The Ducks were back on the road after a win against the Kings on Tuesday. Although they kept some of the positive momentum going, they were unable to get a second win in a row against the St. Louis Blues. St. Louis grabbed the lead and refused to give it back in their 4-2 victory.
“We played a pretty good game,” said Selanne. “The difference was we had a couple more mistakes than they had. That’s a hot team right there and they made less mistakes than we did.”
Overall, it was a much better game. That is something the team can certainly build upon as they move forward.
On the other hand (or as Selanne is fond of saying, on the same hand), a loss is a loss. And the Ducks have plenty of those to their credit this season.
A mistake by Jonas Hiller led to the first goal from Chris Porter at 9:19 of the first period. Hiller thought he had the puck covered on the initial shot. He did not. Porter happily put it in the net to give St. Louis their first lead of the night.
Bobby Ryan, who is finally heating up this season, scored his 10th of the season at 14:31 to tie up the game. Selanne forced a turnover behind the net and Ryan was all alone in front of Jaroslav Halak.
Ian Cole put the Blues ahead at 7:39 of the second period. It was Cole’s first of the year and only the second of his career. Cole was not even certain if he would be in the line up that evening, when Kevin Shattenkirk was a late scratch due to the flu.
“I was preparing like I was going to play no matter what,” said Cole. “If it didn’t happen, it didn’t happen, but luckily it did and I came out and had a great game.”
TJ Oshie took advantage of a bad turnover by the Ducks to make it 3-1 at 18:15 and the Blues never looked back.
Anaheim, to their credit, did not hang their heads or give up. They kept pressing, kept working, and got rewarded for early in the third period.
Devante Smith-Pelly, who will be loaned to team Canada for the World Junior Championships at the end of this month, scored goal number three of his young career at 3:17.
The Ducks kept sniffing for another goal to tie up the game, but Halak was superb, making several great saves on shots that should have gone in the net.
“In the third period, we had some golden chances,” coach Bruce Boudreau praised. “When you get some golden chances, you’ve got to put those in. You see that we never quit. Our team’s got a lot of heart.”
An empty net at the end of the period led to the usual empty net goal by the opposition. Oshie got his second of the game at 19:14 and that was the end of that.
Nonetheless, the Ducks can take their hard work and improving attitudes with them to Nashville on Saturday. So far Nashville has owned the Ducks this season. Time for Anaheim to change that.