It was important for the Ducks to start off their four game road trip on the right note. As with their last game against Edmonton, things got a little hairy in Ottawa, but the Ducks hung on for a 2-1 victory in a shootout.
Things started off well for the Ducks. Corey Perry made a highlight reel goal by getting his own rebound and knocking the second chance into the net with a backhand shot as he was falling to the ice. The puck went up and over Brian Elliott’s shoulder and it was 1-0 at 14:30 of the first period.
Anaheim continued strong on the penalty kill, killing both attempts by the Senators. The Ducks have now killed 31 of their last 32 penalties.
Wisely, the Senators took no penalties, other than a fighting major. The Ducks have been very good with the extra man of late and are third in the NHL with a 23.3% success rate. Had the Ducks gone on the power play, that could have helped put the game away.
Instead, the Ducks continued living dangerously on the edge and relied far too much on Jonas Hiller to bail them out. Hiller showed the Eastern Conference why he was nominated to the All Star game by stopping 39 shots.
The only one that got past him was Mike Fisher’s rebound shot at 18:19 of the second period. With the way the Ducks were slumping in the middle frame, they were fortunate to head to the third with a 1-1 tie rather than trailing.
“I know you guys don’t see it much on the East Coast but we’re quite used to those kinds of performances,” said Bobby Ryan. “You know, he did it again. That’s why he’s an All-Star and that’s why he’s our No. 1 goalie. It’s a pretty special player there.”
The Ducks held on in the third period and Teemu Selanne had an opportunity to deny the Senators a point when he clanged a shot off the post with less than a minute to go. The game went to overtime instead and then to a shootout.
The Senators have been unsuccessful in overtime and/or shootouts this year, and nothing changed for them in this game either.
Hiller stood strong in net stopping Daniel Alfredsson, Fisher and Erik Karlsson. Elliott was able to stop Perry’s attempt, but Ryan got his shot past the goaltender.
Ducks got two points and are fifth in the Western Conference.
“Every game that you win is not a masterpiece,” observed coach Randy Carlyle. “This one by no means was a masterpiece. Maybe if you consider it for our goaltender. He was the best player on the ice.”
Like Sunday’s game against Edmonton, the tape doesn’t need to be kept for all posterity.
Now the Ducks will get a day off before playing Toronto on Thursday. Usually Anaheim is handed back-to-back scenarios, but on this trip, they will have breathing room. And perhaps some time to consider why they still cannot play a full 60 minutes. At some point, that behavior will come back to bite them. For now, they are holding on and earning points to stay in the thick of things.