Whoops, they did it again. Outshot and even outplayed an opponent and still could not win a game. Not even a game against the bottom dwellers of the Western Conference, the Edmonton Oilers.
Oilers 4. Ducks 2. Well, technically three, but when you put the puck into your own empty net, it does count for the other team.
Given five power play chances, the Ducks could not solve the Oilers more than once. Mind you, Edmonton has a deplorable 68.4% success rate on the penalty kill, worse than anyone in the NHL. Probably worse than a lot of AHL teams, too. Against the Ducks? It was 80%.
The Ducks dominated for most of the game, although not all of it, which was their downfall. Sam Gagner finished off a pass from Ales Hemsky at 6:48 in the second period and Taylor Hall, the #1 overall draft pick in June, made it 2-0 less than two minutes later, deflecting the puck off #12 pick, Cam Fowler’s stick.
At that point, the Ducks had outshot the Oilers 25 – 10, but Jonas Hiller had two go behind him. Devan Dubnyk? Nothing. Then again, 50 shots on goal against the Columbus Blue Jackets did not reveal enough goals to win either.
The Ducks ultimately ended up with 40 shots on goal (a total of 90 in the past two games), but got only two goals for their efforts.
“Getting 40 shots isn’t relevant if you’re just taking shots from the boards and the blue line,” grumbled a frustrated Ryan Getzlaf. “We’re getting off shots, but we’re not driving inside. You have to get to the net and create havoc.”
Bobby Ryan scored on the power play at 16:33 of the middle frame after a questionable penalty called on Edmonton. NHL officials later confirmed that no, putting the puck through the photographer’s hole in the glass is NOT a delay of game. But even that break was not enough for Anaheim.
Saku Koivu, who continues to blossom in a Ducks uniform after such a slow start last season, scored just :22 seconds later to tie up the game.
Things remained tied until Hemsky put a beautiful shot up and over Hiller’s left shoulder at 13:29 of the third period. That was it for the Ducks.
An empty net, vacated by Hiller, could not be solved by the Oilers. Former Duck, Ryan Whitney had a perfect opportunity to end the game but flubbed on the shot and missed the wide open net. Moments later, Perry, behind the Oiler net and trying to center a pass to someone in front of it, managed to get it pass everyone and they all stood watching it careen all the way down the other end and land smack dab in the dead center of the net.
The Oilers bench was cracking up. Whitney couldn’t do it, but Perry certainly showed him how it was done. With just :15 seconds left, Perry excused himself and headed straight to the locker room.
Shortly thereafter, his teammates joined him, while the Oilers celebrated Dubnyk’s first win of the season in net.
“The effort is there, but we have to bear down,” said Getzlaf. “We’re playing on a little homestand where we have to take advantage of it. We’re going into a break. We have to learn from the mistakes and go forward.”
The Ducks now have four days off to learn before meeting up again with the Chicago Blackhawks on their traditional day after Thanksgiving matinee. Some shop on Black Friday. The Ducks play the Blackhawks. Hopefully the results won’t make them wish they had been at the mall instead of the ice rink. They certainly don’t need to lose six in a row.