little pumped up, as he forces his way to the net.
9:50 - Kunitz is essentially tackled to the ice away from the puck. No call. No surprise.
9:40 - Getzlaf is on the ice with Kunitz and Perry.
9:31 - The video board shows Getzlaf on the bench, drawing a cheer.
9:05 - Getzlaf is back on the Ducks bench.
7:27 - Getzlaf slams into a hip check by Gratton at the Anaheim blueline and he's very slow to get up. He gets help off the ice and into the Ducks locker room, as this place goes relatively silent. That's the last thing the Ducks need right now. Forget the fact that it was an obvious interference penalty. No need to make that call, guys.
6:32 - PHILADELPHIA GOAL - JOSH GRATTON - As they're announcing the Ebbett goal, Gratton picks up a loose puck in the Anaheim zone and skates into the left wing circle, where he fires a wrister that sails under Giguere's glove. The lead is cut to 3-2.
6:16 - ANAHEIM GOAL (POWER PLAY) - ANDREW EBBETT - On the man advantage, Pronger flips the puck on net from just inside the blueline and Ebbett, standing right in front of Biron, redirects it downward into the back of the net. Officials review the play to see if Ebbett touched it with a high stick. After a short review, the official tries to tell the crowd the decision, but of course his mic doesn't work. But the pointing motion let's them know it's a goal. It's the first of his career for Ebbett, who can't wipe the smile off his face. Ducks take a 3-1 lead.
5:03 - PHI Penalty - Luca Sbisa, 2 min. boarding. Sbisa throws Hedican into the wall, and Montador and Marchant get in his face, leading to a nice huddle of black and white jerseys.
They have added a second assist on the last goal to Scott Niedermayer, and that's his 500th assist all time.
2:40 - Shorthanded, Hedican gives a great headman pass to Marchant, who is on a 2 on 1 with Moen. He slides the puck to Moen, but he can't do much with it as he runs into Biron.
2:05 - I could be wrong, but I think I heard some distinct booing as he held the puck in the circle and eventually took a shot. Did the Ducks Blog influence that?
I don't say this too often, but I really want this game.
1:12 - ANA Penalty - Chris Pronger, 2 min. holding. Now, that's what we call a buzzkill.
0:32 - ANAHEIM GOAL - ROB NIEDERMAYER - Niedermayer leads a checking line rush, and soon after crossing into the attacking zone, he whips a wrist shot from the top of the circle that darts into the top right corner of the net. That actually looked like a goal-scorer's goal from Niedermayer, who shockingly has nine on the season. (He had eight all last year.) It's 2-1 Ducks.
0:00 - Here we go in the second.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - It's an opening stanza full of action, including two fights and one goal apiece from the Ducks and Flyers. We're tied 1-1 after 1.
19:25 - ANAHEIM GOAL - COREY PERRY - Perry battles for the puck behind the net with Vaananen and it heads toward Kunitz near the corner. Kunitz throws it behind him right back to Perry, who emerges from behind the net and wraps it around Biron for the goal. It's the 10th for Perry and we're tied 1-1.
18:40 - Ryan breaks out of the corner and gets in deep, but his shot hits off Biron's leg pad.
17:34 - Festerling and former Duck Joffrey Lupul
push and shove a bit after a Giguere save. I was hoping for some Lupul boos tonight, considering what he wrote in his little blog
, but it doesn't look like it's happening.
17:29 - This thing's not over as Steve Montador and Josh Gratton go after each other near the Ducks goal. It starts out hot, with both players throwing head shots, then they get tired and skate around with each other to the disappointment of the crowd. They finish with a flurry before it's broken up.
17:21 - It's a clash of the titans as George Parros
and Philly heavywieight Riley Cote go at it off the draw. It's a fast and furious exchange of punches for both guys, as the long hair on both their heads is flying everywhere. This one lasts awhile before Cote eventually gets Parros to the ice. They both head to their locker rooms.
15:42 - Scottie Upshall fires one from the left wing that Giguere stops between the pads. Upshall then gives Montador a little shot, but he's already skated away before Montador can respond.
It's trivia time and "Dave" is aslked what year Wrigley Field is built. He guesses B.) 1912 and he's wrong. It's 1914. I didn't know that.
13:53 - PHILADELPHIA GOAL - OSSI VAANANEN - Right off the draw, Vaananen fires a slap shot from the right wing that sails past Pronger's skates and dives inside the far post. It's the first of the season for Vaananen. Lots of Flyers fans in here tonight, as there is an audible roar after the goal. It's 1-0 Flyers.
13:50 - Giguere makes a nice stop on a shot from the right wing from Claude Giroux.
Power Player Tara is really hamming it up as the Ruby's girl tonight. The girl loves the camera.
10:05 - Just as the Ducks are making a mockery of this power play, Montador takes a shot that's deflected on its way, and hits the near post.
8:30 - The Flyers almost get one on a shorthanded rush, but Giguere makes a great kick save. Not what we're looking for on the power play.
8:06 - PHI Penalty - Matt Carle, 2 min. interference. The Ducks get their first PP chance.
4:44 - Getzlaf slips a shot from the circle through traffic and it almost gets through Biron.
3:15 - Ducks forechecking like crazy, thanks in part to the fourth line of Parros, Marchant and Carter.
2:02 - Bret Hedican is on the ice after missing a game with an injury.
Including standing room, we're supposed to have the largest crowd in that we've ever had in here. A few of them haven't found their seats yet.
0:05 - A chant of "Let's Go Ducks" right off the opening faceoff.
0:00 - And we're underway at Honda Center, in the first game of 2009.
7:07 p.m. - A nice rendition of the anthem by the rather attractive Rachel Stark. First time here, if I'm not mistaken. We're off to a good start tonight.
Starting Goaltenders - ANA Jean-Sebastien Giguere; PHI Martin Biron
Starting Skaters - ANA Scott Niedermayer, Brett Festerling
, Samuel Pahlsson, Travis Moen, Rob Niedermayer; PHI Braydon Coburn, Matt Carle, Joffrey Lupul
, Jeff Carter, Scott Hartnell
Scratches - ANA Nathan McIver, Brad May, Kent Huskins; PHI Lasse kukkonen, Simon Gagne, Darroll Powe, Arron Asham