By Adam Brady (email@example.com)
ANAHEIM – The Ducks fought hard for the second straight night, but couldn’t overcome a tough Chicago Blackhawks team in falling 3-2 at Honda Center.
|The Ducks were all over the Chicago net on several occasions in the third, but couldn't get one through to tie it.
Anaheim did virtually everything it could to erase a one-goal deficit in the third period, but couldn’t get anything past veteran netminder Nikolai Khabibulin in coming up just short. The Ducks were right on the doorstep on several occasions in the period, notably when they held the puck in the Chicago zone for several minutes midway through it. They sent several shots on net, but nothing hit paydirt.
Then with 1:19 left in the game, and starting goalie Jonas Hiller on the bench for an extra attacker, the Ducks looked to get an opportunity a Corey Perry centering pass was one-timed by Teemu Selanne and the net was knocked off its supports. It appeared to be pushed by Chicago defenseman Duncan Keith, but officials made no call on the play, much to the chagrin of the sixth straight sellout crowd at Honda Center.
That was the last of the Ducks chances in the game, as they lost for just the fourth time in the last 17 meetings with the Blackhawks. It was the first win in regulation at Honda Center for Chicago since February of 2001. Khabibulin had 36 stops in the game, and Hiller, starting for the second night, stopped 24 of 27.
"We came out and knew what we had to do, throw lots of rubber at the goalie, get in front of him and try to screen him," said Ducks forward Travis Moen. "We just needed a few more bounces. I thought we worked extremely hard tonight. We just didn’t quite get the win."
The Ducks were playing for the second straight night, after taking down Phoenix 7-3 Wednesday in Glendale. It was the first game out of the All-Star break for Chicago.
"It’s frustrating anytime you lose," Moen said. "We went to Phoenix and had a great game. I thought we played great tonight. There are a few areas in our game that we have to fix, but other than we worked hard and got lots of pucks on net."
Selanne played for the Ducks for the first time since suffering a lacerated quad muscle on Dec. 19 in Edmonton. He was -2 with one shot on goal in 17:41.
"I think I felt better as the game went on," Selanne said. "Missing 17 games, it’s not normal just to come back. I knew that the next step was to start playing games and get into those situations. It’s a really good start. I’m happy I have no pain. It was tough to lose. We were working very hard. We just couldn’t score the third goal."
The Ducks made it a game late in the second thanks to a shorthanded goal by Moen with just 1:10 left. With Chicago on the man advantage, the puck shot out of the Anaheim zone and was picked up by Moen, who headed on a 2-on-1 rush with Drew Miller. Moen appeared poised to pass the puck, but as defenseman Cameron Barker slid on his belly to poke the puck away, Moen ripped a slap shot that sent the water bottle flying.
"I think it was a well-played hockey game," said Ducks coach Randy Carlyle. "We created lots of chances for ourselves. We probably made a couple of mistakes in critical areas that cost us, but I thought our work ethic was strong. Playing in a back-to-back situation, we were able to carry a lot of that same type of energy into the game. I don’t think we were rewarded for the hard work that we put in."
|Moen's shorthanded goal late in the second got the Ducks within one, but that was it for the scoring.
The Ducks had put themselves in a hole early, giving up the first goal for the second straight night. Adam Burish punched a loose puck under Hiller after a Brian Campbell slap shot from the point bounced off the goalie and settled in front of him. The goal came mere seconds after Burish looked to trip Steve Montador behind the Anaheim net, but avoided the penalty call.
And also like last night, Anaheim fought back in the first, as Bobby Ryan got a piece of the puck with his stick after Chris Pronger launched a high shot from the point. Ryan redirected it enough to send it past Khabibulin and just inside the post.
The goal was Ryan’s 11th in the month of January, tied for the NHL lead with Calgary’s Michael Cammalleri. It’s also the most in a month by a rookie since Alex Ovechkin had 11 in March of 2006. Ryan’s five-game goal streak is a Ducks rookie record.
The Hawks took a 2-1 lead into the first intermission with a Patrick Kane goal with 3:19 left in the period. With the Ducks shorthanded after a Steve Montador roughing call, the Hawks took quick advantage, as Patrick Kane took the puck from behind the net and flipped it past Hiller, who lost sight of it.
The Hawks looked to bury Anaheim when they turned the tables on Anaheim with a goal 3:13 into the second. The Ducks were threatening on the power play when the Hawks headed the other way with the puck, just as Duncan Keith escaped the penalty box. Patrick Sharp slid the puck to Keith, who sent it to Jonathan Toews, and the second-year star punched it home.
The Ducks did little to counter until Moen’s goal late in the second, but that was the last of the scoring for Anaheim.
"I really believe that if we can keep this effort, we are going to win a lot of games," Selanne said. "The third period was totally ours. That is a good sign. It’s something that we have to build on."
The Ducks won't have that chance again until Saturday at Colorado. They then come home to face Buffalo on Monday.
20:00 - END OF GAME - The Ducks fight to the finish, but can't overcome a strong Chicago team in the end and fall, 3-2.
19:34 - The puck goes over the glass with 25.5 left.
18:56 - Pahlsson redirects a Pronger slap shot and Khabi gloves it. He's playing fantastically tonight, unfortunately.
18:41 - The Ducks have the puck on the doorstep as Perry centers it, but just as it's slapped through by Selanne, Keith knocks the net off its supports. No call and the crowd is not happy.
18:29 - Pronger drills a slapper from the point that Khabi holds. Ducks take timeout and come out of it with Hiller on the bench. Pahlsson is the extra attacker to take the draw.
18:00 - The Ducks come out of the timeout with Pronger, Niedermayer, Getzlaf, Perry and Selanne.
17:49 - As Pronger tries to chip the puck back into the zone, he knocks the official partway into the Chicago bench. There's one he hasn't done before.
16:38 - The Hawks ice it with 3:22 left. The Ducks get a draw in the Chicago end.
16:30 - Three and a half left and the Ducks have to get something going.
14:45 - Scott Niedermayer is just ridiculous, as he muscles the puck into the Chicago zone and keeps it to himself despite having two Hawks draped all over him. He may single-handedly kill this penalty.
13:30 - Pahlsson fights his way to the puck in the Chicago zone, spins and takes a shot, but it's stopped.
13:13 - ANA Penalty - Ryan Carter
, 2 min. holding. The good times come to an end as we get our first whistle in quite a while, and it's because of a Ducks penalty, as Carter holds Kane in the corner.
11:50 - Chicago finally heads the other way with it after the puck spent several minutes in their end.
10:40 - The Ducks do a superb job to hold the puck in, but can't get anything through. Yet.
7:35 - Pronger steps up to the ladies tees to rips one from the slot, but it goes wide. Perry flops to the ice as he tries to convert the rebound off the back boards and can't get much on the puck. Kunitz tries to step up and punch in the bouncing puck and it goes wide.
4:50 - Selanne has been moved to the fourth line with Carter and Miller. Maybe someone feels he's not 100 percent?
4:00 - Hiller gets very lucky not to give one up, as he's on his knees and out of position as the puck caroms around the net. He gets saved when Scotty Niedermayer somehow blocks a Toews one-timer, despite not having his stick.
3:06 - So much for the late goal giving the Ducks momentum. They're being outshot 4-0 already in this period as the puck has spent most of its time in the Anaheim end.
1:42 - The Ducks get some bad luck when a dumped puck comes off the glass right in front of the net. But the Chicago shot is stopped by Hiller.
0:20 - Hiller is forced to make three saves in the first 20 seconds. Not a good start.
0:00 - Off and running in the third.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - The Ducks salvage a lackluster second with a gargantuan shorthander by Moen to pull within a goal going into the third.
18:50 - ANAHEIM GOAL (SHORTHANDED) - TRAVIS MOEN - An absolutely huge play for Anaheim, as the puck kicks out of their zone and Moen is on a 2-on-1 with Drew Miller. It looks like Moen is going to pass the puck to Miller, but as soon as Cameron Barker lies face down to block a potential pass, Moen unleashes a slap shot on the move that dents the net. The Ducks pull within 3-2 on Moen's second in as many games, and just his fourth of the year.
17:47 - ANA Penalty - Chris Pronger, 2 min. Pronger gets Sharp in the face with the stick. Bad timing for Anaheim.
16:31 - There's 3:29 left in the period and I'm thinking the Ducks need a goal.
12:04 - The Blackhawks are owning this game right now, putting several shots on net and forcing Hiller to make some big stops. This doesn't look a lot like last night for Anaheim.
It's a Valentine's edition of Kiss Cam (slightly early). One couple refuses to kiss and gets booed. Another does the same thing, with the guy mouthing the words, "We're not a couple." Another classy dude decided to use his time on camera to rise from his seat and turn his rear toward the girl next to him. Enjoy the single life, guy.
3:13 - CHICAGO GOAL - JONATHAN TOEWS - Moments after Perry can't find the net from in front off a Selanne feed, the Hawks head the other way with it just as Keith is leaving the box. They play a little tic-tac-toe, as Sharp gets the puck to Keith, and he sends it to Toews, who punches it in. Huge blow to the Ducks, who looked poised to get one and instead gave up one at the other end. It's 3-1 Chicago and Anaheim has some work to do.
Scoring change on the Ducks goal in the first, as they give it to Ryan after replays show he barely got a stick on it. That gives Ryan 11 in January, tied for most in the league (with Michael Cammalleri). It's also the most in the month for a rookie since Ovechkin in 2005-06.
1:03 - CHI Penalty - Duncan Keith, 2 min. holding. Moen does a nice job to get behind the defense and use his body to protect the puck against Keith, who is forced to commit the penalty before Moen gets the shot off.
0:26 - After the whistle, Bolland gets Khabi in the mask with his stick, but of course Khabi thinks it was a Duck, so he stares down Kunitz.
0:00 - Here we go in the second.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - It's a rocky first for Anaheim, which doesn't quite come out with the energy of last night (but how could they). They give up two to the Hawks, but in between get one from Pronger and it's 2-1.
19:13 - Hiller makes a great stop on a Toews one-timer in traffic. After the whistle, Pronger gets into it with Kane.
16:41 - CHICAGO GOAL (POWER PLAY) - PATRICK KANE - The Hawks take quick advantage, as Martin Havlat passes the puck to Kane behind the net. Hiller doesn't know where the puck is when Kane steps onto the stage and flips it in. It's 2-1 Chicago.
16:12 - ANA Penalty - Steve Montador, 2 min. roughing. After the whistle, a few players have words and Ryan and Byfuglien shove a little, while Montador gets into it with a couple of guys.
13:49 - ANA Penalty - Corey Perry
and CHI Penalty - Adam Burish, 2 min. each unsportsmanlike conduct. Perry tries to punch in a loose puck through Khabi and can't do it before the puck is frozen. Afterwards, he and the goalie have words, and it carries over to the bench area after Perry comes off the ice. He's yapping with Burish and they both get sent to the bin.
12:53 - ANAHEIM GOAL (POWER PLAY) - BOBBY RYAN (Scoring change from earlier) - The Ducks move the puck around on the PP, with no one willing to take the shot. But leave it to Pronger, who absolutely rockets one through traffic and it nicks off Bobby Ryan's stick before hitting the inside of the post and going in. Replays make it hard to see if it touched Ryan or not, but during the intermission, they give it to him. It's 1-1.
11:53 - CHI Penalty - Bench minor, 2 min. too many men. Ryan Carter
might have drawn them into it, throwing the puck off the guy taking his time getting over the boards to the bench. During the delayed whistle, the Ducks have several shots at it, but can't get one through.
10:55 - Selanne races down the wing and looked like he wants to cross over, but he shoots a bad-angle shot off Khabi's leg pad. The guy is seriously moving though. Speed? Back.
Brent Severyn is apparently at ice level tonight, and we saw him trying to mess with Kent French just before Frenchie went on the air for a report.
9:16 - The Ducks escape as a hard slap shot is stopped by Hiller, and Bolland just does miss chipping it under him.
7:15 - Getzlaf looks like he's getting one off a good feed from Perry across the slot, but Khabi slides over to save the one-timer.
5:25 - George Parros
and Matt Walker decide to dance after running into each other in front of the Chicago net. They each throw a couple of minor blows before Walker goes down to the ice. He springs back up and a couple more are thrown before Parros wrestles him down again.
4:55 - Selanne, Morrison and Ryan on the second line.
3:07 - CHICAGO GOAL - ADAM BURISH - Burish, who should probably be in the box for tripping, punches the puck underneath Hiller after a Brian Campbell slap shot from the point bounces off the goalie and sits in front of him. It's 1-0 Chicago.
3:01 - Montador gets blatantly tripped behind the net by a falling Burish. No call.
2:10 - Selanne hits the ice for the first time since Dec. 19, and the crowd gives him a nice ovation. It gets even louder when it's put up on the video board that tonight is his 616th game as a Duck, tying him for Steve Rucchin for the all-time lead.
1:35 - Hiller stays strong as Ladd tries a wraparound.
0:00 - And we're underway at Honda Center.
7:07 p.m. - Another spirited effort with the anthem by Dawn Wright. And the highlight is an extended shot on the video board of Hiller, who appears to be talking to himself during the song. Probably in Swiss.
Starting Goaltenders - ANA Jonas Hiller
; CHI Nikolai Khabibulin
Starting Skaters - ANA Scott Niedermayer, Brett Festerling
, Corey Perry
, Chris Kunitz, Ryan Getzlaf
; CHI Matt Walker, Brian Campbell, Martin Havlat, Dave Bolland, Patrick Kane
Scratches - ANA Nathan McIver, Todd Marchant
, Andrew Ebbett; CHI - Aaron Johnson, Kris Versteeg
Teemu Selanne is in the lineup for Anaheim, after sitting out 17 straight games with a lacerated quad muscle. Hiller gets a surprise start, after having been in net last night.